The Prayer of Hope

“A person with hope does not get tangled up with concerns for how his wishes will be fulfilled. So, too, his prayer is not directed toward the gift, but toward the one who gives it. His prayer might still contain just as many desires, but ultimately it is not a question of having a wish come true but of expressing an unlimited faith is the giver of all good things….For the prayer of hope it is essential that there are no guarantees asked, no conditions posed, and no proofs demanded, only that you expect everything from the other without binding him. Hope is based on the premise that the other gives only what is good. Hope includes an openness by which you wait for the other to make his loving promise come true, even though you never know when, where or how this might happen.” (Henri Nouwen)

 

Valley of Vision

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been using the Valley of Vision (a collection of puritan prayers and devotion) in my morning prayer times. Although some of the wording is slightly antiquated, it has really helped me to deepen my prayer life. Here is just a short extract from the opening prayer that sums up why this book is called ‘The Valley of Vision’:

Let me learn by paradox

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to posses all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive,

that the valley is the place of vision.