Part 4  Martha’s Prayer Cupboard    – Darts of Love and Prayer

Jesus was always praying.
Every so often, He would suddenly come out with something like
“Thank-You Father!” or “Praise you Father!” –
and even when He was on that hateful cross,
He was still praying – just odd phrases
that He could squeeze out through the agony…
Not a pleasant memory, that one…

But it was who He was.
He didn’t only pray at set times in set places – although He did do that –
no, He seemed to have this running conversation going on
between Himself and the Father all the time.
He would take Himself off for times of special prayer –
but even if He was helping to carry the water home –
and chatting with you – you knew that somewhere deep inside,
He was talking – and listening to God.
That’s why – every now and again – words would just burst out of Him.

It’s a kind of prayer I found that I could do –
well, once I’d got used to it –
and I never got to the stage of feeling very comfortable
about saying things out loud – though I know some people do.
But, I got into the habit of saying a quick phrase at odd moments –
and it soon became automatic.
It might be as simple as remembering to say “Thank-you Father”
when something good came along – or
“Help Lord” when something hard came along.
I sometimes used some of Jesus’ words – like “I am your Way” –
“Don’t be afraid” – “You in Me and I in you” “Come to Me” –
and it felt as if He was there speaking to me.
Or I’d think of words that went with a job –
like drawing water “Living Water refresh me” – or
lighting the lamps “Light of the world – let Your Light shine in me” –
pruning the vines “Lord of the Vineyard – make me fruitful
All sorts of one-line prayers –
all of them reminding me that you can pray all the time –
even when you don’t have time!

Drinking from the Wellspring

The idea of frequent short prayers – or aspirations – has a long tradition in Christianity.  Celtic Christians had a prayer for everything – going out – and coming in – lighting the fire – extinguishing the fire…everything they did during the day had a prayer that went with it. Try some of the phrases that “Martha” suggested – and try some of your own.  It may feel strange at first – but persevere -and try to develop the habit of sending little darts of love and prayer through to God during the course of the day.

© 200X Wellspring

[This is one of a series of nine posts using one’s imagination to get inside a biblical character to make him or her come alive for listeners or readers.     Parts 5 and 6 will be posted next week.]

Wellspring is a Liturgy and Spirituality website in the United Kingdom. They have a variety of materials that may touch and inspire you.  Please check out their website for yourself:


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to Part 4  Martha’s Prayer Cupboard    – Darts of Love and Prayer

  1. Overwhelmed by the sheer joy of knowing I matter to God, I wrote this Shakespearean sonnet to post on your blog.


    We sometimes miss the forest for the trees.
    So blind to truth that stares us in the eye,
    we strut when we should fall down to our knees
    and thank the maker of all things, say why
    we should live our lives better than we have
    because Our God loved us enough to send
    His only Son to die for us, to save
    our souls; yet how easily we offend
    this loving God by doubting He’s divine
    or saying He is, but doesn’t matter
    in our lives, that we all are doing fine
    without Him! What in life could be sadder?
    If only we’d admit, “God knows my name!”
    For sure our lives would never be the same.

    Salvatore Buttaci

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