creating me [using words]

I Do Not Know What Prayer Is and Still I Pray

What is prayer?
To be.
To be in God.

You are more mysterious than ever.
My heart yearns and also balks
at the ephemeral idea of Presence.

Who is God? Do I know him/her?
Am I loved and do I love in return?
These are the ultimate questions
which I cannot seem to answer.
I would run away
from this terrifying void
if only the silence didn’t seem
as if it were speaking to me softly.

Sometimes it is only the silence–
silence only–that holds me here.
How do I explain that?
I could speak a thousand words
and never convince
of the silence that compels.

I enter the darkness yet again
and from inside it, I tell you,
“The water is fine! Jump!” but
really the water is raging.
Jump anyway. Jump anyway.
Drown in the unknowing if you must
rather than stand on the shores
of your false certainties.
God is in the deep, even though
he cannot be seen or heard.
I don’t know why I swim here–
it is cold and dangerous–
but I must or else
die a death of another sort.

Come with me?
The water is fine,
fine for falling in,
finer than fine,
it will swallow you.

I think we’re finally
praying now,
and if the waters
take us under,


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4 thoughts on “I Do Not Know What Prayer Is and Still I Pray

  1. Linda Cross on said:


    Linda Cross 214.728.6457 Sent from my iPhone

  2. dellisphelps on said:


  3. Kaitlyn on said:

    Really like this one. It reminded me of R.S. Thomas and his theme of “negative theology” — the idea that God is found in the absence. Here’s one of my favorites:

    “Why no! I never thought other than
    That God is that great absence
    In our lives, the empty silence
    Within, the place where we go
    Seeking, not in hope to
    Arrive or find. He keeps the interstices
    In our knowledge, the darkness
    Between stars. His are the echoes
    We follow, the footprints he has just
    Left. We put our hands in
    His side hoping to find
    It warm. We look at people
    And places as though he had looked
    At them, too; but miss the reflection.”
    Via Negativa || R. S. Thomas

    • Oh, this is just beautiful. Sounds a little familiar as I read it, so maybe you shared it with me before. I can’t decide which lines I like the best, but I was moved for sure by “We put our hands in His side hoping to find it warm,” and “We look at people and places as though he had at them, too.”

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]

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