Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The way we pray.

Gardener's Prayer
-by Karel Capek

O Lord, grant that in some way it may rain every day,
Say from about midnight until three o'clock in the morning,
But, You see, it must be gentle and warm so that it can soak in;
Grant that at the same time it would not rain on campion, alyssum, helianthus, lavendar, and others which You in Your infinite wisdom know are drought-loving plants-
I will write their names on a bit of paper if you like-
And grant that the sun may shine the whole day long,
But not everywhere (not, for instance, on the gentian, plantain lily, and rhododendron) and not too much;
That there may be plenty of dew and lttle wind,
enough worms, no lice and snails, or mildew, and that once a week thin liquid manure and juano may fall from heaven.  *hopefully, only on the garden - added by me :D*

Boy, that's some prayer. It get it though. I want it to rain often enough that my cukes stay sweet and my tomatoes never split, but not so often on my rosemary since it doesn't like wet feet. But why stop there? I also want it sunny on the sun loving plants and shady on the shade loving plants. Of course, I want that without having to worry about where I should plant them in the yard in order to best achieve those results. And the best thing of all would be if God would allow my garden to have different temperature zones. You know, so I could grow cool loving plants like lettuce and sugar snap peas at the same time I'm growing the heat lovers like tomatoes and peppers. Just imagine the salad you could make, right out of your garden, just any time you want.

Ridiculous - no?

Well, it is a little silly, but the thing that came across to me the most when I read this little prayer earlier today is that, for many of us, that is how we approach prayers in general. I'm not condemning anyone - I'm too guilty of this particular habit myself. We start praying, asking God for every little thing we want, often  not even noticing the contradictions in our prayers. There are times that praying for what we want, followed by praying that His will be done, is a contradiction. I've often caught myself praying like that, and try now to pray instead that __(insert prayer request here)__ be done, if it be in His will, and if it's not, to help me, or whoever it is I'm praying for to accept it. And too, just like in the Gardener's Prayer where she suggests the list for God, we think we need to tell/remind Him of everything He already knows. It's interesting, and perhaps a bit telling, that this tends to happen the most (at least with me) when things are actually going along pretty well. There have been many times when life's pressures are at their greatest that I don't even have words when I pray. I'm too physically or emotionally spent to be articulate. Or maybe it's during those times that I'm all too aware of the fact that I don't have the answers, so I don't know what to pray for anyway. In either case, I'm sure God does His best work when I get out of the way.
On another note about prayer - my husband's maternal grandmother once told me that the biggest problem she had with turning things over to God was that she would get impatient, snatch those things back, and try to solve them herself. Hummm.That sounds vaguely familiar.
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