Reading as Prayer
October 10, 2012
"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson
Can reading be a form of prayer? I think so.
Not all reading. The books that are marketed as "page turners," or with words like, "you won't be able to put it down," aren't in my experience all that conducive to something like prayer (though they may get you through a long plane ride).
But many books - not only the Bible - but all those books that cause us to listen, to wonder, to pause and to ponder, can lead us to reading that is a form of prayer. A listening for God, a being seized by something deep and holy and true.
"Why are we reading, if not in the hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed?" asked Annie Dillard.
"Why are we reading, if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so that we feel again their majesty and power?"
For most of my life, I've begun my days early and by reading. For me it is a form and time of prayer, a time to listen for and to God. It is a time that leads to other prayers, including this one:
"Loquacious, still-speaking God, thank you, thank you, thank you - for books and for writers, for words and for reading, and for those who taught me to read and to learn to love it."
Click to pre-order Hark! Advent Devotionals 2012 from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group.
Ms. Christina Villa
Minister for Resources and Communications
Publishing, Identity, and Communication
Local Church Ministries/Office of General Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.