A chance conversation with a friend once again highlighted for me how we tend to seek solace through prayer more and more as our years roll by! She was comforting another person who seemed a bit overwhelmed by a personal predicament. The way to deal with such situations my friend was convinced was to turn to prayer. There is great strength in praying she counselled. It brought back those famous words by King Arthur from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘Morte D’ Arthur’ ~ (i reproduce the entire stanza for the true beauty of the verse is in it’s entirety)
“And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge:
‘The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which i have done
May He within Himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God…”
Those are words reflecting true piety. Yes ‘more things are wrought by prayer’ than many of us care to admit. Yet there are two pitfalls on this path that one must guard against. If a person gets what he/she asks for it may lead to some arrogance and erode the humility so essential when you bow in reverence in prayer. On the other hand if they fail to get what they want, there is the danger of losing confidence in His Grace. Humility and Faith are probably most essential if you really want to find solace in prayer. It is why i have come to believe that you should pray “not because you need something but because you have a lot to be thankful for.”
True prayer is asking God to align you with His Will, rather than asking Him to realign with yours…