Friday, April 17, 2009


I have never been able to relate to the concept of prayer as personal request. I mean, church people are always saying, “God knows what’s best for you.” If that’s true, why petition? Isn’t that second-guessing God?

Plus, people ask for most absurd things. This first came to my attention watching high school basketball games when the Catholic players would make the sign of the cross before taking a free throw. Even if you did believe in the kind of God who sits on a throne in heaven saying yes or no to the billions of prayer requests wafting up from earth, wouldn’t you want Him to be concentrating on things like, say, world peace, rather than your free throw?

Still, I feel certain that if there is a God and if He is taking requests, he would certainly say “Yes” to this one.

The Gift

Lord, You may not recognize me
speaking for someone else.
I have a son. He is
so little, so ignorant.
He likes to stand
at the screen door, calling
oggie, oggie, entering
language, and sometimes
a dog will stop and come up
the walk, perhaps
accidentally. May he believe
this is not an accident?
At the screen
welcoming each beast
in love’s name, Your emissary.

Louise Glück

Louise Glück was born in New York City in 1943 and grew up on Long Island. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently, Averno (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006), a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award in Poetry; The Seven Ages (2001); and Vita Nova (1999), winner of Boston Book Review's Bingham Poetry Prize and The New Yorker's Book Award in Poetry. In 2004, Sarabande Books released her six-part poem "October" as a chapbook.

Write a prayer in which you directly address God, asking Him for something seemingly small, but so important for someone you love.

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