Prayer Rock by Laura Baker
Prayer has never come easy for me. I avoid it, put it off, wander in my thoughts, cut it short. Yet, I pray every day, because I have been told to, all my life. It’s what I should do, they said. I also pray because I want to believe that someone is listening and caring and responding. But really I pray because I cannot deny a subtle, loving presence that abides and sustains when I am prayerful. Prayerful through formal kneeling prayers as well as daily mindfulness.
For a family activity, we had each child choose a special rock from our faux riverbed, a rock to paint. Laura (now 20) painted this rock when she was a young girl. She gave it to me: a present for dad. I keep it on my nightstand where I see it every morning and every night. I call it my prayer rock. I reminds me to bend my knee and bow my head, in humility, in gratitude, in desperate supplication, in recognition of the divine.
I offer to you two short poems on prayer. Fitful, imperfect, but sincere prayer.
YES, I PRAY
Do you pray morning and night? they asked.
I wondered, Do I?
I pray all the day long.
My life is a prayer.
Living is a prayer–
a sacred expression of dreams, frustrations, loves, and straining efforts;
a reaching out to the One who can reveal the mysteries hidden deep within;
a cry of faith and despair, of struggle and the hope of victory;
an ever truer reconciliation of heaven and earth.
Yes, I pray.
I am here, and
I am listening.