Prayer and Waiting and Finding the Prayer

This poem was posted on Facebook by one of my contemplative friends who studies Miksang (contemplative photography.)

The poem is about waiting in silence and a feeling of receptiveness in order to see what is to be seen. This is a premise of this type of meditation via photography, and the story works equally well for those times we are in the proverbial Prayer Closet, and the words don’t come.

Either because we can’t formulate what it is that we want to say to God, or to ask for, or to be thankful for, or because this is our regular contemplative practice: to be there, quiet in the moment of prayer and contemplation. Some times we come away agitated and a little angry because “nothing” has happened. That’s not unusual. And then some days … a flash of brightness.

Keep the faith!


Prayer is like watching for
The kingfisher. All you can do is
Be there where he is likely to appear, and
Often nothing much happens;
There is space, silence and
No visible signs, only the
Knowledge that he’s been there
And may come again.
Seeing or not seeing cease to matter,
You have been prepared.
But when you’ve almost stopped
Expecting it, a flash of brightness
Gives encouragement.

Prayer Is Like Watching For the Kingfisher – by Ann Lewin





The Cloud of Unknowing – a prayer

Most of our prayers happen in a cosmos of not knowing: we don’t know what to say, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and we most often do not know what to ask for.

It is in this great cloud of not knowing that we find both serenity and wisdom as the practice of prayer becomes our practice at prayer.

O God:
to whom all hearts lie open
and to whom desire is eloquent,
and from whom no secret thing is hidden,

purify the intention of our hearts
with the outpouring of Spirit

that we may love you
with a perfect love
and praise you as you deserve.

 – Amen