Prayer for the week of September 21 — Composed Prayer

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For years I had the misguided notion that extemporaneous prayers were somehow more effective than composed prayers.  Then came a day that I felt like I couldn’t pray because I didn’t have the words.  Then I knew the immense treasure there is in previously composed prayers that already speak to and about the heart of God.

Composed Prayer

Perhaps you have noticed that Kristina and I have not been so good about posting our weekly prayer posts. We have been unfailing in it for almost 4 years. And the recent weeks?  Not so much.  To be honest, we are just tired. We have a million irons in the fire, too many things in our plates.  We are both dealing with close relatives with terminal illnesses. Both are homeschooling our children.  Both our houses have been under renovation, leaving mess and chaos in the wake. Both trying to deal with a thousand little things.  So, when we go to pray these days, it’s a little less like on-the-spot inspiration and a little more like sitting in silence and saying those precious words that are few in number but as deep as the sea.

No one knows the beauty and depth of the Our Father like someone who feels that without it they wouldn’t be able to pray at all.  I used to look down on things like Rosaries and Chaplets and contemplative meditations. Now without their faithful guidance I would be prayer-less.

It’s OK, you know.  It’s OK to be in the presence of the One You Love the most and not have anything to say.  He is not offended. He gets it. He can translate sighs and groans and tears.  You do not have to find any new words. Rest is a prayer, too. Sometimes the most authentic prayer we’ll ever pray is the silence of our heart as we say what we know by rote, because it is eternally true. And the Spirit bears witness….

Christ said those who worship worship in spirit and in truth. He didn’t say they worship with the hair on the back of their necks raised….And this is what liturgy offers that all the razzmatazz of our modern worship can’t touch. (Rich Mullins)

So forgive us for not posting prayers on Monday.  You already know the prayers, though. They are the ones you have been reciting since Kindergarten Sunday School or learned at your grandma’s knee.  But, in case you didn’t, we leave you with this:

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus,
while before Thy face I humbly kneel and,
with burning soul,
pray and beseech Thee
to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments
of faith, hope and charity;
true contrition for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I contemplate,
with great love and tender pity,
Thy five most precious wounds,
pondering over them within me
and calling to mind the words which David,
Thy prophet, said of Thee, my Jesus:
They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”
Amen.


  1. Georgina - September 22, 2015

    Yes. Thank you girls.
    Lack of words can promote deeper humility.  I read Ecclesiastes 5-7 again this morning.  “Go near to listen…let your words be few…”.   
    God bless The Provision Room and all who visit.

  2. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I have felt loss for words in my prayers lately and seem to have nothing except tears and groans. Sometimes it feels like the same prayer is prayed and remains unanswered and so I have no more words. I need to find just rest in him and even that has been hard in the midst of circumstances. And yet we all have their circumstances and so I’m trusting to just remember his promises and proclaim them. Thanks for these beautiful words.

    • Remember Jesus’ agony in the garden.  He prayed and prayed, came and admonished His disciples, then went back to the garden and said the same things again.  

      It’s OK to pray the same things over and over. Sometimes, that’s all we have. And it’s more than enough. Hang in there. <3 

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