I PRAY, NOT BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO PRAY
By: Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM
I WRITE, not because I know, but because I do not know. In like manner I pray, not because I know how pray, but because I don’t. This is not false humility but the truth. Those who wait until they know, will never write, and those who sit back and wait for the gift of prayer, for some grand inspiration, will pray very little. The pray-er is a searcher; he reaches out for God he loves, most of the time clumsily and without much satisfaction.
And through all of this he is praying in the Spirit. The reason I make this last statement is that some falsely believe they are praying in the Spirit only when they are filled with joy and enthusiasm and when they tangibly experience the influx of the Spirit and break into spontaneous praise and thanksgiving. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life is not a continuous celebration. It is rather a rhythm of joys and sorrows, certitude and doubt, fullness and emptiness, intimacy and loneliness, turning inward and turning outward. And our prayer reflects this same rhythm as did the prayer of Jesus.
Whenever I pray, no matter how I am feeling, the Spirit prays with me and within me with “unutterable groanings.”
Taken from: Murray Bodo, SONG OF THE SPARROW – Meditations and Poems to Pray by, Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1976, pages 125.
Jakarta, 17 August 2012
A Christian Pilgrim