God, I come to prayer dragging my feet not out of unwillingness or lack of need or respect, but out of what is presumed about prayer and prevailing notions of its relational set-up.
I confess, I don’t make a very good worm. I’m not a good groveler. I’m not a very good pretender. Or cow-tow-er. Or obsessive confess-er.
But, God, if you are willing to be my friend--and understand and guide as such—I’m praying, even now.
May we dispense with posturing and posing? May we relate and explore and plumb the depths carefully and caringly?
I am not in a place for any authority to Lord anything over me, coerce me, manipulate me, to tell me to get in line, to serve the institution or play the game. Not now, at least.
I am not, either, trying to make you to be anything less than you are or me any more than I am. I acknowledge that you can, like Jacob at the river, with a touch--and whenever, however you want--shake me up and turn me inside out and upside down. You’ve already done that--repeatedly. You can always make a raw power play. That’s not what I hope for with you at this time, but you’re the wiser; you know.
What I’d really like is just to talk with you and get to know you in a fresh way. Not in a fear-based way. Not in a preacher-talk way. Not in a servant-to-master way. Not in a “my way or the highway” way.
I’m suggesting the privilege of something akin to friendship, something akin to counseling, something akin to heart-to-heart, something more trusted and intimate and mutual; something that is beyond religion, something that is, well, like grace.
Maybe, in a friendship, you can help me move beyond my resistances and hesitancies, counsel me beyond my learned and earned cynicisms, show me plausible ways forward and through, rekindle passion and renew disciplines and nudge me into a fuller creative stewardship of the capacities, relationships and opportunities with which you’ve already graced me.
Perhaps this way will convince my heart and change my mind more powerfully than if you demanded worship or called for surrender or wrenched this God-wrestler’s hip one more time.
Thanks for listening. I’m listening, too.