Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dry Dry Dry

My prayer life right now is very dry.
Like, non existent.
Like, not worth my energy.
Like, why bother.

So, yesterday evening I literally tripped over my once beloved prayer book. It's called The Little Book of Hours and is...well just that. A book for praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a monastic tradition that includes prayers at dawn, midday, vesper (evening), and compline (bedtime). I used to pray the Hours faithfully. I love these prayers. My alarm on my phone is set for noon and 5pm to remind me. Now, it just goes off and I ignore it.

I went ahead and took the hint. I lay down and started the compline prayers. The Opening prayer alone just fills my heart with good things.

May our hearts dream of you, sense your presence in deep sleep, and always sing your glory with the approaching light. Amen
Nice huh? better than Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Now there is a prayer in the Compline that I always hate. I say it and then under my breath say, "I don't really mean that." After the Psalm in the closing prayers it says
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
I don't mean that. I know I'm supposed to, but when I try to pray this like I really mean it, I go into a complete panic! "OK Lord, I mean it...just not now, ok?" I hate that part. I always want to skip right over it.

But it wasn't that part that God smacked me in the face with. You see, during this dry time I have felt abandoned. The whole "Why bother?" thing. I always blame the distance on God. And I'm not alone. The bible is full of people saying, "Yo, God! Where are you?! Why won't you answer me?!" But last night as I was reading the Psalm (not praying it, of course, just reading it.) God turned it around on me. He said,
Why, Cakes, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

huh. perhaps I haven't been abandoned. Perhaps I am the abandoner, after all.


valerie said...

this post is so close to where I'm at these days. I'm having a hard time answering the questions of an almost-6 yr old when I'm questioning so much myself.

It sounds like a nice little book.

Mel said...

He will wait for you, graciously and patiently like the gentleman He is.
Bet He misses you lots.

Erika/Twelves said...

I have been feeling the same way. I know God loves me but right now I don't remember what that love feels like. At church today after communion I went over to our little special prayer corner and asked the two people there to pray for me. One (who is dying of cancer) asked me what I'd like to pray about. "The list is too long," I said with tears in my eyes. They bowed over me and he said the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. I wept. I feel so distanced from God and keep reaching for Him. I always forget He is carrying me. I don't feel his firm hold on me. It is a horrible way to feel and I'm sorry you are there, too.

Jenni said...

One of my favorites verses is "draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8) ifs, ands, or buts. Just a simple cause/effect. You don't have to travel a long way, just one step closer and whoosh, He makes up the distance. It's an awesome thought.

Praying for you, Kate. You sweet thing, you.

gem said...

I have no advice to give as you have already been given advice by people way more qualified than me. I really believe though that as long as you keep reading it will come back. I think this is part of what having faith is.
As a total aside my brother is a Benedictine monk and they live their lives by the liturgy of the hours. We always try to get to one of the sung services, usually vespers, when we visit. They sing them in gregorian chant. It is amazing. Maybe a recording like that would help you to reconnect?

Elizabethw said...

You are such a deep and wise person. Don't be so hard on yourself.


ccap said...

Oh my. It's like *I* wrote this post. Sigh.

Sometimes it's all I can do to utter the words: "Lord, I do believe, please help my unbelief".