Day Twelve — 23 February

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.

Lectionary readings (Click the links to see the readings):
Isaiah 1.10 (11-15) 16-20 | Psalm 50.16-22 | Matthew 23.1-12

To pray is to live

Praying is no easy matter. It demands a relationship in which you allow the other to enter into the very centre of your person, to speak there, to touch the sensitive core of your being, and ailow this other to see so much that you would rather leave in darkness. And when do you really want to do that? Perhaps you would let the other come across the threshold to say something, to touch something, but to allow the other into that place where your life gets its form, that is dangerous and calls for defence. The resistance to praying is like the resistance of tightly clenched fists. This image shows the tension, the desire to cling tightly to yourself, a greediness which betrays fear. … When you dare to let go and surrender one of those many fears, your hand relaxes and your palms spread out in a gesture of receiving. You must have patience, of course, before your hands are completely open and their muscles relaxed. . . . Then you feel a bit of new freedom, and praying becomes a joy, a spontaneous reaction to the world and the people around you. praying becomes effortless, inspired, and lively or peaceful and quiet. Then you recognize the festive and the modest as moments of prayer. You begin to suspect that to pray is to live.

Henri Nouwen. Springs of Hope (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1989)


Margaret Olley (Australian, 1923-2011). Solandras, 1966.

Cyrillus Kreek. Psalm 104, "Blessed is the man." Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, dir. Paul Hillier

May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church, cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602
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