Continuing on with the theme of praying without words, I’ve begun to adopt a different method of praying with (or for) others. I recognize the power of prayer. Also, I recognize a desire and responsibility to hold others before God and invite God’s work in them. And, I’m still stuck with trying to avoid resentment over failed expectations, and still striving to enjoy the presence of God alone. I have become a cynic of my own words in prayer; prayer had begun to seem like a public show. What is that I say or do that might not damage another? That might offer help? And at the same time, might make me seem faithful and like I’ve got my act together?
For now, I’ve found a path that helps. I simply envision my bench – from last post – a little bigger. In my imagination, the person I am praying for, God and myself all sit together on the bench swing overlooking the rocky stream. We sit. We swing. God is present. God moves. God sees. All of us in silence. And it is a holy silence.
God is present in the other’s situation before I pray. In praying and imagining the other and me before God, I am inviting myself to trust in God. I am placing myself in vulnerability before God as I silently engage. The silence is an acknowledgment that I am powerless to fix, to save, to change. I do not have enough wisdom for words, nor am I God’s puppetmaster. Prayer is not magic – much though I have wished it was. Prayer is faithful communication with the God of the universe. And while at times God may respond in miraculous fashion, sometimes a powerful response comes in the form of mysterious silence.
In the midst of whatever storm, I long most to know that I have not been abandoned, forsaken or forgotten. In the silent communion, I am reminded that I am not alone. She (or he) is not alone. God is here. I am here. She (or he) is here. We are here. We are not alone. We are not forsaken. God sees. God stays present. God still loves us. God moves. That faithful exercise feels like progress today. It is not holiness or profound; for me, it is just a way forward — a step out of the dark. I still hope for words again one day.