“Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven, but getting God’s will done on earth. It is not overcoming God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.” ~ Richard C. Trench
This week I wanted to share with you a small snippet from one of my favorite spiritual mentors, John O’Donohue. It’s ironic that O’Donohue passed away just a few months before I discovered him, but I’m so very thankful his work lives on. This is a brief excerpt from a lecture of his entitled “The Invisible World,” which focuses mainly on the nature and impact of prayer in human life. I thought this particular assignment of his to be a brilliant idea. So I wanted to share it with you here, and encourage you to join me in creating the personal prayer he describes:
You should make one special prayer, which would be the prayer of your soul.
You should listen carefully to your soul. Listen to the voices within you. Listen to your longings, your desires, and your hungers. And listen to the unexpected that is around the rim of your life.
And then, out of all of that, write down a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul…that is tender enough for your shy, awkward vulnerability…that has enough healing in it to put the ointment of the Divine forgiveness over your wounds…that has enough truth and vigor in it to challenge you out of your own complacency…and that has enough graciousness and vision in it to show you a mirror of your own beauty. Write a prayer that’s worthy of the great destiny that’s been given to you.
This is not about narcissism now. This is about honoring the call of your soul.
So write that prayer. Take as long as you need to make it, ‘cause it’s more important to make it well than to get it done. Might take you a month; could take you a year. But write out the prayer that is equal to you.
Then memorize it. And carry for the rest of your days that worthy and gracious prayer of your heart around the world with you. It will become a really individual mantra, the calling of your deepest essence that will open you up within, bring new areas to birth inside you, and bring the wild and tender and creative light and beauty of your heart out to every object, and place, and person that you will ever meet from now on.
A beautiful, and powerful idea. I hope you will take the time to do this. I’m already working on mine.
If you’d like to experience more from O’Donohue, you can find a catalog of his works here.