Merton Prayer – 1

In a circuitous way, I came upon this Thomas Merton prayer I have seen before, and it reminds me of the basic components of prayer – surrender, connection, and trust.

“My lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead for me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end, nor do I really know myself, and that fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.”

You have to love any prayer that begins with “I have no idea where I am going,” which in its plain truth contains the surrender necessary in any good prayer.  And in case God did not get the surrender the first time, Merton lays it on more.  I don’t know where I am going.  I can’t see what’s ahead of me.  I don’t even know where the road ends.  In fact, now that I think about it I am not even sure of who I am or what I am doing.

Implicitly, Merton is saying (I have heard people do this) that he has tried to do this on his own, has finally recognized his own limitations, and is reaching out for help, making room for God to step in.

I wonder if all this part of the prayer could be shortened to a few words and a gesture?

[Flat-handed slap to the forehead] Duh!  Here I am again?

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