Poems and Prayers for Lent 7

PRAYERS FOR GETHSEMANE

This Sunday at Collins Street we are in the garden of Gethsemane, a place of prayer, struggle and vulnerability. It’s a tough place to be. And this business of prayer, well, most of the time it all feels beyond me. I used to think I understood it. I used to sniff self righteously at those snoring disciples. Not so much anymore.

Ted Loder has two beautifully honest prayers that I come back to again and again. Both feel like they fit well in a place like Gethsemane.

Here’s the first:

God … are you there?

God … are you there?
I’ve been taught
and told I ought
to pray.
But the doubt
wont go away;
yet neither
will my longing to be heard.
My soul sighs
too deep for words.
Do you hear me?
God … are you there?

Are you where love is?
I don’t love well,
or often
anything
or anyone.
But when I do,
when I take the risk,
there’s a sudden awareness
of all I’ve missed;
and it’s good,
it’s singing good.
For a moment
life seems as it should.
But, I forget, so busy soon,
that it was,
or what,
or whom.

Help me!
God … are you there?

Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace, 1981

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