Let prayer be the lifeblood of your pilgrimage
By Kate Prowd
What is prayer, and what does prayer look like in our current context? Right now, we may be frantically praying: Stop this virus. End this suffering. Heal all who are infected. Let a vaccine be made immediately. Let us all go back to normal very soon. May jobs be all sorted so that people aren’t financially strapped. And that trip I’d planned for 2021 … many thanks God … Amen.
Of course, these are understandable prayers, reflecting the secrets of our hearts. I imagine God’s been hearing a lot of this!
I’ve been reading and reflecting on the poetry of 17th century poet and priest George Herbert. His poem “Prayer (1)” is poignant, and here, I confess to having heavily borrowed from the Revd Canon Mark Oakley as my “assistant” in understanding this poem (in his book My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul). Oakley suggests that this poem consists of a series of metaphors about prayer and I think these metaphors speak in to our experience of life with COVID-19 ...
Bishop Kate Prowd has oversight of the Oodthenong Episcopate in the Diocese of Melbourne.
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