Saturday, July 10, 2010

Do you really pray when someone asks you?

Really, do you? Or do you just say you will or smile and nod... give the impression that you will pray and then don't, for whatever reason?

I do. I pray all the time. I have lists of people that I pray for. My Mama and I are always exchanging prayer requests, so are me and the besties. I get e-mails and FB requests for prayer. I don't ask for specifics, but if someone says "I need some prayers" I am there, praying. And I tell them I am praying.

I think it is important to let people know that you are praying for them.

I pray for people whether or not I like them or know them well. I put particular effort into those because it can sometimes be more difficult to approach with an open heart, but I still do it.

See, my take is that people don't ask for prayers unless they really need them. I find that praying for others lightens my personal burdens.... approaching prayer with an open heart can lift me up higher than most other things.

God doesn't care about your religion, or the religion of the person you are praying for... he cares that you are praying. I approach casually, God and I have an understanding... I think that ritual is great for Church, but I want God to be a part of my daily life, my friend and mentor, so I speak to him like a friend. It makes praying so much easier and normal for me - and I want an attitude of prayer to be normal for me.

Believe it or not I was criticized for the way I pray a few times.

One person told me that I should always address the Lord as "Father God". When I asked her where it said that she kind of spluttered at me and said that was just the way it was supposed to be.

One person told me that God wouldn't listen to prayers that weren't written in the Book of Common Prayer used by the Episcopal Church. I laughed at her. Then I told her that I was Episcopalian and had never been taught that. She never spoke to me again. I pray for her every day.

Yet a third person asked me if I really thought God was listening to me as I wasn't approaching humbly and penitent.... I gave the only response I could... God knows what is in my heart and makes that decision, no one else should presume to know the state of my soul.

Prayer should be open communication between the individual and God, regardless of religion or the form in which the prayer takes. Prayer should be uplifting. Prayers are answered - with a feeling, an accidental meeting with someone that needs to be in your life, or more obvious signs and signals... you can only "see" them if your heart is open to the working of the Lord. Just facts.... having had several prayers answered I know this to be true. Of course, many go unanswered which is an answer within itself.

Anyway.... do you pray? Do you mean it? I hope so.

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