June 26 – The Gift of Prayer – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. And so, it is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words with out a heart. ” Gandhi

This great spiritual teacher reminds us that prayer of the deepest kind is more a pledge of gratitude for what has already been received than a request or plea for something not yet experienced. Such an effort refreshes the soul.

Implicit in Gandhi’s instruction is the need to surrender to our lives here on Earth. By admitting our weaknesses, we lay down all the masks we show the world and as we do so, what is holy floods in.

I once saw a blind man rocking endlessly in the sun, an unstoppable smile on his face. Not a word was uttered. To me he was a priest, a shaman, and his whole being was praying and shouting in silence that the day, beyond his blindness, was happily enough.

This is what the heart knows beyond all words, if we can find a way to listen: that beyond our small sense of things a magnificent light surrounds us, more than anyone could ask for. This is what prayer as gratitude can open us to.

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