“We can only pray the way prayer is supposed to be when we recognize that in fact the soul is always praying.
Without stop, the soul soars and yearns for its Beloved. It is at the time of outward prayer, that the perpetual prayer of the soul reveals itself in the realm of action.
This is prayer’s pleasure and joy, its glory and beauty. It is like a rose, opening its elegant petals towards the dew, facing the rays of the sun as they shine over it with the sun’s light.”*
—Rabbi Abraham Issac HaKohen Kook
Wouldn’t it be a marvel to rest in this as true? How would our life look different to live like we believe this, to live as though we are part of a harmony, weaving in and out for our part, with our voice and our silence…our voice and our silence. Our rising and walking, our kneeling and washing, our cooking and cleaning, our stopping and pausing, our life and our breath—a prayer. I hunger for this.
The liminal space of prayer is with us everywhere we go, the adventure is to become more and more aware of it. The joy is to become more and more unified with the Spirit of God in us and in this adoring world.
He is adored. The trees praise Him, the sea roars His name, the flowers reach toward Him with earnest, the wind obeys His command. Then there is us, His crowning creation, His children frolicking or flailing in this wonderland He has given us, we, His image in the earth, breathing His gift of life—sometimes knowing it, oftentimes not.
Sometimes, when we do know it, in moments of realization we get so excited, like Peter when Yeshua transfigured before him,
“His (Yeshua’s) face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light…then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Yeshua.”
— Matthew 17: 2,3
How awesome it must have been and good, like Peter said,
“…Lord, it is good for us to be here…” (verse 4)
Can you imagine? This was a wow, wow, wow moment and Peter wanted to honor it, so he offered to build. He gets corrected and instructed to stop talking and listen. Peter fell to the ground face down afraid, but Yeshua came and touched them, saying,
“Rise and have no fear.” (verse 7)
“Get up and don’t be afraid.”
We too offer to build when we should behold, we speak when it’s better to listen. It’s OK, “Don’t be afraid!”
“Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. For he himself knows our frame; he is mindful that we are but dust.”
— Psalm 103:13-14
Such comfort offered us here. Such a space created for us, an invitation graciously proposed to us, to come, to rest, to be still and know, to:
“Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
— Psalm 46:10-11
A story is told about an innkeeper named Aharon Shlomo who was the simplest sort of Jew, able only to pray with great difficulty, without even knowing the meaning of the Hebrew words he would pray. He was, however, very devout and had a custom of continually uttering in every situation and circumstance: “Blessed is He forever and ever!” His wife, Zlateh Rivkah, also had this habit, continually saying: “Blessed be His holy name!”. Although their hands were at work, they placed their hearts toward God by repeating these sentences.
One day a young rabbi stayed at their inn. His name was Israel and he had been given opportunity to learn complex prayers from great rabbis. Israel, went outside, devoting himself to praying these complex meditations he had been taught when he was visited again with a word from heaven, “You are struggling with such effort…but Aharon the innkeeper and Zlateh his wife know nothing about (these kinds of prayers)…yet, their simple utterances make all the worlds tremble.”
This experience transformed the young, and one day to be great, rabbi’s attitude toward prayer. He came to the understanding and taught that simple, childlike devotion is the key to entering the presence of one’s Father in Heaven.**
Today, may we come like little children, may we work with our hands and put our hearts toward God through the quieting of our hearts, the choosing to be unafraid, lifting our eyes to behold and our ears to listen.
May we know that the liminal space, the threshold, of prayer is always welcome to us, is always the realest reality, the truest true. Prayer is a continual feast before us, and a place to become clean again. May we know that we live in a world that adores Him, and join the song…with our voice and our silence.
This is how to pray continually. Amen.
Praising His faithfulness and Seeking Him with you today friends,
* Rabbi Abraham Issac HaKohen Kook, Olat Re’iyah vol. I, p.11
**Story paraphrased from The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem Tov by Yitzhak Buxbaum, pages 27-29
Raynna Myers is a writer, photographer, homeschooling mom of six and wife. Her first book, Pray, Like a Woman in Labor was published last year with a foreword by Keren Hannah Pryor. She writes at www.RaynnaMyers.com from the trenches to link arms with physical and spiritual mothers and anyone hungry to let Mercy lead.