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Praying Like Henri: A Refurbished Request

(This is a prayer of mine inspired by Henri Nouwen.)

God, within my heart an inner debate rages. Sure, it comes and goes, but it rears its ugly head often enough to make me feel like it's always there. I feel like I give my inner argument more time than I give to you. I'm sorry for that. I apologize. Lord, forgive me. But thank you for making it clear to me: What's happening on the inside reveals how far my heart is from you.

So, I pray for rest, God. I want to take a break from this consuming inward conversation. I want to rest at your feet. For, if I've learned anything in life, it's that when I rest at your feet, I belong to you. Nothing, not even the debate can take that from me. I belong. I belong to you. I belong to you alone.

All the imagined confrontations with imagined people, all the real confrontations with real people, they are nothing but distractions from the fact that I belong to you. They distract me by dredging up my insecurities. They distract me by parading as fears. They distract me by piggybacking on apprehensions. These distractions strive to make me believe that I need to be recognized, that I need to receive attention.

But when I'm resting at your feet, O God, you give me all the attention I need. When I'm resting at your feet, I can stop talking and just sit. When I'm resting at your feet I can start listening. So, O Lord, help me to find rest at your feet. In the silence of the moment and of my heart, surround me with your love. Hear me, O Lord, as I offer this prayer for rest and silence. Amen.

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