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that I might pray

by Carl Walker

Lord, I pray

I would hear your small voice

In the cacophony of my desires and fears

That I might pray

From the raging sea of my passions

Waves of mountains, rising and falling,

that engulf me

And render me deaf to you

And, thus, mute to you

Because I cannot hear you

Neither can I pray what you will hear

(I John 5:14, 15, Ezekiel 14:3)

the raging sea possesses the sailor

orphaned from his vessel

as the oceanic storm of my passions

possesses me

and yet I form it’s tumult

with grasping and greed

believing life is found

in finding my desires

and escaping my fears

and I cannot hear God

for he tells me to die

when he knows very well

it is my fear of not having life that controls me


we drink it

we bathe in it

with it we subdue fire

it is such a safe, ordinary thing, water

we cook in it

every single day we command it to serve us

and serve us it does

it is our slave

does water not have it’s vengeance

when we find ourselves in it’s hand

Marvel, Oh Human

How unconquerable water becomes

When it marshals it’s forces

And makes weather

Weather makes storms

And we become at the mercy of

massed marching legions

Of tiny little droplets of water

Tornadic Frenzy laughs

And crashes man’s castles

And dashes men’s lives

And none can impede her

And none can chain her

And none can tame her

She is master

Until she pass

And I am controlled by smaller storms than these

I cling to a cruel illusion

That rest can be found

At the apex of possessions

And the immersion

Of favorable relationships

With little effort

I can hear god

Calling me, impelling me, commanding me

To ask for these things

What makes me warm

What makes me full

What gives me rest

This must

This must

I believe

Be god’s best

And I fear that I am content

With these commands

When their source is the god of my own desire

How will I hear God

Calling me to die

Unless He show me His Glory

I cannot

I now know I cannot

Unless He show me His Glory

And this is an odd dance

The dance of my desire

And having my less than willing, clumsy feet

Spun by the tempest of His Glory

And He bears me into the jaws of death

Where others may not like me

And I may not be able to keep, and use, and control

My stuff

To hear Him

Means the threatening

Of the apex of my possessions

And the yielding of the

immersion of favorable relationships

and I discover

His thoughts are not my thoughts

For He calls me to sacrifice the pursuit of my desire

To have peace in the loss of my kingdom


Having opened my hand to Him

Yielding what so tightly I held

He is teaching me now

To ask Him

For what He wants to give

And I swear

I think I could face down a tornado

Or ride it’s maelstrom

with peace

Happily trusting my life

To God’s big hand

Because He teaches me to hear

His desire for me

And it is


(John 14:12, Luke 17:3-6)


Author's Note: and it is Glory (John 14:12 and Luke 17:3-6)

thanks to my wife for suggesting a change from "I find I can rest" which I changed to "I cling to a cruel illusion that rest can be found" (which is true and accurate)

it would so be my privledge to pray for you to have him as a friend or grow in that friendship

a friend who laughs at your jokes even when they're corny, a friend who weeps with our sorrows even when we cause them and cling to them, a friend who embraces us with a warm and forgiving and easy friendship; that we might walk in the radience of His Glory

God cares for you and wants to be real in your life

Posted on 11/20/2003
Copyright © 2021 Carl Walker

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 11/21/03 at 01:10 AM

A magnificient poem in three acts! Listening for God but not hearing because of the storm(ACT 1). The storm's made of water (ACT 2). What it means to allow God to break into the storm (ACT 3). The curtain falls when we see God's glory! Amen!

Posted by Delilah Coyne on 03/21/06 at 10:15 PM

Whoa! This piece is SO full of importance. I like the water portion especially. I'm in Louisiana, so I can relate to (and respect) what happens "When it marshals its forces." And I have to tell you, that second stanza smacks me right in the face. Awesome & honest poem here.

Posted by Jean Mollett on 09/30/06 at 05:25 AM

Hi Carl, This is so beauitful. Whew, you said. I also agree with Que and some of the others. If only more would follow and Listen and do. :)

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