The Gift of Liturgical Prayer

There is a need for some sort of prayer which is not spontaneous but which is truly rooted in conviction.  To find this you can draw from a great many of the existing prayers…It is good that you should learn and know enough prayers from scripture or liturgical wealth of the Church so that at the right moment you are able to find the right prayers.   It is a question of learning by heart enough meaningful passages, from the Psalms or from the prayers of the saints.   Each of us is sensitive to certain particular passages.  Mark these passages that go deep into your heart, that move you deeply, that make sense, that express something which is already within your experience, either of sin, or of bliss in God, or of struggle.  Learn these passages, because one day when you are so completely low, so profoundly desperate that you cannot call out of your soul any spontaneous expression, any spontaneous wording, you will discover that these words come up and offer themselves to you as a gift of God, as a gift of the Church, as gift of holiness, helping our simple lack of strength.  And then you really need the prayers you have learned and made a part of yourself. -Anthony Bloom

Do you ever find prayer difficult because of tiredness or dryness?  When that is so, it is an immense help to let the psalms and hymns we know by heart say themselves or sing themselves inside us.  This is possible anywhere and at any time.  We cannot be mistaken in using this easy, open way of prayer, for our Lord Jesus used it.  His very last prayer, when He was far too tired to pray as He usually did, was Psalm 31:5, “into Your hand I commit my spirit:  For You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”  Hymns, little prayer-songs of our own, even the simplest of them, can sing us into His love.  Or more truly, into the consciousness of His love, for we are never for one moment out of it.  -Amy Carmichael



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