When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet. Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion….I cannot teach you how to pray in words. God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips. And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains. But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart. And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence, “Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth. It is thy desire in us that desireth. It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also. We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us: Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all.”
– from “On Prayer” The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) was a Lebanese-American mystic and poet. Born in Bsharri, in modern-day Lebanon, Gibran emigrated to the United States with his family in 1895. He studied art and began a literary career in his new homeland, but wrote in both English and Arabic. Characterized by a romantic style, his works — and especially his prose poems, such as those found in The Prophet — helped foment a literary renaissance in Arabic literature. Gibran was raised in a Maronite Catholic household, but his religious views tended toward an irenic blend of Christian and Islamic mysticism.