“Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
Many of my prayers are inspired by moments of need, or fear, or frustration, or worry. I come to God asking for something. For security, protection, peace, money, a solution.
Or I’ll be driven to prayer by the needs of others. I hear someone is sick, or sad, or in need and I will pray. In these moments prayer is an act of compassion. It is a confession that the problems others face are to big for me to handle. This maybe the closest I get to what Heschel is talking about.
While these are fine reasons to pray they aren’t awe inspired or humble.
I long to see the world as Heschel saw it. I long to be in wonder of life, in awe of things around me. Sadly though I typically am to consumed with what is in front of my own nose to see what God has made or is up to. When I was a child I used to love to look at the clouds and imagine them to be different things: a dragon, a dog, a tree, a monster eating ice cream. I don’t look at the clouds any more.
Heschel’s quote reminds me of what prayer should be – an act of worship. He calls me to discover what it means to be in awe of life and respond by speaking to the creator about it. When I think on Heschel’s statement I am ashamed at how much I take for granted and how much I act like I deserve.
This post is the 4th in a series I’m calling 60in60 – 60 quotes that have inspired me in 60 days.