Paul Signac. Place des Lices. Carnegie Museum of Art.
Abba Father, prayer is my noblest function and the altar on which I lay my deepest longings in the intimacy of Your perfect Love. It is the sacred space of our peaceful communion and Your powerful presence that I can freely go and take with me those You have given me to love. Prayer quietly turns my attention away from the circumference of the world long enough to allow my grief, anxiety, and fears to rise from the depths of me to be healed. Even so, I struggle to stay focused. I quickly lose the deep mystical sense of radical interconnectedness and belongingness to You. I see darkly through the veil.
I am a spiritual being on a sling-shot journey home through a material world that distracts me and blinds me to spiritual things. I forget who I am—earth’s dismal fog obscures my true identity as Your beloved daughter. I rush in and out of Your presence. I pray in bursts. Still, the desire in me for You in Whom all is lost, yet all is found will not let me go. It is an echo of Your far more encompassing and passionate desire for me. My broken heart is the place where Your mystery seeks entry. And so, I return in weakness and humility with hope.
Abba Father, prayer is my heart’s purest desire. In the returning to the altar, again and again, the veil that has hidden You from my finite knowing ever so slowly begins to thin. How could it be otherwise? “God’s mercy seat is no mere stall set by the vulgar roadside, where every careless passer-by may put an easy hand out to snatch any glittering blessing that catches his eye. It stands in the holiest of holies. We can come to it only through veils and altars of purification. To enter into it, we must enter into God.” 1
And so, I will be anxious for nothing but will prayerfully enter Your presence, asking boldly for what I need with thanksgiving, trusting that Your peace, which is beyond my comprehension, will guard my heart and mind. I will dwell on what is true and pure and lovely and worthy of praise.2 I will lift my heart and turn it toward You to receive and finally to reflect Your glory into the world as the light of the sun reflects from a mirror. I am Your living gateway. King of Glory, Lover of my soul, I offer You my heart and my gratitude—for that is truly all I have to give—in return for awakening me to the Great Mystery in which I live and move and have my being.
Dearest Holy One, as I quiet my soul now and enter its sanctuary with You, I pray that Your Spirit will come upon me and blow over me. Bring me to the foot of the cross, to the nailed feet, the gift of Your Son, and there in its shadow, in unspeakable gratitude, enable me to see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, and love with Your heart. Teach me by faith, to know You without seeing You, by hope, to possess You without feeling Your presence, and by love, to desire You above all desires. Clothe me in Your compassion, kindness, humility, and love, so that others might feel the slightest brush of your garment as I pass by. I ask these prayers in Your name and always to Your glory, that many, many people might be blessed.
AmenThe Hidden Life Awakened p189