Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


A Wrestling Prayer

Sometimes, we need a prayer that speaks forth the darkness in our hearts, just as much as we need a prayer for light. Though hope is in my heart like a bird in my current season, I have walked through some times in the past year when I wondered if I could keep the faith for one more day. This prayer came out of those times when I needed to wrestle like Jacob, or bellow like David, because a battle screamed within my heart.

Something I have recognized keenly this year, is that struggle can be offered as prayer. The fight to keep faith in God actually being good, when loneliness or dreams deferred, illness or pain accuse him of everything bad, is an act of faith every bit as vital as the usual rounds of study and prayer. A cleansing is what a wrestling prayer offers,  for it chases demons into the light. A soldier's camaraderie is found in this sort of song, for it stands beside me to wrestle the demons away. This was a prayer born from the fighting times, the losing times, the days when my praise was not in words, but in the wrestling I offered to God. Every bit of it was worship

When loving means to grapple, When kindness is a fight, Against the self that gives, And him who takes, When heartbreak is the payment, For a proffered grace, Lord, hear my prayer.

When fury is my bread, And grief the vim that animates my bones, When those I love are foes, When hate and mercy grapple for my soul, When I the turncoat am, The soldier who won't stand to bear the battle, Lord, hear my prayer.

When living is a breaking, Of heart and hope and bone, When rash, I rage at heaven, And strike out blindly, out against the cold. When I am Jacob, wrestling the Lord, And lamed by grace, I fall, Lord, hold me close, And be my prayer.