fourth century thoughts on prayer

“Prayer is the light of the spirit, 
and the spirit, raised up to heaven by prayer, 
clings to God with the utmost tenderness.  
Like a child crying tearfully for its mother,
 it craves the milk that God provides.  
Prayer also stands before God as an honoured ambassador.  
It gives joy to the spirit, peace to the heart. 
I speak of prayer, not words.  
It is the longing for God, love too deep for words, 
a gift not given by humans, but by God’s grace.” 

John Chrysostom

I speak of prayer, not words.  I love the differentiation.  Our words are part of our praying, but they are not what makes a prayer.  The prayer itself goes before and beyond the words, Spirit leading, Son interceding, sometimes entirely soundless.  Prayer is an act of offering, of hands opening.  Prayer is a gift.
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