Everybody Prays

Here are more quotes from my Word of the Year last year — “Pain.”

Everybody prays whether he thinks of it as praying or not.  The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad.  The ah-h-h-h! that sometimes floats up out of you as out of a Fourth of July crowd when the sky-rocket bursts over the water.  The stammer of pain at somebody else’s pain.  The stammer of joy at somebody else’s joy.  Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life.  These are all prayers in their way.  — Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life, pg. 211-212

I might also add — whose name do people call out when something really horrible or wonderful happens?  People call out the only name that really can answer to these extreme situations.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation.  The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.  But it’s not only around us; it’s within us.  The Spirit of God is arousing us within.  We’re also feeling the birth pangs.  These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance…If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter.  He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  So what do you think?  With God on our side like this, how can we lose?  –Romans 8:22-23, 26, 31 (MSG)

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