Thursday, March 7, 2013

Power of Prayer = Joy

For a few years now, I have had a crisis of religion.  My Church has been experiencing growing pains...not wanting to move into the modern era as quickly as I would hope...not accepting responsibility for the institutional frailties of being a human construct while endeavoring to be omniscient…The Church hasn’t felt like MY Church for a while…but I still have hope.  That being said, rest assured, I do not have a crisis in faith. 

I believe in a higher power.  I believe I am a creation and a part of creation.  I also believe that I am invested in that creation…I am to care, engage and act to the best of my abilities for the good of creation.

A long time ago, my mother taught me to pray.  She assured me God, Mary, Jesus and all the angels and Saints listen.  She taught me that my prayers matter and that I shouldn’t feel disillusioned if my will and God’s will didn’t quite mesh.  I needed to trust that the answers I seek and the answers I need might be different…and that is okay.

She also taught me that I am never alone…that God is with me, but if I felt too small or unworthy of His attention, He blessed me with a Guardian Angel.  I thought this was great and I named my Guardian Angel, Fred. 

I haven’t told many people about Fred; mostly because he is my angel.  But, also because people who talk to angels can be viewed as a bit…um…weird.  So, if you think me weird, that is on you.  Fred helps me with that “serving creation objective”. 

As a mother, I taught my daughters to pray.  We pray in the moment at lot of times.  For example, whenever we hear the sirens of emergency vehicles, we pray for the safety of all concerned…that the rescuers find strength and courage and the victims find hope and peace.  When we see something beautiful in nature…we thank our Maker for the gift of that beauty.  And when we find ourselves weak or at fault, we pray for humility, the grace to ask for forgiveness and the gift of  patience.

I pray every day for people who have touched my life in some way, shape or form.  I pray for strangers when I hear news of a challenge that faces them. I pray that God’s will be done and that all who are touched by this can find comfort, even if the answer isn’t what we expect.  I also pray for the strength to keep praying.

Lately, I have been busy praying…some people know I am praying for them but many do not.  I believe in the power of prayer and acts of faith.  I prayed for us all that tragic day in Newtown, CT.  I pray for my friend’s daughter who is battling cancer…and I pray for him…that he continue to have faith and strength during this battle. I pray for my friend and her family who are struggling with addiction.   I pray for my children, that they find joy in each day and that each decision they make brings them happiness. I pray they find companions worthy of their goodness and love.   I prayed for a neighbor who went overseas to do God’s work…that she discovers she is the answer to some young girls’ prayers. I pray for a mother who is struggling with depression and the estrangement with daughter and grandchild. I pray for our President.  I pray for world peace. I pray for a long distant friend who had to make a very difficult decision about letting a beloved pet go to another home… I have a long list of prayers…I trust that God will answer these prayers for the good of His creation.

Over the weekend, a young man from Medford got lost skiing.  I heard the story on the news and I said a silent prayer…God be with this boy…give him strength to return to his family.  Bless those who are searching for him. 

I also asked Fred to go and be with him.  I prayed that my Guardian Angel keep him safe and stave off his fears.  I believe in angels…and I hoped mine would take my prayers to this boy and his family.  I send Fred on rescue missions all the time…

When I woke up on Tuesday, I tuned into the TV morning news and saw the distraught aunt of the missing boy, talking about her nephew…I prayed again…and a short time later…prayers were answered.  I offered a prayer of thanksgiving…and I felt buoyed…I guess it was Fred.  I immediately realized my prayer had been answered and I felt joy.  I am glad God and I saw eye to eye on this one.

You may think I am off my nut, but this ritual…this practice of prayer…it makes me feel connected to you.   I believe my prayers made a difference for this kid…his name is Nicholas Joy…I like to think that this is more than coincidence.  Joy…it is my prayer for you.