Praying - 2nd Edition


Cover: “light is not far away from darkness”



by Volker Schunck

Published by Volker Schunck at Shakespir

2nd Edition 2017

Copyright 2017 Volker Schunck



Shakespir License Notes

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The used translation of this bible is “The World English Bible” (WEB) provided by biblegateway.com. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked. The World English Bible (WEB) is Public Domain (no copyright) Modern English translation of the Holy Bible. It is is based on the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible first published in 1901, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. – Thank you guys for your work! – I replaced the literally expressed Tetragram of God’s name with Adonaj.

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It seems to me like a miracle, when God answers our prayers. It seems to me still like a bigger miracle, when God doesn’t answer our prayers, and we thereby don’t lose our faith, but in contrary our relation to God is deepened.



Texts: © Volker Schunck

Cover: © Volker Schunck

Bible: © World English Bible (WEB), Public Domain

Publishing: Volker Schunck

Albert-Wolf-Platz 2, 13-01

01239 Dresden

[email protected]

Table of Contents



Table of Contents

About me


Preface 2nd Edition

Thoughts to Praying (1)§

Thoughts to Praying (2)§

Own Prayers

How Jesus could have prayed



About me

I live in Dresden, Germany. First I was a merchant, then I studied theology. Through my engagement with Zen I became aware of the Christian mysticism. Meanwhile I go my own way. Believe is not a thinking but a being. It is important to me, not to live lost in thought, but to live aware and intensely.


My Christian faith and my experiences in meditation influence my everyday life, in which I try to be attentive. My books arise from this spirit too.


Table of Contents


If somebody would asked me “What would you make differently in your life, if you could start from scratch?” I would answer: “I would pray more and would trust in God more.”

“Praying”, the trustful conversation with God is so naturally for the Christians like the air we need to breathe. That is easy said.

Is it clear to us, that our faith dwarfs to an ideology, when we don’t pray anymore?

Our faith lives by the prayer. Praying is the breathing of the faith.

And nevertheless: often we don’t know how we should pray. Even the disciples of Jesus, which come from a rich Jewish praying tradition, don’t know exactly what they should say in the prayer.

Actually astonishing, they yet knew the Psalms, the prayer book of the Jews. “How shall we pray?” they ask Jesus. His answer is the “Our Father”. But prayer is much more. What prayer is shall be reflected in this little book. In addition to that I show with own prayers how one can pray. Different scriptures illuminate how the Jews, how Jesus and the early Christians prayed.


God bless you!




Table of Contents


Preface to the 2nd Edition

This 2nd edition has been reviewed and extended with new thoughts and prayers.


Thank you for staying with me, my friends!


All the best, Volker


Table of Contents


Thoughts to Praying (1)

If somebody would asked me “What would you make differently in your life, if you could start from scratch?” I would answer: “I would pray more and would trust in God more.”

“Praying”, the trustful conversation with God is so naturally for the Christians like the air we need to breathe. That is easy said.

Is it clear to us, that our faith dwarfs to an ideology, when we don’t pray anymore?

Our faith lives by the prayer. Praying is the breathing of the faith.

And nevertheless: often we don’t know how we should pray. Even the disciples of Jesus, which come from a rich Jewish praying tradition, don’t know excactly what they should say in the prayer.


Actually astonishing, they yet knew the Psalms, the prayer book of the Jews. “How shall we pray?” they ask Jesus. His answer is the “Our Father”. He himself often retreats into silence and solitude of the night to be alone with God. He doesn’t pray in public to show his piety, but his heart looks for communion with God in silence.

Prayer is far more than a recited “Our Father”, Prayer is a being. A being yourself in being infront of God – in silence. Preferred in silence.


But there is also an inner awareness across the day, as we although we notice everything with our senses, are in addition to that attentive on another level for God.

As when we are attentive to our breath, what is hard enough and needs practice.

As we practice in meditation to become present in everyday life, the time in silence in prayer in front of God has influence on how much we are aware of God in our everyday life in school, university or our occupations. We are not alone, God is present!


And when we talk to God, what shall say then? What shall one say to this? That there are thanksgiving prayers, prayers of penitence, petitionary prayers for oneself and others, that you can praise and worship God? Yes, that’s all so right, but in this listing to static, to formal, to lifeless. That is like defining in a handbook for relationships, about what the partners have to speak that there relationship stays vital. Do we recognize how unnatural that is to speak in such a way about prayer?

But indeed: Praying is very similar to the communion, silence and talk of the beloved. In prayer I can be myself and can say God everything what depresses me. In prayer I can marvel about God’s holiness. About that God wants to have something to do with me. That he sees me and knows who I am. He let me be a human and changes me through his presence.


I learn praying by praying. Learning by doing. We can read a lot of inspiring books about praying but to learn praying we have to drop into God’s presence like swimmers into water.

Than we recognize at the time: Oh, for that I don’t pray (e.g. Luxury goods). Or this friend needs my prayer. God changes us during the time of praying. When we are praying we are moving in the realm of eternity. Our little, gray and daily lives are standing still for a little eternity.

A looking on our watches to check when the planed praying time is off misses the point and spoils everything. A fulfilling, deep prayer forgets time, because it submerges into eternity.


The more and the longer we pray, the more a consciousness of God’s presence in our daily lives becomes constituted. There are times in which we are overfilled with words, because there’s so much we want to tell God. Then there are times that is not so. Then a short “Our Father” or with an open heart prayed Psalm is enough.

When we pray, we needn’t to be afraid that God has any claims to form and wording of our prayers. It is better to say a child’s prayer with an honest heart, than to make nice words with a cold heart. God is looking at our hearts and – fortunately – God often doesn’t take us by our words, because he knows what we really need. It’s a mystery: even if we don’t know what we shall pray, the Holy Spirit represents us in front of God with unpronounceable sigh.


Table of Contents


Thoughts to praying (2)

Praying is a very personal and intimate matter. And it’s for male and female Christians, for girls and boys who make their first steps with God or for experienced Christians, the most natural thing of their Christian lives. It’s as natural as breathing, as I mentioned before, and natural and constitutional like love in the lives of the Christians. You can’t hate your next and love God at the same time.


I know by myself that there is a tendency in the lives of Christians to feel better or superior compared to those who aren’t yet Christians or who – so we often may think – “aren’t as far as we are”, but we are sinners too which are accepted only by God’s grace which is established in Christ the archetype of all humans and of all humanity. We all are not “as far as Christ” and stay behind who we should be. But the race is over. We are redeemed in Christ whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. It’s a sign of a lively Christian life when we change to the better. But it’s not our own merit but God’s influence.


When we regularly read the bible and pray our faith grows and gets deeper. But the euphoric feelings of the first days how deep and joyful they may had have been, are not forever. We become disappointed by other Christians, by God, by life and not at last by ourselves. Is this old Adam, the old me, the human I had been before I became a Christian already not yet dead, already not yet drowned in my baptism, has it not been crucified and resurrected with Christ? Oh, I felt so clean and new after I started to believe in God and to follow Christ’s footsteps! My motives were so noble and I meant it so seriously! But old patterns of behavior and old character traits are alive as in the old days.


This phase is an important level in your spiritual development and in your relationship with God. You experience grace. In silence in front of God you experience grace, acceptance and love. You can come. Come as you are. Give me your imperfection, give me your impatience, give me your lack of love to yourself and to your next, give me your comparing and self-judging thoughts, give me your heart and first of all: give me your self.


That is not a command but an offer which is not easy to accept. Sometimes if you hear some missionaries who put the main tone on your decision for Christ, being a Christian seems only to be a matter of a moment, the moment of this decision. But being or becoming a Christian is a lifelong transformation into Christ. The longer you are a Christian, the more you get to know God and the more you get to know yourself. And that is sometimes a very humiliating and shameful experience.


First of all most of us – and that is my personal experience too – think: Actually I’m quite alright and not such a bad guy. When we than come to God with our pride hearts, to him who is holy, just and overflowing of love, we get conscious of our helplessness and neediness.


I can tell you, how often I discovered in the darkest niche of my heart feelings of anger and aggression against God, which I tried to hide in front of him – how childish – because I wanted something of him the almighty and showed him a nice face to get it, but deep inside I felt humiliated and angry that I had to pledge him at all. That’s the pride of a human who wants to live on his own and feels humiliated when he has to pledge. I’m very ashamed of this feelings. But that’s the way it is. What helps me out of this misery is to look in Christ’s painful and suffering eyes. I know that are God’s eyes too, who knows the darkest ankles of my heart and against all rules and against all experiences in my life in this world: he loves me in spite of all.


You may discover your own weak points in your praying times which may differ from mine. What never differs is the tender look of God’s eyes when we show him our broken hearts: he loves us in spite of all and against all rules. It needs a long time until we start to see ourselves as God sees us. Ultimately we don’t make it to see us like God does, of course. But after a while maybe after years, we begin to get reconciled with ourselves. We begin to accept and love ourselves with all our failures and imperfectness. The struggle against our weak points, the fight against ourselves comes to an end. I have made the experience the more I fought against my weak points the more important they became to me. The more I fight against them the stronger they seem to become. The more I accept myself the less important they become. I have learned to accept them like a handicap, maybe they never vanish totally. It’s like special character traits which hardly can be overcome. All these things are very personal and intimate issues which can be brought into God’s light during our praying time. He can endure them and therefore we can dare to look at them consciously without fear. God forgives us that we can forgive us too. God can change us deeply. In some areas of our lives we may keep our weak points, I don’t know why. Maybe losing our weak points would meant that we became arrogant and independent of God, what would be a greater sin than our weak points – but finally I don’t know.


Table of Contents


Own Prayers

The Prayer (inspired by Mt 6:9-13)

Our Father, who you are in Christ!

You are holy.

Your Spirit may come in our hearts. Your will may happen as in Christ in us.

Satisfy our hunger with your bread.

Forgive us that we learn to forgive.

Lead us on light ways that we don’t walk in darkness.

For you showed your eternal love and glory in Christ.



Like a Bird

helplessly I raise my hands

I am so small and insignificant

in this society

in which only counts

power youth beauty and success

how much I am respected and loved by you


you hold me

like a wounded bird



I don’t grasp you

your holiness

exceeds my mind

your love

explores my darkest deepness

lightens what is doubtful

for you

and yet

your forgiveness

in Christ


Evening prayer

and now

in the evening

the day resounds

in my tired body

I lay it back

in your hands

that was the best

I could do


and tomorrow

I don’t know

but you are always


yesterday today and tomorrow

are in front of you

like a whiff of your eternity


the silent of this moment

I feel protected by your tender power

humbly I bow down

to your humanity

grateful for your helping heart

in dark times


I am

I am the dust under your feet

I am a bird who sings for you

I am a star in dark night

I am your face in this world


Thank you!


let us be healers

of wounded souls

let us go over troubled waters

let us be strong enough

to admit our weaknesses


in the end

all what we



and live to see

is a generous gift

of your heart


Dark Night of the Soul

each word is a search

when I speak myself out

and say nothing

your being is not to grasp

you are obvious

like the light

I think of the darkness

when your name breaks to me

in emptiness

only a dark silence

remains comforting

which is brighter

than every earthly light


Prayer in hectic times

when my heart

is filled with my daily routine

don’t give up to reach me



when I don’t have time

to care of you

take care of me


when the world around me

needs my full attention

so that I forget you

don’t forget me


when I go my own way

go with me

and give yourself back to me again


when I’m afraid of the future

open my heart for your love

which drives away every fear


I want to gift myself this day

I don’t want to think ahead any longer

I still want to gift myself this day

everything that’s called itself tomorrow week or month

is anyway your element

therefore God

I want no longer lose heart

I know you are going to carry me into tomorrow

please give me

only a strong trust

because at times

it’s very difficult

to build only on

“I will”



They have torn out your thoughts with a sharp barbwire. Your beautiful, red mouth, which only can say love, freedom, goodness and God, they have beaten mute.


Oh Jesus, my hero, so no hero looks like!


You let yourself lead mute to the slaughter house, human among humans. HUMANS? Is who acts in this way still a human?


Has the human beast, that tortures and is pleased, that kills and triumphs, not lost any right to the human-name?


In your eyes I see all the humans slaughtered in public, abused and broken in dark back rooms, skinned and strung to the drums of the mighty.


Had you broken away to India! But you cannot help it. You cannot be a human without drinking fully the bitterness of life.


You Son of God, you exhaled your life in us. What do I understand of my, what of God’s real being without you? Eye and ear cannot know God.


The spirit of the time is ego, drive and money. Your spirit is love, freedom and goodness. Your spirit is the Spirit of God.


Where are you, Jesus? What is your Christ-name against your being?


At the right hand of God? Yes!


Risen in your humans? Yes!


And every leaf in the wind bears your name, every last breath is yours. I can hear your voice in every cry of the tortured creature.


Enlighten us, Lord, that we realize with every fiber of our being our destiny: being you, being a human – God’s image.


God !!!

too much God

the children

who cry incredibly to you unanswered

because they are hungry

the victim

who victimizes his children

the people who lose there personality

because they are addicted to drugs

and they who kill others in your name

and throw away their lives of hatred

and you God

don’t you listen

don’t you see

is your heart hardened

or is your power broken in front of the world


do listen

my child

and don’t sin against me

now I tell you something

what you can’t understand

and even if

only your head and not your heart would understand

the world lives in my heart

nobody can fall out of it

and the humans who hate me and others

and themselves most

let me worry about that

I know

you would best send them all to hell


but the sufferers


do you think I would suffer less than you

with the humans

they are my humans

don’t forget that

I don’t want to promise you yam tomorrow

but did you really get it

what it means

that I will wipe away every tear

is it really clear to you

what it means

to be healed by me

I know what suffering means

I lost my son

and you

open your fists against me again

go into the world

heal sooth comfort

that’s the ideal way

which only is gone

with tender hands


Longing for the invisible

I look up to you

my longing is bigger than my doubts

the sky is empty

and there is no proof

but my heart cries out

loud to you

oh my God

all my suffering


I am crucified by your invisibility

but the pains of my longing

can something visible

be more convincingly

that I can live in this tension

in this life

how else could you come closer to me



You let Yourself strike twice.

You give away Your last shirt.

You run after the lost.

Your crown is not of gold.

Your throne is the gutter.

Your hands and Your heart are broken.


So how can we live different as like sheep among wolves?


Table of Contents


How Jesus could have prayed

Holy Thursday: Gethsemane

Oh God

my hours

are numbered

I’m looking for

your face

see only darkness

I pined

Your fire

My God

over You

I gave up


beyond my power

at the end

Your presence

where God

are You

they are

like predators

after my blood

have You lea me

my frie

are sleeping

have no clue

it’s time

to wake

until the hangmen come

haven’t understood


Your realm

is not of this world

You are close

to those who fear You

because they love You

don’t hide Your face from me

the bitter cup

love grows

like light in


for me

Your will

be done


for those

who hate you

anoint my head with oil

the last hour

Your face

let me see in eternity



Good Friday: Golgotha

At the end

why Father

Your face

hidden from me

forgive all humans

they know nothing

not You

have nothing anymore

in hands

my bleeding feet

the path

at the target

have You lea me

I can’t believe


paradise is open

in Your hands

am thirsty

it’s done


Table of Contents


He has responded to the prayer of the destitute, and has not despised their prayer. Psalm 102:17


Hear, Adonaj, my righteous plea; Give ear to my prayer, that doesn’t go out of deceitful lips. Psalm 17:1


Behold, God is my helper. The Lord is the one who sustains my soul. Psalm 54:4


Attend to me, and answer me. I am restless in my complaint, and moan, Psalm 55:2


From the end of the earth, I will call to you, when my heart is overwhelmed. Psalm 61:2


Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer. Lamentations 3:8


You have covered yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through. Lamentations 3:44


Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor his loving kindness from me.

Psalm 66:20


Adonaj has heard my supplication. Adonaj accepts my prayer. Psalm 6:9


“Go, and tell Hezekiah, ‘Adonaj says, the God of David your father, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. Isaiah 38:5


I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 1 Corinthians 14:15


In these days, he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12


Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them. Mark 11:24


Matthew 6:5-15


5 “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 In praying, don’t use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. 8 Therefore don’t be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him. 9 Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen. ’


14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


10 Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me,[d] Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’” Matthew 4:10


Matthew 7:7-11


7 “Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!


Luke 18:1-17


18 He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up, 2 saying, “There was a judge in a certain city who didn’t fear God, and didn’t respect man. 3 A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, ‘Defend me from my adversary!’ 4 He wouldn’t for a while, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.’”


6 The Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. 7 Won’t God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”


9 He spoke also this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others. 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortionists, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


15 They were also bringing their babies to him, that he might touch them. But when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 Jesus summoned them, saying, “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hinder them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. 17 Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”


But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers. John 4:23


God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4.24


John 14,12-14


12 Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father. 13 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.


When he rose up from his prayer, he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping because of grief… Luke 22:45


He, in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear… Hebrews 5:7


They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. Acts 2:42


Rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer… Romans 12:12


We always give thanks to God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers… 1 Thessalonians 1:2


In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6


I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men… 1 Timothy 2:1


Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective. James 5:16


I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8


For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding… Colossians 1:9


But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer. 8 And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8


Table of Contents


Don’t be afraid!

God who is strong like a lion

and tender like a feather

keeps us safe


God who loves us madly

shelters us

so that nobody can harm our souls


God who is like no one else

spreads his hands like the wings of an eagle

above us



there is nothing

what we have to fear



God lay the sky under your feet

so that your problems are like clouds


God fill your heart with sun

so that darkness becomes light


God anoint your hands

so that they become gentle


God bless you

so that you find your fulfillment


The One

the one

who finishes every dark night


who is brighter than the light of every dawning morning


the one

who is eternal


who holds life and death in his hands


the one

who is almighty


who shows his humanity in a weak child


the one

who is pure love


who shelters every step into tomorrow



who is the one and only

bless you


On Eagle’s Wings

the king of eagles may carry you on his wings

through the storms of life

the sun may lay you a smile in your heart

in a little boat across the stormy sea

on your ways

he may firm your step and make you glad mooded

so you may be sheltered

by the old God


So that you can live

The One, who lives at the margin of society,

because God takes shape in him,

meet you in silence,

that you can recognize God.


The One, who is too precious for this world,

which nails him to the cross,

because it doesn’t understand him,

touches your wounds,

so that you can live.


The One, who is born out of God,

who is oblivious to himself,

who lives,

because God is everything to him,

bless you.


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Praying - 2nd Edition

2nd Edition!!! - If somebody would asked me “What would you make different in your life, if you could start from scratch?” I would answer: “I would pray more and would trust in God more.” “Praying”, the trustful conversation with God is so naturally for the Christians like the air we need to breathe. That is easy said. Is it clear to us, that our faith dwarfs to an ideology, when we don’t pray anymore? Our faith lives by the prayer. Praying is the breathing of the faith. And nevertheless: often we don’t know how we should pray. Even the disciples of Jesus, which come from a rich Jewish praying tradition, don’t know exactly what they should say in the prayer. Actually astonishing, they yet knew the Psalms, the prayer book of the Jews. “How shall we pray?” they ask Jesus. His answer is the “Our Father”. But prayer is much more.What prayer is shall be reflected in this little book. In addition to that I show with own prayers how one can pray. Different scriptures illuminate how the Jews, how Jesus and the early Christians prayed.

  • ISBN: 9781370052172
  • Author: Volker Schunck
  • Published: 2017-08-05 12:05:11
  • Words: 5332
Praying - 2nd Edition Praying - 2nd Edition