Monday, December 3, 2018

two great prayers you should never, under any circumstances, pray

take this cup from me
but not my will but yours be done
is like the original marathon,
which was undertaken to show the remainder of the human race
not to undertake that project:

don't run the race, you'll collapse
pray this prayer, you'll die.

The only human to successfully pray this
was also God,
so it seems less accurate to call it prayer than a verbal expression of the bowels of the Trinity—
pray only if you're in the mood for vivisection.

God, give me what I want
I want it, and it's good.
That logic surely must be sound enough for you.
But don't, you add
(a foolhardy coda
love demands), dooming
your project from the start,
ever let me be happy without you.

And God doesn't.
God tears you to pieces on the horns
of your bull-headed desires.

Or rather, you tear yourself:
reaching for a God who lets
you follow both grace and mammon.
Without effort, he watches as
what is good pulls you back to him,
he doesn't even have to lift a finger,
knowing you'll bring yourself back on your own
he watches as you stray between
two poles of a magnet,
true north always tugging slightly stronger.

God, do not leave me,
you can pray as you wander off.
Oh I won't, God responds.

This is histrionic:
God is not over there,
contained, isolated, removed
from you.

God rests at the core of every day,
prayer is digging until you reach
the divine shining out of every face you meet.

God is here: and even as you beat
your world so it shines like gold:
God is here.

If you want to see the face of God,
you will,
but it will cost you dearly.

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