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The Breaking of Silence

Someday I will probably tire of quoting the poetic and profound words of Frederick Buechner (indeed, it may even be that you have already tired of reading them!).  But for me, that day hasn’t come yet. This morning I read this passage on prayer, taken from a sermon called “The Breaking of Silence” in The Magnificent Defeat, this morning:

[Prayer] is the breaking of silence.  It is the need to be known and the need to know.  Prayer is the sound made by our deepest aloneness.  I am thinking not just of formal prayers that a religious person might say in church or in bed at night, but of the kind of vestigial, broken fragments of prayer that people sometimes use without thinking of them as prayers: something terrible happens, and you might say, “God help us” or “Jesus Christ”—the poor crippled prayers that are hidden in the minor blasphemies of people for whom in every sense God is dead except that they still have to speak to him if only through clenched teeth.  Prayer is a man’s impulse to open up his life at its deepest level.  People pray because they cannot help it.  In one way or another, I think, all people pray.

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