23 February 2012

Deep in prayer

Eric deep in prayer by bobmendo
Eric deep in prayer, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.

Some male Orthodox Jewish people wrap themselves in a prayer shawl. Some Catholics light candles and burn incense. Some Buddhists light shrines and bring offerings to their deity. And whatever their mechanism, like this man deep in prayer, it's about intensity and about trust that pervades the scene.

I've heard other people in a sort-of demand mode, telling God what He needs to do, or He cannot be their god. That is not in view here.

A smart pray-er is a humble pray-er. He knows he has no claim on deity and has almost no rights even to request anything. Humility-- that's the way into the holiest.

So what about the tallit? Shouldn't we wrap ourselves with a prayer shawl each morning? Won't that help? To be fair, yes, it does help some of the people who use them. They are able to concentrate that much more. So for them, it's more useful. For the Almighty? Nope, He knows our history and our heart; so no amount of activity will be impressive. He's not a teenaged girl, after all.

Eric, who is deep in prayer, is still wearing his apron. He was cooking this morning. He later on will clean up the dishes. Then this afternoon he will be ringing some churches as is his usual duty.

He knows from where his own strength comes. No wonder he affords himself the time to pray. And to trust the Almighty. Smart move.

For Eric.
And for me.
And for you.

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