Eyes wide open

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Prayer’s enemy told me prayer is hard. He told me if it isn’t long it isn’t prayer. He told me rise early, conquer giants, scale mountains, if it doesn’t hurt it isn’t prayer. Sometimes I didn’t pray and sometimes when I did I could not bear what I saw behind my own shut eyes.

The black out curtains were industrial strength, serious and intentioned. On the sunniest afternoon of the year they were determined to bar every scrap of light. I felt my way to the bed and curled up for a day time sleep, headache and heavy with an anonymous weariness that defied every good thing I count as blessing in my life.

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After I woke I took a walk by the canal and sat a while in the sun. The water was cool with a mallard casting small chevron waves across the dark green surface. Along the lichen splattered concrete tiny red spiders ran wild. There was bird song and apparently a nest in a hawthorn hedge not far from where I sat. My eyes fill up on light and beauty and then on tears. I wanted to say thank you God with my eyes wide open, not bowing my head or looking within. Not wanting to miss a moment of this glorious day. I dared to believe He was telling me to look the world in the eye and I saw Him stare right back. I prayed just as I was because,

The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!

From, J.B. Phillips New Testament, Romans 8.18-21

So this is why I pray: because I hope in this Christ and how he has brought, and is bringing all things together under his lead and rule, that wrongs will be righted, tears dried, needs satisfied and love realised.

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Later I pulled up a chair, sat by the open window and watched the world, still praying eyes wide open. I prayed for the big blue sky as it faded to pink, for cool water to drink from a glass, a quiet room and rest. I pray for my family, my friends, things old and things new, that which I love and that which I hate. I prayed eyes wide open for the world walking by, people I don’t even know. I prayed as if it really mattered, as if prayer could change their world because I sense it changing mine and I can’t keep that to myself. I can’t stay crouched and hidden kneeling in prayer besides my bed, mind astray, when the world awaits good news: God is near, he hears our prayer, he bids us come and it is good

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

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