Saturday, January 16, 2010

Writing Our Own Prayers

Sometimes we may feel that the only prayers worth praying are one written by other people. We certainly should feed on the treasury of prayer that has developed over the centuries by people who have diligently pursued closeness to God. The Psalms have been such a treasury for both Jewish and Christian believers for millennia. The Lord's Prayer has a special place, of course, because it came from the lips of Jesus. The Hail Mary is the foundational prayer of the Rosary. Prayers by such saints as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Patrick, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Teresa of Avila, and others can be tremendous helps to guide our thoughts towards God and deepen our relationship with and understanding of Him.

However, it is important that we learn to pray from our own hearts as well, to speak to God in our own words and through our own thoughts and feelings. We can even write our own prayers that we can pray again and again. Without any prompting, my daughter has written two prayers of her own in the last couple of days.

While the grammar and theology of these prayers may not always be precise (it is of course not possible for us to love God as much as He loves us), they are beautiful expressions of love for God.

Here is the translation into standard English:

God's Praying Prayer

Lord, let us praise you from our hearts. We love you as much as you love us. We promise to bow before you and worship you. I will show you love in the name of my heart. My family will praise you and so will I. Amen.

The Holy Prayer

Store up your minds with all your love. We will worship you as the holy king of heaven. I love you as Mary, your mother loved you. Your father God has been a friend to all people and so have you. We thank you for all your help and teaching. Amen.

My daughter is teaching me a great deal about a contemplative life saturated with the presence of God. Hopefully, I can store up my mind with such love.

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