Praying: Help! Thanks! Wow!
One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, says the three most earnest prayers are "Help!" "Thanks!" and "Wow!" I have found this to be true. If you ask me to pray for you, you should know that I stop everything I’m doing and say a prayer. If I tell you I am praying for you, those words are not just words.
I literally have stopped my crazy busy life for a moment and said a prayer.
When I pray for someone, which I do at least daily, I find that it is always more complex than simply praying for the individual involved. If there is a death, I pray for the family, but also others in their lives to be patient as they grieve and to inspire them as they move forward. If it is health related, it gets so much more complex: I pray for the patient, for strength for their family, for wisdom and inspiration for their medical team, for calm home lives, sound sleep, stable blood sugar, full bellies, health, and emotional and spiritual wellbeing, open hearts and minds, and inspiration and creativity as they tackle the problem at hand.
I am careful about how I pray - I rarely pray for the outcome. I remember a time another lifetime ago, when I was in an abusive relationship. I prayed and prayed that God would heal my marriage. The answer was “no, I love you too much.” That answer of “no” saved my life. The life I live today is filled with so much love and respect and outright magical moments, I cannot imagine if I had stayed, if things had gotten just enough better for me to not be in constant fear for my safety, I might have stayed. I might have been killed. I prayed and prayed for a specific outcome and every single day, I am thankful my prayers were answered with a “no.”
If I pray for you, when I pray for you, I ask that God help you through whatever lies in your path, that he bless you immeasurably in ways you cannot even conceive of. I pray that you will have strength and courage, because if I am praying for you, you already need both of those qualities. If you are breathing, you already need strength and courage. I pray that you will find the help and love and support you need to make it through whatever life is throwing your way. But I will not pray for the outcome, because I cannot imagine all the rippling impact of what my finite mind may consider the right outcome.
So much goes into every move we make, one choice can impact the lives of countless others. I try to send a lot of positive directed energy out into the world. This morning, I am praying for a friend who is struggling with health concerns, for a friend who lost her beloved dog, for a family watching a child battle cancer, and another who lost a child, for children everywhere who are not safe, who are hungry, who are hurting, for those who struggle with depression, those who self medicate with addiction, and those who love (and hate) them, those whose souls feel empty, those who are filled with hate, those who fight for their marriages and those who are giving up, and so many more. The words "pray without ceasing" begin to make sense. Some days I pray to God. Some days I feel less connected, and I simply pray into space, the universe, mother nature, father time, whoever may be listening or just a figment of my imagination. I have learned that it doesn’t matter how or when, but the intention matters. Sending love into the universe is always the right choice. I invite you, iIf you are inclined, to join me in a mindful moment of sending love and positive energy to those who need it most. There is no wrong way to do it, just do it.