“Reversed Thunder”

David AyresBaustelle BerlinLeave a Comment

On Sunday, as we considered what it means to pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18), I referenced a poem entitled, “Prayer,” by pastor/poet George Herbert (1593-1633). I include it below in its entirety for your meditation.
I believe there is valuable insight in Herbert’s images and word pictures, but I acknowledge poetry is not always easy to read or understand, even in one’s own language! Take your time. Perhaps, find one phrase that intrigues you, and reflect on that. Do an online search for commentary on the poem–there are helps out there! In any case, allow this early 17th century Anglican saint to broaden your perspective on prayer. And, of course, pray!

Prayer (I)
Prayer the Church’s banquet, Angels age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almighty, sinners’ tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices; something understood.

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