An Excerpt from Praying Dangerously: Radical Reliance on God by Regina Sara Ryan

In Praying Dangerously: Radical Reliance on God, Regina Sara Ryan ponders the importance of intention and constancy in our devotions. Introducing this meditation, titled "Bodhi," she notes: "Grasping after peace of mind, like grasping after comfort, is the surest way to discourage it. Prayer is dangerous because it undoes everything."

"Some days are like this,
you wake with an ache in your chest
that isn't even yours.
You know that somewhere, great rivers
     of blood are being shed.
Somewhere, mothers are weeping over
     children, bodies strewn like wildflowers.
Somewhere, men and women eat a bowl of pain —
A man tells his wife that he is leaving,
A woman wakes in an empty bed
or puts her hand to an empty place
     where a breast was.
Somewhere, in the screeching of brakes
     there is a shattering, of glass, of lives.

This earth is covered in a sea of suffering.
If for a few moments we manage to forget
     do not begrudge us our wine, our prayer, our reaching out
         for a word, a touch,

         even from a stranger."