Mark 9:26

With a loud cry the spirit threw the boy into repeated convulsions, and then came out from him. The boy looked like a corpse, so that most of them said that he was dead.

being born again
is terribly difficult
is a fearful making
of every thing a nothing
emptied unto death

we were a nobody
a pawn in another’s whim
their meaning gone
leaves us limp
unable to rise to the occasion

might as well be dead
burned at the stake
drowned in a witch’s chair
are far easier
than this stillness

all directions open
but no clear first step
on which to pin
a next life’s journey
after occupation

We have been focusing on the parent and their “faith”. Finally, Jesus prays for the child.

Too often we see prayer as a fix-it for some situation, not remembering that prayer is process before it is repentance and reparation—that often things get darker before a dawn.

There are many different ways that lives are convulsed. In recent days addiction is an expected situation in which friends and family would pray. It is not unusual for such prayer to lead first to deeper difficulties, convulsions, even moments of death. The same is true of addicted nations when leaders and corporations posing as people can’t look anywhere but to their own profit through a too easy justification that their betterment will automatically lead to others being better off. Generosity does not blossom when telling that sort of falsity to itself.

Jesus prays and the result is death. This is a deepening of a teaching about prayer. Seemingly the disciples had not caught a larger picture of prayer than Pray-and-Heal. It is the easy connection of starting and finish lines that catches our attention. But this is not much of a race when a false start brings us back to the same line and, having passed it once to start finds us crossing it again to finish what was so poorly begun. We are beginning to see a difficulty with anything that is turned into a technique. We then begin to find all manner of justifications for why prayer didn’t work in particular cases. It must be a lack of faith on someone’s part or god has a larger plan or teaching in mind or . . . .

Prayer peels away our excuses and leaves us closer to reality.

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