In prayer life we seldom reach a mind and heart experience. We are so many times “art” challenged even when we are gifted in that area. Dr. Gary Chapman has made a cottage industry from identifying the “love languages.” One thing I think that we should take into account is our Prayer Language. In interviewing some great songwriters in my time I have found that prayer and fasting is key to a successful project. From Dolly Parton to Fernando Ortega poetics in their songs most often come from their talks with God. There is a new website that allows for this kind of poetics to go on between writer and including God. And while our technology and our communication theories may change the communication process of including god in our joys and concerns, in our heart and in our art have remained the same since the psalmist!
The art of praying
When you are looking up (the poet prays)
your friends might look towards the light (today)
but the shade on the south side obscures the street
Though He fills the cup
the dog barks and bites
the bark can give a warning – the bite is less discreet
I’m traveling- skylines and farms
I hear the groans of ranchers up in arms
these are protests and seasons that net nothing
I’m singing skylines and prairies
riding taxies and ferries- home to you
and I’ve come a long, long way- with nothing to say…
The psalmist is one part journalist, one part poet and one part prophet and still one part artist. There is something concrete and abstract to the prayer without naming names or consequences. Every summer I lead a group to pray and worship in Denver. We pray in front of building that house alternative lifestyles but I ask that God would send somebody who can be a messenger of love in the establishment that we are praying for. While people might want God to destroy the place, tear it down I think God has an analogy that is as powerful as our prayer language. pray that there will be someone who get inside the walls and offer people a different possibility. A new love language and thought process breeds a better understanding of where the people inside have come from. Think Planned Parenthood, or think gay bars, think escort services and think the prisoners in chains.
and when you’re looking down
your friends framed in the frost
the dark at sundown on the street
Though the nature breeds frowns
you can count the cost
we are short by dollars and around three feet.
and though you fill me up
we are looking for a light
but the shade is obscuring the street
I’m traveling skylines and farms
actors- up in arms
protests and seasons net nothing
I’m singing skylines and prairies
taxis and ferries lead me home-
I’ve come a long, long way- with nothing to say
and yet nothing yields one word on the page
as we watch a lonely boy come of age
there was something that told us how to pray
and somehow his rage- dissipates. I thought we had nothing…
Like journalism prayer is based on observations. We see wrong and we ask God. We can know what is right and thank God. prayer is an attitude. In many churches we ask people to be in an attitude of prayer. Pray for who, praying for what, where do we pray, when can we pray, why do we pray? You may have a totally different language to talk to God and it is as valid as mine. Just talk but address Him, thank him, voice your complaints and ask him for answers. He responds when we ask in His son’s name. So for me I pray all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ-Amen.
…and the people they are fed up
they fold their tents and vent their fear
we still breed contempt, or we ride the fence
but I’ve come a long, long way, with nothing to say.