Posted by: davidlarkin | February 24, 2019

A Prayer about Prayer, and a Prayer about Creation


“Old Man Praying” by Vincent van Gogh, drawn in The Hague, April 1882 in pencil, brush, black chalk and Indian ink on paper.

These prayers are from my daily devotions this week.  First, here is a short prayer about prayer I read today in the The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers.

A Prayer about Prayer

I leave aside my shoes — my ambition,
undo my watch — my timetable,
take off my glasses — my views,
unclip my pen — my work,
put down my keys — my security,
to be alone with you, the only true God.

After being with you,
I take up my shoes — to walk in your ways,
strap on my watch — to live in your time,
put on my glasses — to look at your world,
clip on my pen — to write up your thoughts,
pick up my keys — to open your doors.
— Anonymous

Second, a short poem of praise for God’s creation, including praise for fog, the “gentle mists”, seen in the right spirit which was written in Canterbury, Connecticut by a pastor, Philip Jerome Cleveland (1903-1995), it was a blessing to me.

For thoughts that curve like winging birds
Out of the summer dusk each time
I drink the splendor of the sky
And touch the the wood-winds swinging by —
I yield Thee praise.

For waves that life from autumn seas
To spill strange music on the land,
The broken nocturne of a lark
Flung out upon the lonely dark —
I yield Thee praise.

The gentle mists that wander in
to hide the tired world outside
That in our hearts old lips may smile
Their blessing through life afterwhile —
I yield Thee praise.

For hopes that fight like stubborn grass
Up through the clinging snows of fear
To find the rich earth richer still
With kindness and honest will —
I yield Thee praise.

— Philip Jerome Cleveland

Philip Jerome Cleveland was the pastor of “The Church of the Broken Bell”, Westminster Congregational Church in Canterbury, Connecticut from 1945 to 1958. The Westminster Church was established in 1770 and continues to provide a place of worship in Cantebury. The history of this church is here. This poem of Praise is also from the prayer collection, “The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers,” edited by Dorothy M. Stewart, prayer no. 132.4.

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