Monday, November 12, 2007

Some Thoughts on Prayer

Prayer is an invitation to hear God’s voice in the still places of our lives. One of the things Quakers have long been known for is feeling that silence is good preparation for hearing God’s voice – sensing His leadings, knowing His will, and preparing to obey His call.

But our society values busy-ness, not stillness. Silence, we often think, means doing nothing. Thomas Merton challenges that thought. “The contemplative,” says Merton, “is not merely a man who likes to sit and think.” The purpose of contemplation, he continues, is “to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God.”

Prayer and listening to God’s voices have no point and no reality unless they are firmly rooted in life. Listening silences created by prayer are filled with God’s presence and wonder that lead us out into the world.

Merton reminds us, “Contemplation is … the response to a call: a call from Him Who has no voice, and yet Who speaks in everything that is, and Who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our being: for we ourselves are words of His.”

-- Brent

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