21. The Mystery of Prayer

Read by Br. Jonathan Maury

A ceaseless interchange of mutual love unites the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Our prayer is not merely communication with God, it is coming to know God by participation in this divine life. In prayer we experience what it is to be made “participants in the divine nature”; we are caught up in the communion of the divine persons as they flow to one another in self-giving love and reciprocal joy.  If we hold before us in wonder the mystery of the triune life of God our prayer will realize its full potential.  The conception of prayer as homage paid to a distant God will fall away.

We shall find ourselves full of awe and gratitude that the life of divine love is open and accessible to us, for God dwells in us.  “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”  If we begin to accept God’s generosity in drawing us into the divine life, and grasp the dignity bestowed on us by the divine indwelling, prayer will spring up in adoration and thanksgiving.

We shall find ourselves adoring the Holy Spirit who is poured out into our hearts and gives us the love with which we can love in return.  Our hearts will be filled with thankfulness that the Spirit stirs in the depths of our being and unites all that we are, even what is broken and not yet formed, with the risen Lord.  We shall worship Christ himself with adoring love, full of gratitude that he abides in us, and that in him we enjoy the fullness of the Father’s acceptance and love.  Our contemplation of his undiminished humanity will continually encourage us to offer ourselves, our souls and bodies in all their humanity, to God through him.  Through Christ we shall adore the Father in whom we live and move and have our being, the life-giving mystery of love, who is beyond all words and above all thoughts.

There are many conflicts on the way into the experience of divine love.  Sinfulness originates in a deep wound to our humanity that hinders us all from accepting love.  As the Spirit exposes it to Christ’s healing touch in prayer, we shall often have to struggle with our reluctance to be loved so deeply by God.  Christ himself will strive with us, as the angel strove with Jacob, to disable our self-reliant pride and make us depend on grace.  Our love must be purified and tested by many times of darkness, loss and waiting.  The nearer we draw to God, the more we will sense our vulnerability to the “cosmic powers of this present darkness” that seek to isolate us from God and one another.  So there are sufferings to be expected in our prayer but through them we come to the peace Christ promised.  “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, support, strengthen and establish you.  To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”


  1. Lani on January 4, 2019 at 18:26

    My words cannot express how much your words helped me through this Rule. There I was, wondering why I was not overcoming recent grief when I was led to your Website and a return to the Anglican Church. The reassurances you were so inspired to share will be memorized and put into ceaseless action, gratefully. Thanks to your Site, I am developing my own Rule for a rapidly-forming spiritual retreat center.

  2. Polly Henninger on March 17, 2009 at 20:16

    Each night I read the daily reading from Daily Guideposts and the accompanying scripture lesson in my Bible. I listen to and talk to God and pray for my friends, family and the world. I don’t know when this prayer time shifted from being a commitment, like a Lenten practice, to being the highlight of my day, but it did. I am grateful for God’s generosity in drawing me into the divine life. I grasp the dignity bestowed on me by the divine indwelling. I am amazed that what began as a good idea has become such a blessing.

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