Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Prayer

Prayer is the peace of our spirit, the stillness
of our thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the
seat of meditation, the rest of our cares, and the
calm of our tempest ; prayer is the issue of a quiet
mind, of untroubled thoughts, it is the daughter
of charity, and the sister of meekness ; and he
that prays to God with an angry, that is, with a
troubled and discomposed spirit, is like him that
retires into a battle to meditate, and sets up his
closet in the out quarters of an army. Anger
is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer,
and therefore is contrary to that attention, which
presents our prayers in a right line to God, For
so have I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass,
and soaring upwards singing as he rises, and hopes
to get to heaven, and climb above the clouds;
but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud
sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made
irregular and unconstant, descending more at
every breath of the tempest, than it could recover
by the libration and frequent weighing of his
wings ; till the little creature was forced to sit
down and pant, and stay till the storm was over,
and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise
and sing as if it had learned musick and motion
from an angel, as he passed sometimes through
the air about his ministries here below : so is the
prayer of a good man.
Prayers are but the body of the bird ; desires
are its angel's wings.

from 'Selections of the works of Bishop Jeremy Taylor, Hooker, Barrow et al' Ed by Basil Montagu 1829

No comments: