“A Christian leader in the future,” writes Henri Nouwen, “will have to be what [they] have always had to be in the past: a [person] of prayer, a [person] who has to pray, and who has to pray always…
for a [person] of prayer is, in the final analysis, the [one] who is able to recognize in others the face of the Messiah and make visible what was hidden, make touchable what was unreachable. The [person] of prayer is a leader precisely because through his articulation of God’s work within himself he can lead others out of confusion into clarification; through his compassion he can guide them out of the closed circuits of their in-groups to the wide world of humanity; and through his critical contemplation he can convert their convulsive destructiveness into creative work for the new world to come.”
Therefore let us pray:
Lord Jesus, man of prayer
Lead me to pay the price of having to pray;
Of having to pray always.
May I recognize Your face in the face of others
in the face of the ugly and the beautiful
in the face of the storms and the calm
in the face of the faceless and the unrecognizable.
May I make visible what was hidden
from others, ourselves, and You;
May I make touchable what was unreachable
from others, ourselves and You;
That we may be seen and known,
Created in Your image and by Your great love.
May I articulate God’s work within me
that I may lead out from confusion;
May I have your compassion
that I may guide out from cul de sacs of futility;
May my contemplation of You
be a gift to transform convulsive destructiveness into creative work.
May I see You in the least of these, Your brothers and sisters;
May I see You in me;
May I recognize You as You are.