As we move deeper into Advent my prayer becomes much simpler. God doesn’t need my words, my reminders, my “eloquent” phrases. Who am I to tell God what to do or what I or anyone else needs, no matter how good my intentions. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:7-8: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Perhaps it is enough to say “thank you”, to surrender to God’s way like Mary, and utter “May it be done to me according to your word.”
We make it so complicated sometimes. I wonder if it isn’t basically fear that makes me/us multiply words and keep asking to be heard and our petitions to be heeded, fear that God doesn’t hear us or the thought that the more I/we ask, the better chance we have that God will hear us and answer our prayers.
Let us turn to Mary as an example. Very few words are attributed in scripture to her. Luke’s gospel says that she reflected on the words and happenings in her life and kept them in her heart. Her prayer seems to be more a life-long surrendering into the Great Knowing rather than the speaking of words. My prayer for these remaining days of Advent is that we too may spend more time reflecting in our hearts and surrender into the same Great Knowing, of which we know nothing.