Meadows and Woodlands: Prayer Poems

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by Richard Bansemer

Preface: Writing these prayer poems has been a wonderful experience for me for nearly a year. Putting thoughts and prayers onto paper means writing one sentence at a time. I have no idea what the second line of the prayer poem will be until the first one is penciled down on the small note pad that fits into my back pocket.

The benefit of this type of praying is that you are never done with a single thought, because another thought always follows, again and again, until completion is accomplished. And then, of course, you have a record of the conversation you had with God. You get to treasure it because it’s not just a fleeting thought, it’s an honest record of what you said and what you were told to say, and what God showed you.

It is more than simple musings of the heart, because there is no control of what will prompt your very first line. It might be a single flower that catches your eye. It might be a stumble on a root. It could be a far off cloud or an ant climbing up your arm.

So, try it out. Write down what you see, what pops into your mind, what you’re worried about. Ask God questions, write down the response, and take your treasure home.

It was editor Martin Christiansen’s idea to have someone draw some illustrations or artwork for reflection, along with the text. I asked William (Bill) and Mary Lou Hill, friends for 50 adult years, if they could come up with a few ideas.

They came up with so much creativity that almost every reflection now has a partner. Both text and art invite personal reflection, which means it’s your turn to muse, pray, ignore, or go on to another page, and to carry your own pencil and paper as you “listen as you walk.”