Approaching prayer as a language of faith in a religion that does not require belief in a god can be a tricky thing. Today’s prayer (PDF) by the Rev. Bill Neely, from his days as the ministerial intern at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota, explores this unknowing.
Rev. Neely now serves Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church in Cordova, Tennessee.
For consideration: What do you name Holy? What do you consider larger than yourself?
Bill Neely, language, love, naming, prayer
by Rev. Bill Neely
Let us pray,
What shall we name you today, how shall we call you forth, by what shall we know you?
Are you Love greater than feeling, are you Truth truer than reason? Shall we call you Hope fueling all life, or Source of all beginnings and endings? Are you the gentle Father? Are you the sustaining Mother? Today, will you be our Trusting Companion or our Loving Guide? Shall we name you All? Shall we call you One? Are you all of these? Are you Mystery?
In humility, may our hearts call you whatever they will call you, knowing that all are just fine for now, knowing that while our language may be limited, love is not. With openness and with courage, may we seek to know you, even though we can’t define you, may we experience you, even though your truest nature is a mystery to us.
May you be the seed of unknown origin growing in our hearts and minds, a seed whose creation we do not understand and whose destiny we cannot foretell, but whose growth nonetheless nourishes our minds and refreshes our hearts, regardless of whether we can express it or not. For it is in our moments of greatest joy and greatest sorrow, our times of great fear and great hope, or even when we are accompanying someone close to us as they move through those moments, that we often find ourselves wordless or our language lacking. And yet the experience may be, even with diminished verbosity, abundantly holy.
Let us continue to call you what we will with honesty and humility. And let us know you, in some form, in moments of great joy and great sorrow, and all times in between.