Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, "Prove that you are a good person." Another voice says, "You'd better be ashamed of yourself." There also is a voice that says, "Nobody really cares about you," and one that says, "Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful." But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, "You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you." That's the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen. That's what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us "my Beloved."
~Henri Nouwen (Bread for the Journey)
Friday, November 23, 2007
What prayer is
I was very fortunate and blessed to hear Henri Nouwen speak back in the 70s. He came across as utterly genuine, utterly authentic. Here's something he wrote that we would all do well to heed: