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  • Writer's pictureGreg Dover

Curations: Prayer

"Kneeling in Prayer" by Nadine Rippelmeyer (2006)

I often struggle with prayer. Not writing them for worship, nor offering them at a hospital bedside. But on my own.

I struggle not only to do it, but also with what it does.

Does speaking words to God change the outcome of a situation? And what about when our prayers don't change the outcome? Will God act without our prayers? Or do we have to ask?

I don't know the answers to these, or how prayer works. And if I'm being completely honest, there are many times when I wonder if prayer works - those moments when "the nightfall / neverness / inking / into me..."

I appreciate Christian Wiman's poetic (and honest) take on prayer. It makes me think of the quote that has been attributed to a number of people in a number of forms, but my favorite is Richard Rohr: "Prayer is not about changing God, but being willing to let God change us."

And that, for me - even amidst "a mind blurred by anxiety or despair" - does provide at least a trace of peace. Hopefully Wiman's poem can offer something of the same for you.

"Prayer" by Christian Wiman

For all

the pain

passed down

the genes

or latent

in the very grain

of being;

for the lordless


the smear

of spirit

words intuit

and inter;

for all

the nightfall



into me

even now,

my prayer

is that a mind


by anxiety

or despair

might find


a trace

of peace.


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