With Clenched Fists

Praying is no easy matter. It demands a relationship in which you allow someone other than yourself to enter into the very center of your person, to see there what you would rather leave in darkness, and to touch there what you would rather leave untouched. ~ Henri JM Nouwen

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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7 Responses to With Clenched Fists

  1. Planting Potatoes says:

    very good read….prayer is one of the best subjects for a blog post don’t you think? 🙂

  2. gospelofbarney says:

    Luther once said, “Oh if I could only pray like my dog watches this piece of meat!”

  3. Ahhh! Tremendous quote. I love Henri Nouwen, he wrote much that has mentored me in my spiritual pilgrimage. Much, much on prayer.
    And this…
    “From all that I said about our worried, overfilled lives, it is clear that we are usually surrounded by so much outer noise that it is hard to truly hear our God when he is speaking to us. We have often become deaf, unable to know when God calls us and unable to understand in which direction he call us. Thus our lives have become absurd. In the word absurd we find the Latin word ‘surdus’, which means ‘deaf’. A spiritual life require discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear.” (excerpted from Making All Things New)
    Too often…too, too often…I choose to turn a deaf ear, an absurd ear…towards heaven. Thank you for this moment of repentance.

    • mtsweat says:

      Great quote also! I am quite (now) the follower of Mr. Henri and his unique means of probing the heart with words. He adds to his quote, “Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid of the One who wants to enter your most intimate space and invite you to let go of what you are clinging to so anxiously. Don’t be afraid to show the clammy coin that will buy so little anyway. Don’t be afraid to offer your hate, bitterness, and disappointment to the One who is love. Even if you know you have little to show, don’t be afraid to let it be seen.”

      “With clenched fists,” is the author’s way of describing our natural tendency towards prayer. He goes on, “It is a long spiritual journey of trust, for behind each fist another one is hiding, and sometimes the process seems endless.” It is profitable to learn to open our hands without fear. Thanks for your words!

      • ccragamuffin says:

        And another aaaaaaaahhhhh.
        To open our hands, to open our hearts, to open our everything. Such a great reminder that this can only be done without fear. So thankful that perfect love casts out fear. So thankful for Love that loved what was not lovely…and for another genesis…another creation of something from nothing.
        Open hands are the response.

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