Lord that made the dragon, grant me thy peace,
But say not that I should give up the gold,
Nor move, nor die. Others would have the gold.
Kill rather, Lord, the Men and the other dragons;
Then I can sleep; go when I will to drink.
– C.S. Lewis, ‘The Dragon Speaks’, Poems
I woke up this morning a tad anxious. It happens occasionally to me, and usually passes after I am fully awake. So later, I prayed for peace in my time with God.
And then, in the delightful C.S. Lewis anthology I am reading (A Mind Awake), I ran across the poem above. It was good meditation for me.
You see, Lewis’ dragon also prayed for peace, though he was unwilling to give up his stolen loot. Nor was he willing to change, to die to self. So his prayer was not that God would deal with him so that sleep would come, but rather, that God would deal with others.
Sometimes our prayer for peace should be a prayer of repentance. Not always, but sometimes.
That may or may not be the case for me. I do know that later I prayed another poem, this one from King David:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
-Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)