Here is a prayer of Henri Nouwen, to reflect on, to meditate on, to pray, and make it your own this week. See some reflection questions at the bottom of this post.
Listen, O Lord, to my prayers.
Listen to my desire to be with you, to dwell in your house, and to let my whole being be filled with your presence.
But none of this is possible without you.
When you are not the one who fills me, I am soon filled with endless thoughts and concerns that divide me and tear me away from you.
Even thoughts about you, good spiritual thoughts, can be little more than distractions when you are not their author.
Every day I see again that only you can teach me to pray, only you can set my heart at rest, only you can let me dwell in your presence.
No book, no idea, no concept or theory will ever bring me close to you unless you yourself are the one who lets these instruments become the way to you.
But Lord, let me at least remain open to your initiative; let me wait patiently and attentively for that hour when you will come and break through all the walls I have erected.
Teach me, O Lord, to pray.
- Behold — Where are the eyes of your heart drawn into this prayer?
- Believe — How is your faith strengthened in this prayer?
- Belong — Who are you recalling as you pray this prayer?
- Become — What is God inviting you to receive and thereby become as you pray this prayer?