Dear Lord

This song is actually by John Coltrane, but I prefer Marilyn Crispell’s version. Here is John Coltrane:

Crispell’s reading is a constant yearning and opening. Coltrane’s, lovely as it is, is a jazz tune.

“Dear Lord” is the phrase I use to open a prayer. Sometimes just getting myself calm, clasping my hands into a heart, and saying “Dear Lord” can bring that peaceful prayer feeling on me. Praying is a treat. I do feel selfish giving myself that time. But it has a positive effect on me: it calms me and strengthens me, it helps me love my wife and our son. The nearer I am to prayer, the less snarled up in myself I am.

As any readers will know, I am a creature of habit. I always go to the same restaurants, order the same dishes, even sit at the same tables. I have set myself two prayer times: bedtime, and a short quiet time when I arrive at work (I cycle to work and arrive very early to miss the rush hour traffic).

I realised recently that this might be stopping me from praying at other times, or from praying “on the spur of the moment”. I’ve done two things to nudge me towards prayer outside of my set times.

  1. By chance I finished my diary notebook and have started a new one. I decided that this new diary would be in a New Style. I have been keeping a diary for much longer than I have been a Christian, and that new side of me didn’t show up in the diary very much. In this new diary I am mixing prayers and Bible readings with old-style diary entries, and I am talking to God, and listening to God much more in those pages. I keep this notebook with me and write in it often.
  2. I have downloaded the Universalis Daily Hours app onto my phone. This pings automatically at times throughout the day, and suggests Psalms, readings, prayers and hymns. It reminds me to make contact, pulls me out of me work, and brings prayer into my day.
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2 Comments

  1. Listening to Marilyn’s version now….beautiful.
    I’ve noticed a subtle shift in my attention span now with the Daily Hours than when I started. I’m pulling more into the “now” and shutting out outside forces, even if for a few seconds. I’m welcoming the time more. I’m encouraged by your positive experience to keep going with it. (But I still haven’t downloaded the app; I have storage issues and need to delete some things first.)

    Reply
    • Dear Lisa, Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you like Marilyn Crispell :) (should say I do like Coltrane as well!). Storage issues: You’re a serious phone user! I like being reminded. I’m not very good at knowing what time it is, and it’s always a surprise. I’m hoping one day I will always be “in the mood” for prayer.

      Reply

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