When I was in retreat, thoughts from Sister Wendy Beckett's Book on Prayer came to me as I had just heard of her death. I have shared some of her thoughts in this blog but not from this book for a long time. It was published in 2006 and the title is Sister Wendy on Prayer,
Since I have been seeing myself in a boat with Jesus, here is what Wendy says commenting on a picture by Craigie Aitchison: " This boat sails on no specific sea, but on those mythic waters that have always been our image of the mysterious unknown of living. This is not an earthly sky, any more than this is an earthly sea. The small boat, its sail taut, does not reveal who is within it. Below our curious gaze, the sailor lies hidden. This boat that seemingly sails by itself can be seen to speak of prayer.
"When we pray, we are likewise carried, borne along by a power that we do not and cannot direct. It is our prayer, our boat. It is we who have launched it on this sea of faith and we who stay quiet within it. But all the movement comes from God. We await Him, we surrender to Him. Where we want to go is not to the point; it is where God wants to take us. We do not see where that is. There is starlight, yes, but no sun or moon, no clarity of vision. Our world becomes duotone: scarlet sky, purple sea. All that is in our power is choice (as it is in life, which is meant to be prayer extended); do we stay still, hidden, unable to take control, or do we jump up and steer that boat ourselves, refusing God's lordship?
"Put like that, it seems so obvious, yet it can be very hard to stay in this state of powerlessness, or blindness, of vulnerability accepted, when all that holds us motionless in the boat is our trust in God. But prayer is impossible without trust."