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."

"That's interesting."

"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."

"Go on."

"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


Anonymous said...

I'm definitely on the more informal page like you. I think it's great that you all do that together.

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for posting this...I loved it. I just saw R.I.P. on fb today, and thought of you! =( I see what you mean. XOXO

Clippy Mat said...

I love this.
God Bless whomever you prayed for.

Anonymous said...

I think somebody learned to pray from a Judy Blume book......

Stephanie said...

OMG, I have a feeling that is exactly how my hubby and I would played out that situation. Hilarious, well, not the part about the people you are praying for, you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Haha...I was wondering how this conversation was going to go when I saw the first few lines!

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

I love this post! Islam is the most individualist religion of the major ones out there. We don't really have a clergy to act as a medium to God, no priest or father or rabbi. So, yeah, my prayers go something like yours, except they are in Arabic and Pashto. Ha ha!
I speak directly to God, and sometimes it's informal, kind of like "let's chat," and other times it is more Quranic.

What a great post! Really caused all of us to reflect.

Lindsey said...

I cannot stand the word "dead." Like on the front page of a paper.. "Joe Blow DEAD at 56.." ARGH. Just say dies or passed away. Dead is a horrid horrid word.

Lindsey said...

also this post made me think of.. "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret." :)

Tracey Axnick said...

I love the fact that you and Tom prayed together. I think it's wonderful .... and it's also a very powerful thing for a husband and wife to do together.

I agree with KBL... there is no need for an intermediary or "specific" words. Just chat with God like you'd chat with your Dad. He already knows your heart intimately and loves you both very deeply.

Keep praying. It's good for you both. :)