Prayer - "In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb"

A parishioner of the church that I serve shared this image with me. Additionally he shared some remarks which are in the caption.

"Somebody posted this picture in a group I follow as part of a conversation about prayer group. The person who posted it was, I believe, critical of the image. My thought as soon as I saw it was that the pictures should be opposite: shouldn't prayer be a humbling experience?"

"Somebody posted this picture in a group I follow as part of a conversation about prayer group. The person who posted it was, I believe, critical of the image. My thought as soon as I saw it was that the pictures should be opposite: shouldn't prayer be a humbling experience?"

The member, named Thomas, makes the astute observation that prayer is a practice of humility and that we often don't associate humility with lions. Of course, this is a metaphor and all metaphors breakdown at some degree of reflection. If I were to add to Thomas' point it would be that prayer is neither lion or kitten but both.

There are times in my life where prayer has given me the strength to move into the brave new world. It is clear that those who are enslaved or in exile or refugees or many other conditions that strength or pride or courage is needed. Prayer, at times, can help us see the inner strength God has given. However, for the most part, I need less roar and more purr, so to speak. 

If thought of only a tool to strengthen and empower, then prayer is only thought of as something that is 'helpful" when we are in the valley of the shadow of death. However, and perhaps more importantly, we need to pray when we are at our most prideful.