Tag Archives: Prayer

Implore His Aid, in His Decisions Rest

The famous passage from Ecclesiastes–“All is vanity”–inspired a great poem by Samuel Johnson. Johnson’s final conclusion is that we can find happiness only in prayer.

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Celebrate! The Month of Fasting Is Come

In this Ramadan poem by Rumi, the month of fasting is compared to a friend, an intoxicant, “a beautiful fortune,” a secret illumination, a plentiful harvest, and a silk outfit than one dons.

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On Sickness and the Power of Prayer

In “War and Peace” Tolstoy gives a powerful account of how prayer and church attendance can help in the recovery process.

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My Cries Cannot Pierce Thy Silent Ears

George Herbert poetry is admirable in the way he wrestles with his spiritual doubts. He may owe a debt to “The Book of Job,” where we also see such wrestling.

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Learning to Love the Desert

In “Ash Wednesday,” T. S. Eliot turns the despair of “Hollow Men” on its head, seeing it not as the end of hope but as the beginning of faith.

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Dear God, Drive These Cruel Doubts Away

Anne Bronte’s moving poem shows her wrestling with deep spiritual doubts.

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Dare to Be Happy, Dare to Pray

Mary Oliver finds hope even for those weighed down by the thorn of depression.

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When God Doesn’t Seem to Be Listening

George Herbert’s frustrations at not communicating with God are understandable because the words we use to pray will always feel inadequate. Rather than this being bad, however, we should learn to be humble. It is good that we feel wounded by our words because it is in our brokenness where we most feel God’s presence.

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When It’s Hard to Pray

Spiritual Sunday I’ve been thinking about why it’s sometimes hard to pray for help. Perhaps it’s because asking for help seems an affront to our prideful self sufficiency. Perhaps it’s because we fear that we are not worthy to receive it. I think of how Coleridge’s ancient mariner is so filled with self-loathing that he […]

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