Thursday, May 5, 2011

If you kept your eyes open, you'd pray.

The human condition teeters on the edge of disaster. Human beings are in trouble most of the time. Those who don't know they are in trouble are in the worst trouble. Prayer is the language of people who are in trouble and know it, and who believe or hope that God can get them out. 
As prayer is practiced, it moves into other levels and develops other forms, but trouble--being in the wrong, being in danger, realizing that the foes are too many for us to handle--is the basic provocation for prayer. Isaac Bashevis Singer once said, "I only prayer when I am in trouble. But I am in trouble all the time, and so I pray all the time." The recipe for obeying St. Paul's "pray without ceasing" is not a strict ascetical regimen but a watchful recognition of the trouble we are in.

// Eugene Peterson

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