Thursday, May 3, 2007

Prayer: The Author of Beauty

You, O Lord, remind me to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Is it appropriate for me to view You as the King in the story of Esther? I imagine that You come and ask very simply, What is your petition? It shall be granted to you. What is your request? Esther had the perfect response, and so I pray her prayer and supplication in the Spirit to You, my King: If I have won Your favor, O King, and if it pleases the King, let my life be given me -- that is my petition -- and the lives of my people -- that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.
You, O Christ, reiterated this prayer when You said, The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy -- but I come to give life. In this world today there is so much that steals our time, kills our joy and destroys our spirit. Hear my prayer, O King. Even when I remove myself from much that saturates the world, I find people here in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest lost to the knowledge of You.

They are unable from the good things that are seen to know the One who exists, nor do they recognize the Artisan while paying heed to Your works; but they suppose that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven are the gods that rule the world. If through delight in the beauty of these things people assume them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the Author of Beauty created them and if people are amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the One who formed them, for while they live among Your works they keep searching and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful. Open their hearts, minds and spirit to You, O Author of Beauty.

May we come to You, the Living Stone, though oft rejected by mortals, yet chosen and precious in God's sight. May we be living stones, built into a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You, O God and King. May we proclaim the mighty acts of You who called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Amen (Ephesians 6.18; Esther 7.2-4; Wisdom of Solomon 13.1-7; 1 Peter 2.4-5, 9)

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