Crafton: Praying for Others
“I can compare prayer to a river—strong, clean, swift, carrying everything along in its powerful current. When I pray, I have stepped into the river and allowed it to carry me. When I pray for you, I have taken your hand and together we step into the river and let it carry us with power.” —Barbara Crafton in The AlsoLife (Morehouse, 2016), p. 128.
Episcopal priest and well-known speaker and writer, Barbara Crafton, teaches us a different view of prayer. It is surrender prayer, prayer of few words, feeling the power of prayer as we pray, bringing others with us into prayer. It is prayer that comes with sitting, swimming, or walking in silence and simply waiting for the Spirit’s lead.
Swimming is still a favorite exercise of mine. I can indeed visualize those in my prayers swimming or walking in the water with me. This is an even more powerful image: swimming in a river or the ocean where we surrender to let the current move us.
Crafton also writes about prayer as connecting ourselves to God, aligning ourselves with the energy of God’s love. Prayer is loving—loving God, loving ourselves, loving our neighbor. Some people imagine Jesus in prayer, and walk with or carry friends to Jesus, leaving the person they are praying for in Jesus’ arm. I so often have used this prayer image when praying for my children, and now my grandchildren.
For some, kneeling at the rail for Eucharist is an image used in prayer. We can imagine walking with or bringing friends in need along with us, in prayer, to that rail, and then kneeling with and beside them. This image also helps me in praying for enemies or those with whom I am having difficulty. It is hard to keep hate in my heart when my enemy is kneeling beside me, waiting as I am for the body and blood of Christ.
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