Praying with a Villanelle

Now there is a catchy title!

I love that we can communicate with the One Who made us, anytime or anywhere. Prayer is a posture of the heart toward the Holy. It is listening, lamenting, praising and expressing ourselves in word, song or even a poem.

And the beauty of it is that we all can pray… even a villain. 😊
But the word villanelle is a poem, a rather restrictive form of lines, and repetitions.

According to an article posted on, the villanelle is a very old form of poetry that came from France and has lots of rules. It is made up of 19 lines; five stanzas of three lines (tercet) each and a final stanza of four lines (quatrain). As you can see from the rhyme scheme; ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA, this type of poem only has two rhyming sounds. Plus, there is a lot of repetition throughout the villanelle. Line one will be repeated in lines six, 12 and 18; and line three will be repeated in lines nine, 15 and 19. So I thought I’d try it, and turned it into a prayer:

I lifted a prayer
a poem too, unique
it took time to prepare.

I crafted with care
the words I would speak
I lifted a prayer.

Songs of praise I will share
God’s presence I seek.
it took time to prepare.

What shall I compare
to these moments so sweet
I lifted a prayer.

I sit in my chair
Distractions must flee
It takes time to prepare.

Joy, grief, despair,
I hide nothing from You
I lift up a prayer.
It took time to prepare.

Prayers can be written, or spontaneous. This simple piece of art was also a way to pray. Limited to a circle, it was confined, but not perfect.

Prayer Poem

Prayer Poem

I’m convinced we cannot put God in a box, (or a circle!) and I’m delighted that we can express our words and prayers in so many ways. Now, who is up to writing a villanelle?

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