I want to offer you this week two prayers from the book Guerrillas of Grace by Ted Loder. When I read them, I find myself caught up in hope. Hope that I will one day be as the poems describe. That God in his wisdom and kindness is working out in me the process to make me like Him. As cliché as it sounds, that hope is what we encounter in prayer. It’s why we pray in the first place, that by coming close to Jesus we might be changed. And that is what I find in the poetry Ted Loder writes.

As you read, let the words wash over you, but pay attention to what emerges in you. What words come to mind? What pictures are conjured for you? What feelings do you encounter? Where do catch glimpses of God? Do you feel drawn to Him? Do you feel distant from Him? And, finally, where do these poems leave you?


Listen to Me Under My Words[1]

O God,

I come to you now

as a child to my Mother,

out of the cold which numbs

into the warm who cares.

Listen inside me,

under my words

where the shivering is,

in the fears

which freeze my living,

in the angers

which chafe my attending,

in the doubts

which chill my hoping,

in the events

which shrivel my thanking,

in the pretenses

which stiffen my loving.


Listen to me, Lord,

as a Mother,

and hold me warm,

and forgive me.

Soften my experiences

into wisdom,

my pride

into acceptance,

my longing

into trust,

And soften me

into love

and to others

and to you.


Guide Me into an Unclenched Moment[2]

Gentle me,

Holy One,

into an unclenched moment,

a deep breath,

a letting go

of heavy expectancies,

of shriveling anxieties,

of dead certainties,

that, softened by the silence,

surrounded by the light,

and open to the mystery,

I may be found by the wholeness,

upheld by the unfathomable,

entranced by the simple,

and filled with the joy

that is you.


[1] Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle, 20th Anniversary Ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books, 2005), 22.

[2] Loder, Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle, 23.


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