By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Some time in these last few months, my two year old son learned to recognize a question mark. I can’t quite tell if he actually connects the idea of the question mark to the symbol itself but he will tell you that he likes the question mark. He can find it on a keyboard. He will point it out in books. And yes he is in that classic phase of asking a thousand questions a minute too. His life has become a litany of questions. 

Prayer comes with many question marks too. How do we authentically connect with God? What words do we use to talk to God? What do we expect when it comes to connecting with the divine? As one 6 year old asked this month in response to injustice, “Mama, why can’t God just fix it?” I thought this prayer from Karl Rahner, a 20th century German Catholic theologian, captured at least a start to our questions, and our deepest hope to name God’s presence in our midst. 

May God be within your questions and may God too be in the mystery of every attempt to answer.


Let us pray:

What can I say to you, my God?
Shall I collect together all the words that praise your holy name?
Shall I give you all the names of this world, you, the Unnameable?
Shall I call you ‘God of my life,
meaning of my existence,
hallowing of my acts,
my journey’s end, bitterness of my bitter hours,
home of my loneliness,
you my most treasured happiness’?
Shall I say:
Near One
Distant One
Incomprehensible One
God both of flowers and stars
God of the gentle wind and terrible battles
Loyalty and Truthfulness
Eternity and Infinity
You the All-merciful
You the Just One
You Love itself?
What can I say to you, my God?
—Karl Rahner, 1904–1984, Oxford Book of Prayer

Invitation: Families with children are invited to join us for our new Candle Time on Tuesdays from 7–7:20 p.m. in the month of June. Contact Christine Hides for the link to the online meeting.