Saturday, January 15, 2005

Prayer Pointers for Pilgrims

My dear friend, Chuck Congram, pastors a growing flock of pilgrims just outside of Windsor, Ontario. He’s taking them on an incredible journey this month through the Sermon on the Mount. Chuck quoted from the poet Stan Walter Foss in a recent e-mail. Chuckle (no pun intended) as you read this:

The proper way for a man to pray, said Deacon Lemuel Keyes;
And the only proper attitude is down upon his knees.

Nay, I should say the way to pray, said Reverend Doctor Wise,
Is standing straight with outstretched arms with shining upturned eyes.

Oh, no, no, no, said Elder Snow, such posture is too proud.
A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.

It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front
With both thumbs pointing to the ground, said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

Last year I fell in Hodgkin's well headfirst, said layman Cyrus Brown.
With both my heels a stickin' up, and my head a-pointin' down;
And I made a prayer right then and there; best prayer I ever said:
The prayin'est prayer I ever prayed, a-standin' on my head.

On a personal note, Chuck adds, In the intervening years of my spiritual journey, I wish I had heard the words of the Benedictine author Dom Chapman say:

"Pray as you can - not as you cannot."

And so, my pilgrim partners, JUST PRAY!

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