A prayer of the penitent, yet thankful, heart

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
Mother Teresa

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
Søren Kierkegaard

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(the opening of a tulip / Julie Cook / 2015)

O Lord, I beseech you, in your great compassion,
Hear my prayer and look upon me, having mercy. . .

I come before you Father, lowly and meek,
As I know that I am a sinner who is unworthy to stand in your presence. . .

Yet, Father, I know that you are a God of both Mercy and Grace
I know that you hear my cries,
I know that you see me and know of my needs,
even before I was given breath to utter the concerns of my heart. . .

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As the bud of a flower longs to open, stretching toward the light,
I too find myself longing to fully open my arms to you.

I first came to you Father in the exuberance of my youth
I was full of the often misguided energies of zeal and righteous indignation
I banished my sword and expected overwhelming compliance. . .
And yet, my heart ebbed and flowed.

There came a time when I cast myself adrift,
Relishing in the selfish satisfaction of ego and pride,
trusting in my own abilities to cut my own path.
I became what I thought to be my own savior.

My life tumbled and spiraled out of control
I couldn’t understand why things were all so wrong
You watched as I demanded to try it all on my own,
In my own time and in my own way.
Greedily I gobbled up the things I thought would make me complete

Yet you patiently waited and watched through your own tears,
As my chosen path of frustration grew more difficult and wearisome.
In spite of myself, hidden in my heart all these many years, remained a tiny piece of You.
Because of your Grace, somehow I found the strength to shed the falsehood of self,
removing the barriers I had built which separated me from You.

Today I stand before You, striped of pretense and bravado,
having thrown off the cloak of lies and deceit,
My heart is full within me, beating quickly and
welling up in my chest, yearning to love not me, not the world,
but You, just only You. . .
As Mercy and Grace have brought me home. . .
Alleluia,
Alleluia,
Alleluia. . .

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20 comments on “A prayer of the penitent, yet thankful, heart

  1. Andy Oldham says:

    So beautifully written!

  2. Lynda says:

    Written from the heart. My question to God is always: “Where would I be without you Lord?” We are blessed so deeply. God’s love and grace and mercy are all that we need. Thank you for sharing.

  3. phyllissnipes says:

    Spoken from depth of heart!! Intimate words that express the path many, including myself, have traveled! The pictures powerfully reveal the message. Love you, sister!!

  4. timelesslady says:

    Wonderful quotes, beautiful poetry, lovely images…a terrific post.

  5. David says:

    Wow, Julie. I am lost for words. And I love that Mother Theresa quote.

  6. Wow and double wow!!! This is awesomeness! I thought for a minute you were talking about my life and the story of my spiritual journey. We have so much in common, my friend. Love this post and you!!! Hugs, N ❤ ❤ ❤

  7. Kentucky Angel says:

    Thanks to Natalie, I found this at the time I needed it. Just the words I needed at just the time I needed them. Thank you Cookie.

  8. LadyPinkRose says:

    Absolutely beautiful ….

  9. beautiful photos and tribute, blessings, Brad

  10. yprior1 says:

    beautiful flow and loved the ending…

    As Mercy and Grace have brought me home. . .
    Alleluia…..

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