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                                                         They Call It Discipline for a Reason

PRAYER” by Marie Howe

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more importantcalls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage

I need to buy for the trip.Even now I can hardly sit hereamong the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outsidealready screeching and banging.The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.Why do I flee from you?My days and nights pour through me like complaintsand become a story I forgot to tell.Help me. Even as I write these words I am planningto rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

“Prayer” by Marie Howe, from The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. © W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. 

I first heard this poem, “Prayer” by Marie Howe on the Writer’s Almanac radio show on NPR, recited by the mellifluous voice of Garrison Keillor. I make it a point to listen to the poetry on Writer’s       Almanac every day, because it so often   wakens my mind and spirit to the beauty of creation, the beauty of humanity, the beauty of the ordinary, or the beauty of our emotions; even if they are sometimes very painful. You might say that I’ve made the daily Writer’s Almanac poetry part of my own spiritual discipline, adding it to my daily Bible reading, prayer time, and devotional reading.

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