This is how it is

sunday snippet

As my prayer become more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say.
I finally became completely silent.
I started to listen
– which is even further removed from speaking.
I first thought that praying entailed speaking.
I then learnt that praying is hearing,
not merely being silent.
This is how it is.
To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking,
Prayer involves becoming silent,
And being silent,
And waiting until God is heard.

–Søren Kierkegaard, quoted by Joachim Berendt in “The Third Ear,” translated by Tim Nevill (Shaftsbury, England: Element Books, 1988).

Wisdom from our summer 1990 issue on attention |Parabola Magazine
Photo Credit: Randy P. Martin

13 thoughts on “This is how it is

    • It’s a very good translation and I can’t find the original in the web. I might have to search for the book and find out more about the writers. Thank you.

  1. Amen Perpetua. This is so true. I believe that’s why so many times in the bible, you see the Lord telling His people, “Be still.” It is only when we are still and silent that we are able to hear His voice. Great post!


  2. It is the hardest challenge for all to listen instead of speaking. My pastor lately told me do you hear the other prayers or do you only speak your prayers? Maybe God what you to do work for him…
    I was thinking a lot about that and i think he is right. Listening Matters. Thank you for the great post.

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