"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Friday, November 05, 2010

Trust and Prayer

"When we pray, we willingly participate in what God is doing, without knowing precisely what God is doing, how God is doing it, or when we will know what is going on - if ever." ~ Eugene H. Peterson

Lately, you may have noticed me saying this a lot on this blog: God knows. Well, coupled with His knowing is His doing. He not only knows, He does.

But what exactly is He doing?

For the life of me, I don't know.

When I pray, sometimes I trail off. I have sentences that dangle, that don't end. I don't do it on purpose. It happens when I am at a loss for words. But when I pray, I don't mind losing my words because I know He knows. In fact, usually when I run out of words with Him, strangely and inexplicably, that is when my tears come. It is like my entire being so needs to express itself that it will do so - with words or with whatever faculties that are available (Unfortunately for me that means tears and snot).

I trust in His knowing. And I trust in His doing. And I trust this not only in my life, but in the lives of everyone I pray for. Every heart I hold dear, every relationship I cherish, and each and every face I adore.

That Eugene Peterson quote that sports this entry stabs at my heart too with its last two words: "If ever." It's his way of saying that we must trust God to know and do, even if we never get a shadow of a grasp or an inkling of an understanding on what it is He is up to. We are asked to trust in Him and to express that trust when we pray, when we willingly participate in prayer.

He doesn't owe to tell us what He's up to. But He asks that we trust Him with no guarantees or reservations.

Again, from Eugene Peterson: "We step back and trust God to do with our prayers whatever, however and whenever He chooses. All our intentions, our experience, our energy are now in the prayer. All now is in our Father's hands."

(Photo credit: abcdz2000)

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