Where Prayer Comes From

Where Prayer Comes From featured
Prayer comes from a hidden reservoir
deep within the heart, and words flow
at times like a river in flood.

The mystery is that you can pray at all,
that your lips can form words, that you 
can find a way to reach out to God
even if you question God's existence 
and doubt anyone can hear your prayers.

Prayers come unbidden, as if a well
deep inside you can't help overflowing with
gratitude and doubt, hope and remorse,
questions and more questions, and 
your lips cannot stay silent but must open
and let your prayer ascend to heaven.

And you watch each prayer rise in the air
like a bubble, each word like a balloon 
released from your grasp, hope dangling 
like a string until each prayer vanishes, 
growing smaller and smaller, nothing but 
a dot against the sky, then gone.

Bruce Black is the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press/Shambhala) and editorial director of The Jewish Writing Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Vermont College. His work has appeared in Elephant Journal, Blue Lyra Review, Tiferet Journal, Hevria, Poetica, Reform Judaism, The Jewish Literary Journal, Mindbodygreen, Yogi Times, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and elsewhere. He lives in Sarasota, FL.
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