Saturday, February 28, 2015

Auden: becoming prayer

Saturday, February 28, 2015
    And [Jesus] went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
    —Matthew 26:39 (KJV)
    Our wishes and desires—to pass an exam, to marry the person we love, to sell our house at a good price—are involuntary and, therefore, not in themselves prayers. They only become prayers when addressed to a God whom we believe to know better than ourselves whether we should be granted or denied what we ask. A petition does not become a prayer unless it ends with the words, spoken or unspoken, “nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt.”
    ... W. H. Auden (1907-1973), A Certain World, London: Faber and Faber, 1971, p. 307 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 26:39,42; 6:10; John 6:38; Rom. 12:2; 15:3; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 10:7; 1 Pet. 4:1-2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may my speech become true prayer.
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