Teach Us How to Pray

by Carol Edwards

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray,
He began with “Our Father in heaven, holy be Your name.”
Many say this is not to wish holiness on the Holy One
for from us He needs none
but to invoke reverence in the one who prays.

But what if reverence doesn’t come?
Shall no prayer be said at all
until consuming adulation fills my every cell?

“Pray without ceasing,” the last Apostle wrote.
Can such awe be held unrelenting?
Like infatuation that leaves its victims rest-less
and expires in the fire of its own passion,
itself its only fuel
eventually consumed,
so the avid devoted hyper-awareness of they who pray
will exhaust the cracked vessel and collapse it into dust.

Our Father, who art in heaven, holiest is Your name above
all other names. Forgive me, for I have sinned; I slept
as I prayed, or prayed barely at all, my fervor snuffed out
by the day’s tasks, demands, berations, crises, and pain.
I just wanted to talk to You a little.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”
I think small prayers better than none.
You command much that is impossible for me,
then say all things are possible with You.
So please hear my prayers, faulty as they are;
they’re the reaching of my child's hand for Yours,
hoping You’re still there.

Carol Edwards is a northern California native transplanted to southern Arizona. She lives and works in relative seclusion with her books, plants, and pets (+ husband). She grew up reading fantasy and classic literature, climbing trees, and acquiring frequent grass stains. She enjoys a coffee addiction and aspires to be a succulent mad scientist. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, most recently in Open Skies Quarterly and Trouvaille Review, and forthcoming in Otherwise Engaged Literature and Arts Journal.

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