Praying a Poem Back to God

I read an article awhile back (I can’t find it now and have no recollection of source or author) which included some mention or discussion of Christian poets, and pointed out that a Christian poet can (and should) pray her poems  back to God.

Since many of my poems actually are prayers, that’s a pretty easy thing for me to do, and it warms my heart that some of the readers of my poems tell me that that is what they do also.

I make no claim that my poems are “inspired,” but I trust that their emergence from my thought process is God-directed, and I know that I want very much for the poems to be useful to Him.

I have several “canned” prayers that I return to fairly regularly. I like the “three necessary prayers” that I found in Elizabeth Goudge’s book, The Scent of Water:

Lord, have mercy;

Thee I adore;

Not my will.”

In a biography of Flannery O’Connor I ran across a prayer for divine appointments that she used regularly, and I have adapted it for my own use:

”Lead us toward those we are waiting for,

those who are waiting for us.

Lead us by the hand toward the ones we are looking for.” 

O’Connor lived her last years as something of a recluse on a farm in Georgia, but enterprising readers who had made the effort to locate her would frequently show up on her front porch, and she prayed for those appointments. It behooves us as well to pray for the meetings God has for us.

I offer here one of my own poems that has joined my collection of “canned prayers.”

May it be of use to you as well.


Praying a Poem Back to God

Detour Through Grief


Death and alienation

stamp our lives with loss—

The fabric of our hearts is torn and ragged,

rent with loves lost

and sorrows borne.

And you, O Lord,

chose this!

Chose the distance from your father,

chose the family who cried,

“He’s mad—we’ll take him home!”

Chose the wandering,

chose the death—

Incarnate Lord

sharing our flesh

sharing our pain

sharing our loneliness—

Repair the rents

Reweave the raveled fiber,

Heal the heart’s wound,

Sharer of our flesh.

Rhonda Brown

© 2007

If you would like to watch the podcast about this subject with John & Rhonda.

*My early poem is available in the archives of the Utmost Christian Writers poetry contest.

I have written many things about the world of poems and have published many of my own poems and stories here at Poet Monk Blogs

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Praying a Poem Back to God
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Praying a Poem Back to God
Christian poets, and pointed out that a Christian poet can (and should) pray her poems back to God.
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Poet Monk
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