Poetry and Prayer – One Way to Connect with God

PALATINE, IL (December 7, 2010) – Eighteen-year-old Margo Banakis says she started combining her poetry with prayers because it was a way for her to connect with the scripture she was reading.

“I used to get frustrated with myself,” says Banakis. Hearing or reading scripture inspired friends, but not her.

“I started to see that the way I connected with scripture was writing back to God,” says Banakis, a member of DeerGrove Covenant Church in Palatine.

She hopes other people will be able to draw closer to God through her prayers that are being published on the Feast website. Banakis hopes they also will inspire others to consider writing their own prayers. One of her poem prayers appears below.

Although Banakis first began writing prayers for her own spiritual enrichment, her pastor, Melissa Wall, encouraged her to share several with the congregation during worship. She allows that writing prayers read by others can make her nervous at times. “You’re really vulnerable,” she explains.

Banakis is a busy first-year nursing student at Valparaiso University, and writing for the Feast helps her maintain the discipline, she says.

Her course load weighted with chemistry and biology classes hasn’t left room for classes that involve creative writing. “I do love writing,” she says. “It’s a great outlet.”

The triennial Feast will be held June 25-28, 2011, at the YMCA of the Rockies camp in Estes Park, some 65 miles northwest of Denver. Visit the website for more information and to register. Early registration is now available.

By Margo Banakis

Help me tackle hope.

When I don’t see fortune in front of me,
When my goals have been shot at… and missed,
When the promise land sounds more like an amusement park than something to cling to,
When I’m selfish,
When the future is hard to swallow,
When my expectations fall so short.

In these moments of uncertainty
And discouragement,
And fear,
My God,
Help me tackle hope.

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