Deep silence leads us to realize that prayer is, above all, acceptance. When we pray, we are standing with our hands open to the world. We know that God will become known to us in the nature around us, in people we meet, and in situations we run into. Prayer creates that openness in which God is given to us. God wants to be admitted into the human heart, received with open hands, and loved with the same love with which we have been created. This openness, however, does not come simply of itself. It requires a confession that you are limited, dependent, weak and even sinful. Whenever you pray, you profess that you are not God, nor do you want to be God, that you haven’t reached your goal yet, and that you never will reach it in this life, and that you must constantly stretch out our hands and wait for the gift of life. This attitude is difficult because it makes you vulnerable.
Praying, means, above all, to be accepting of God who is always new, always different. For God is deeply moved God, whose heart is greater than our own. The open acceptance of prayer in the face of an ever-new God makes us free. In prayer, we are constantly on the way, on a pilgrimage. On our way, we meet more and more people who show us something about the God whom we seek. We will never know for sure if we have reached God. But we do know that God will always be new and that there is no reason for fear.Contemporary Reading:
Grateful: Praying with Open Hands
by Henri Nouwen
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.Scripture Reading:
1 John 4:18-21 (NRSV)