Lately my prayer time is spent with less and less of my voice in the mix. God knows me inside and out, the deepest of my needs and the most secret of my yearnings without my even mentioning them. If I fill up all of my prayer time with words mentioning those wants and needs in constant repetition, I leave no space for God to communicate with me.
Over the last few years God has gently moved me away from the need for words in prayer. At first this was such a difficult and I will admit, frightening prospect for me, because I am a writer, my currency is the written word. I have been told that my words can elicit feelings, and cause people to change the way they feel about ideas. When God began to communicate with me in wordless ways I was totally caught off guard. How do I, a woman who used words every day process these images, and inner journeys that no words could describe? I normally use a prayer journal, writing down what comes from my prayer sessions every day, but now there were no words to describe these communications with God. Where I used to have words now I had images. How does a writer put images into a book.
A dear friend suggested I try collages in my prayer journal. I began using that media; pictures from magazines, foam cutouts, pieces of yarn or leaves or string to create a facsimile of the image revealed to me in prayer.
And for a while, that helped, but even that became too intrusive. The images began to fade from the silence, and my prayer time became a deeper more contemplative silence. God was immersing me in the classroom of silence and this time there was no response required on my part. “Be still and know that I am God”. says Psalm 46:10. God is teaching me to be a human being not a human doing. Alone in God’s presence I am learning more about not just God, but myself.
Will God someday require words in our prayer time? Perhaps, but for now the words in my prayer are saved for Liturgy and when I am driving and need to have God bless me so that I can resist cursing other drivers, but for now my private personal prayer time continues to be in silent communion, and now that I have had some schooling, I can say wholeheartedly that we both like it that way.