Prayer – Is It Just Words or The Cry Of The Heart?

Shepherd Boy with fluteNaomi Levy, in her book To Begin Again, tells the beautiful Hasidic story about a poor shepherd boy who came to pray at the synagogue.

“As he sat mesmerized by the words of the wise rabbi and the melodies of the service, the boy longed to join in. But the boy was illiterate and didn’t know any of the traditional prayers.

In his pocket the boy kept a small flute that he would take with him when he was tending his flock. Whenever he played the flute, any sheep who wandered off would return.

The young shepherd sat in silence during the long awesome service for as long as he could, but at last his soul could no longer contain itself. He reached into his pocket and blew the flute with all his heart. A commotion swept through the synagogue. The people who had been praying so intently were startled and appalled by the sudden outburst. But the rabbi urged the young flutist to continue his song. The rabbi explained to the congregation that the boy’s song of praise had risen to the very seat of God. With his small flute, the shepherd had lifted up all the eloquent prayers of the sanctuary.”

True prayer comes from the heart; the words are just vehicles for communicating the praise and anguish of our souls to God. It is something that all of us need to be sure to do every day. Integrate the reality of prayer into the very rhythm of the day!

In the Gospel, when Jesus gave us the words to the prayer that has come down to us as The Lord’s Prayer, he presented an attitude in which all prayer should be centered. Recognizing God as the loving Father of us all. Seeking God’s way of mercy and justice in all things. Being aware and grateful for God’s countless blessings to us. Seeking forgiveness by forgiving others.

Perhaps this week it might be good to remember that we should not confine our prayer only to words and rituals – important as they are to the rhythm of our day. This week invite the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon you so that you can make every moment God gives you to be part of a continuous, lifelong prayer of praise to God who is the giver and sustainer of all life.

If you think about it, this is what the traditional “Daily Offerings,” that many of us learned when we were young and might even pray today were intended to foster within our hearts. Here is a listing of those “Daily Offerings” in case you have forgotten them.

Question – What helps you when you are praying to connect your heart and soul to God?

September 24th, 2014 |