Sunday, March 14, 2010
How do you pray?
As I mentioned earlier Tom and I have a few loved ones who are ill and for some, things are not looking so good.
We were talking about their circumstances and options and I asked him if we could pray together. He thought that was a good idea. We folded our hands and closed our eyes.
He starts out with "Our Father, who art in heaven..."
My eye pops open, "What are you doing?"
"But you're just saying the Our Father."
"Yes, it's a prayer."
"But how is God going to know who you're praying for?"
"I'm thinking about the person while I'm saying the prayer."
"Ok Pope John Paul, how do YOU pray?"
"Well first, I tell God the person's name and where they are, and what their situation is."
"Uh, Laura? Don't you think he already knows that???"
"Yes Tom. I'm sure he does, but I like to give a quick overview so he knows exactly who I'm praying for. It's a big world."
"After I give a brief bio, I talk to him about the person and tell him how good/loving/caring/, whatever their qualities are, and give him a human perspective of this person's life on earth."
"Again don't you think he knows that too?"
"Of course. But that's from HIS perspective. He doesn't judge, he loves everyone. So I just want him to know that we love them too and would like them to continue to stay here on earth, with us, if they are able to heal."
"And if they're not able to heal?"
"Well then God is the only one who can take away their suffering. That's why I don't feel comfortable asking or begging him to PLEASE keep them here with us, if it means a lifetime of suffering for them. That's selfish. Look at it this way, either they are going to suffer as they live out their life on earth, or we are going to suffer their loss when they leave us to live in peace*. No matter what, someone always suffers."
"That's true. So do you want to start the prayer?"
"Ok. Give me your hands." (deep breath, helps me focus) "Hey God, it's me again-"
(Tom interrupts) "Hey God??"
"Oh he's fine with that."
"If you say so."
We held hands and continued to pray together. At Tom's suggestion we ended with an Our Father because he felt that sort of wraps up the prayer session and ties everything together.
*foot note: I've never been comfortable with the phrase, "rest in peace." Our soul lives on when we leave this earth so I feel
that saying "live in peace" is more appropriate. And I HATE the abbreviation of R.I.P. It seems insincere and rushed. And it reminds me of a cartoon tombstone.
Posted by Me at 6:13 PM