Pray Naked


Pray Naked


I used to get up

And once, all dressed

I’d head out for Ist and Main

The better to pray.


The better to testify,

I was someone who agreed with God,

And not someone 

Who reeked of sin.


I had a good upbringing-

Mom was tough as nails,

And Dad never minced words,

So I learned to do as I was told.


Never late for church,

Never missed my tithe,

Never lost a job,

Like the rabble unemployed.


There I’d stand,

And there I’d chant,

My ritual morning prayer,

My pride and thanks to God.


At first I thought it strange

That people would stand and watch

Us canters and us chanters

Who knew all the holy words.


Fallling off our lips,

Calling out to God,

Loud enough that the deaf could listen,

And long enough to shame the scoffers.


I really liked my prayer shawl,

I wore it for the warmth,

It gave my satisfied mind

Cloaking vague insufficiencies.


You might say I was distracted,

By the pressure of the public,

To knock so loud on heaven’s door

That I never heard God’s answer.


I watched one day,

Out from the furtive cluster,

A sinner made his way

Inside the nearby church.


What ever will God think?

I thought, bemused.

No prayer shawl, and no chutzpa.

What good’s a prayer spoken from the shadows?


I peeked, to watch him pray so naked,

Exposing all his sins, to the unseen Ear

“Be merciful, I’m just a sinner, 

And I don’t know how to pray.”


Though standing in deep shadow,

He was glowing from some light

That clothed his naked sinful form

With a radience: purest white.


I wonder if God ever does that

Glowing thing with me?

Or does he only save the sinner

From purient curiosity?


As he walked outside,

A jeering friend stopped short,

As he noted a new aura,

Shaming him into silence.


That’s how forgiveness seems to work,

When God looks on the naked,

He gives to each new clothes to wear,

In answer to their private prayer.


I’m no longer the man with the prayer shawl,

Chants rising from off of a curb,

I’m trying to learn to pray naked,

Secretly confessing my need for mercy, too.


For prayer is all about the audience

It really doesn’t much matter how many,

If any, hear you pray, unless you know, 

God’s the first one to have heard.


And it deosn’t matter how long

Or short,

The prayer may ramble on, 

Unless you have first exposed yourself to God.

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Teardrops commented on Pray Naked


well written and very moving poem . I loved it from the first word till the last . Great write my friend Marie



Thank you, Marie. And I hope you found something there in addition to mere entertainment. Blessings, Harv

Olan01 commented on Pray Naked


This is wonderful, and so true of humans to make a big show of their piety when all that is asked for supplication in humility.



I'm still a learner, but the timeless story Jesus told of the sinner in the temple continues to speak to me.

MAFLongfellow commented on Pray Naked


I'd pray naked with you anyday brother.Symbolically speaking of course.HaHa... Jesus has done everything that has to be done for our salvation and all the outword symbols in the world will ever save us or make God hear us anymore. "NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS" my favorite Hymn.... Great poem of true salvation , loved it,...Marilyn

poetryrules commented on Pray Naked


That is awesome! My favourite yet. And no, I haven't been on much to read lately. (Definitely in a poetic vaccuum right now--one poem in 4 months) Still, what a great-and true-picture of prayer: naked before God. Lovely!!



I am always touched when some one finds a new favorite of mine. Thank you very much, Harv

mariadapoesia commented on Pray Naked


"For men look at the outward appearance, but God Looks at the heart" - the scriptures have taught us. Your poem is a beautiful confirmation of this truth! Well done!



Thank you, and God bless. Harver

Poetry is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality.

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-English poet and playwright.

HarverTomsson’s Poems (107)

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Three Umbrellas 11
A Life Less Theoretical 8
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Light Beckons 6
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A Plain Poem 6
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Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 2 6
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