There are times when the world, instead of being the solid stage on which we conduct our affairs, instead of enveloping us in its massive givenness, seems to totter at the cliff’s edge. The news announces financial meltdown, the friend who seemed forever young dies, the best plans and provisions crumble. What does the future hold? Maybe, a monastic friend predicted half-seriously, we’ll end up huddled around a fire, eating bear meat. Though we laugh this off, there’s no denying the sense of precariousness that runs below our activities like an underground stream. Prayer is the best remedy; but as the apostle Paul says, we don’t know how to pray as we ought.