I just ask that you would just
and be moved by my words,
thank you for being here and
I ask that you would
I ask that you would
bless our time together
and that you would just
agree with me
and understand me
and just get this, you know,
and have mercy on me,
and be present with me.
you are a good audience,
thank you for being my audience.
In your name I pray,
The first time I remember praying
my mother told me to repeat after her.
The next time I prayed I had just discovered porn.
And I don’t know how I knew
but I knew it would take me down
someplace I didn’t want to be
and that was no religion talking.
That was just soul.
I prayed through the unstable awkward lanky sideways glance
that was middle school
and the hopeful eyes of the man I someday wanted to be
that was high school.
I have since prayed in six countries,
and I have prayed for dozens.
At one point I listed out every single person I knew
on a piece of cardboard
and tried to pray for all of them.
I don’t know when
but there must’ve been a point
when I learned that the subjects of prayer
but the language of prayer
When I talk with my wife
I don’t constantly bring up the point that we’re talking
and when I ask my dad for help with something
I don’t repeatedly remind him
that I am asking.
And I never end my notes to self
which means “let it be so”–
that sounds a little pompous.
Even the word ‘prayer’
is never used for anything
but the throw-it-up-in-the-air,
of saying something.
Maybe, after all this
repetition and referencing to remind myself
and to remind God
“hey! I’m praying here,
that’s what you want right?”
Maybe I use this liturgical lexicon
I still struggle to believe God is a person who listens.
I clearly think you are a person who listens,
because I can pour out my soul to you,
in whatever words most fit my mood and choose
to wax poetic or wane colloquial.
I can verse or I can vernacular
but whatever I do,
it will be natural.
God, if you are real,
this should be natural.
should be the first thing I think of,
and the last thing I’ll ever stop thinking of.
should be the thought on the tip of the tongue
and lurking in the back of my throat,
should be on the verge of voicing things to you
at every vertex.
should be a simple matter of self-preservation,
“of course I would choose you!”
should be true.
And I should know how to speak you,
but I’m still trying to figure out
which one of us needs translating.
And that’s no religion talking.
That’s just soul.