In Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book ‘A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day a fellow prisoner notices him praying with his eyes closed, and says with ridicule, “Prayers won’t help you get out of here any faster.”

Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, “I do not pray to get out of prison but to do the will of God.”


I remember reading this book at school. I remember the bleakness of it all, and I remember the fish eye in the soup. Funny how some things stick with you. I didn’t remember this passage until I came across it recently.  Saying ‘thy will be done’ in prayer is difficult. Well, it is difficult for me.

This Lent, I am going to pray more for God’s will and not my will to be done. The control freak in me is going to have to take a back seat. It won’t like it.


One thought on “Prayer

  1. …and worth reading other prisoners’ letters – anonymous pastors in Nazi jails [printed in 1938] as well as Dietrich B, and also Richard Wurmbrand… it is an interesting project for Lent, to come closer to the imprisonment and suffering of a world, and paramountly of Our Lord.

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