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Praying up a storm

Praying up a storm

The trees are swaying and dipping, murmuring and hollering,
dropping and dripping; some prostrate themselves, as though
this were the Holy Spirit giving voice to their prayers with
sighs too deep for words.

The trees have been set free. They sing.

I am a little afraid of their religious fervour.
I am a little in awe of their holy abandonment.
I envy their prayer.
They have reduced me to a whisper.

I suppose I had imagined the trees
of the field on a summer’s day,
waving gently,
genteelly applauding.

But creation is a fierce force,
trees a force of nature.

And still the Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep,
too strong, too fast, too unpredictable
for words, or memory:
the perfect storm of prayer.


Isaiah 55:12 For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

The Revd Rosalind C Hughes is the Rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Euclid, Ohio, and the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing. She is currently in a tent somewhere on the mid-Atlantic coast enjoying the aftermath of tropical storm Isaias with a few trees. Her blog is over the water


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