I occasionally ask friends who are of a religious bent if prayer is always in the form of a conversation with God.  Does prayer ever have any other form?  Is any other form possible?  Some are surprised by the very question, that obviously prayer is a conversation, always a conversation—by definition prayer is expressing our appreciation, our praise, our desires, our will to do better.  How else could we do this except in words?

If so, then I am not a praying man.

But if walking along a mowed path through a field of shimmering goldenrod and drifting milk weed seed under a bright dome of deep blue sky, in full awe of the power in life, if that is also prayer, then I pray like a monk.

I thought perhaps my question was too new-wave to be serious, but this short poem in a recent New Yorker, validates both forms:

“Prayer” by Lia Purpura.  The New Yorker, 11/19/2012

Its occasion
could be
a spot of sun,
bar sign, label
on jeans,
carnation, red
light where you
wait and
gratitude hits.
Or a name
the length
of a subway car
that only makes sense
when you say it aloud
in your head
as it passes.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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