Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 21, 2015
Poetic Expressions in Prayer
I find myself struck, often times, by the beauty of the poetry found in these nightly prayers. Throughout the millennia, individuals have been moved to set down their impressions of God and God’s mighty works. Or God’s abundant promises, fulfilled. Or, God’s forgiveness and blessing. I see this poetry in the Psalms, as well as in songs, canticles and other passages in the Scripture.
I also find beautiful poetry addressed to God, written by sensitive persons throughout the centuries. This comes from books and writings from diverse places like North Africa, the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia, as well as crisscrossing Europe.
I’m particularly moved by these two phrases: “Keep us, Lord, as the apple of Your eye; Hide us under the shadow of Your wings.” This (unattributed) verse comes from Psalm 17:8.
O Lord, the apple of Your eye. That’s pretty much the same as the pupil of the eye. The center part. And, hidden under the shadow of Your wings? One of the commentators I read made mention of this image being one of the more favored biblical images, written about the mother bird caring for her young. Just as Your people have written. These and similar metaphors and similies, for centuries.
How touching to include this well beloved verse each night in the Evening Prayer. Dear Lord, thank You for the website www.dailyoffice.org. I pray for each one who uses this website, as well as the friends of the Daily Office, on retreat near Indianapolis. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.
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Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!
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