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Like St. Augustine, My Heart is Restless, Lord

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 8, 2015

sunrise breaking through clouds

Like St. Augustine, My Heart is Restless, Lord

Instead of going forward in The Oxford Book of Prayer, I looked backwards. Back a page, to a little, short prayer of St. Augustine. And, I was struck by it. I’ve known about this prayer for some years, and I repeatedly think about it. Even occasionally pray it. But today, it moved me particularly much.

Today’s prayer is about Longing. I chose it for today, and this brief prayer is also about “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 173, page 64) [1] It actually is a quote from Augustine’s Confessions, which I first read a number of years ago. As set forth in elegant translation in my Oxford Book of Prayer: “Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praises; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.”

Perhaps it is the translation. (I read the Confessions in a more modern, less poetic translation, years ago.) However, I found these words of Augustine—in this particular translation—to resonate deeply within me.

Such a thought. (!!!) I was made, fashioned, created, for God. I was awakened, after God took joy in my creation, to delight in Him. And not only to delight, but praise! Rejoice! (As the psalmist says, “Such knowledge is too much for me to comprehend.”)

But, wait! That’s not all. God created me expressly for Godself. In my mind’s eye, I can see a Master Craftsman meticulously fashioning me in God’s state of the art workshop. After all, Psalm 139 does mention people being painstakingly fashioned inside of their mothers’ wombs.

I’ll need to think about that for a while. My heart is restless, indeed. I praise God for such words. Indeed, I do.


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[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 64.