I came across this prayer in my copy of 2000 Years of Prayer (compiled by Michael Counsell). I was particularly taken with the down-to-earth, practical spirituality that ministers to you as you engage with the prayer.
See links below for more about Eddie Askew and his work with the Leprosy Mission and links to further examples of his work.
Lord, teach me to pray.
It sounds exciting, put like that.
It sounds real. An exploration.
A chance to do more than catalogue
and list the things I want,
to an eternal Father Christmas.
The chance of meeting you,
of drawing closer to the love that made me,
and keeps me, and knows me.
And, Lord, it’s only just begun.
There is so much more of you,
of love, the limitless expanse of knowing you.
I could be frightened, Lord, in this wide country.
It could be lonely, but you are here, with me.
The chance of learning about myself,
of facing up to what I am.
Admitting my resentments,
bringing my anger to you, my disappointments, my frustration.
And finding that when l do,
when I stop struggling and shouting
and let go
you are still there.
Sometimes, Lord, often –
I don’t know what to say to you.
But I still come, in quiet
for the comfort of two friends
sitting in silence.
And it’s then, Lord, that I learn most from you.
When my mind slows down,
and my heart stops racing.
When I let go and wait in the quiet,
realizing that all the things I was going to ask for
you know already.
Then, Lord, without words,
in the stillness
you are there . . .
And l love you.
Lord, teach me to pray.
by Eddie Askew (1927-2007)
from A Silence and a Shouting: a collection of meditations and prayers
From his obituary in The Guardian (2007)
“Eddie Askew, the former general director of the Leprosy Mission (TLM) … devoted half a century to the disease and its consequences. …
Inspired by his travels and his Christian faith, Eddie found an outlet for his creativity in painting and poetry. A Silence and a Shouting, his first book of meditations and artwork, was published in 1982. It was followed, over the years, by 16 others, and the sale of his books and paintings raised around £2.5m for TLM.” (The Guardian) whole article
A visual meditation based on an excerpt from A Silence and a Shouting
JR Woodward’s blog featuring excerpts from Eddie Askew’s books
http://jrwoodward.net/?s=Eddie+Askew (search criteria: Eddie Askew)