Those who dwell on the far edges
stand in awe of your acts.
You make the gateways
of morning and evening sing for joy.
You visit the earth and make it abundant,
enriching it greatly
by God’s stream, full of water.
You provide people with grain
because that is what you’ve decided.
Drenching the earth’s furrows,
leveling its ridges,
you soften it with rain showers;
you bless its growth. – Psalm 65:8-10 (CEB)
What prayer does God have for you? That was the predominant question being asked at the continuing education retreat I was on this past weekend. It is kind of a shocking question, isn’t it? Particularly if we think of prayer primarily as talking to God, then it seems unfathomable that God might have prayers at all, let alone one for my life. Yet, if we take a larger view of prayer, seeing it more in terms of an intention towards love, then God having a prayer for us begins to make more sense. God’s desire for each of us is to grow towards deeper love: for ourselves, for our world, and towards the divine.
I’ve come to imagine God’s prayer as a stream. There is a current that moves through the stream, propelling the water forward. To hold someone in prayer, then, is to focus on them and who they are, and to then to hold them in that current. In such a prayer, our hope is that the current of God’s love take them deeper into that love, so that they might find how they are best able to express that love. It might be through the church or in any number of other ways. To pray for them is to entrust them to the current. That current, then, is God’s intention or prayer for that person. In the same way, we can boldly step into that current and give ourselves over to God’s prayer for our life. To entrust ourselves to that prayer is to let go and trust God to take us wherever God might lead.
When we give ourselves over to God’s prayer for us, we can do amazing things. We can love in ways that we never imaged. We can find depths to our lives that we assumed were out of reach. As Psalm 65 says, we become agents of God’s growth in the world, bringing abundance where only scarcity seemed possible. May we trust in God’s prayer for our lives.