henri nouwen

Prayer is a prophetic matter because, once you begin, you put your entire life in the balance. If you really set about praying, that is, truly entering into the reality of the unseen, you must realize that you are daring to express a most fundamental criticism, a criticism which some are waiting for, but which will be too much for many others.
Praying, therefore, means being constantly ready to let go of your certainty and to move beyond where you now are. It demands that you leave your house and take to the road again and again, always looking forward to a new land for yourself and others. This is why praying demands poverty, that is, the readiness to live a life in which you have nothing to lose so that you can always begin afresh. Whenever you willingly choose this poverty you make yourself vulnerable, but you also become free to see the world and to let the world show itself in its true form. You have no need to defend yourself. You can proclaim loudly what you know through your intimate contact with God, who is the source of all life.
But this demands courage. If you are to make real all the consequences of a prayerful life, you might well get frightened and wonder if you can take all the risks. In those times it is vital to remember that courage is also a gift from God, for which you can pray with words like these:

Give me the courage to live and work
for a new heaven and a new earth as Jesus did.
Give me the freedom to be critical where I see evil
and to offer praises where I see goodness.
Most of all, make me faithful to the vision you have given me,
so that wherever I go and whomever I meet,
I can be a sign of your all-renewing love…
I do not know where you are leading me.
I do not even know what my next day,
my next week, or my next year will look like.
As I try to keep my hands open,
I trust that you will put your hand in mine and bring me home.
Thank you, God, for your love.
Thank you.

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