Monday, June 8, 2009

Praying

In the last week, it occurred to me that I forgot exactly how to pray.

I've been asking for other people's prayers but when it came to me doing it, I felt like I wasn't doing it right. I had trouble quieting my mind and thinking of eloquent words to say to the sky. Struggling to censor anger and fear with a more pleasant request for leniency and strength.

Last night I listened to the program "Return to the Scene of the Crime" on This American Life. In a segment of the program, local author and sex columnist, Dan Savage, talks about how he grew up Catholic. He came out to his mother in his teens and ever since then he couldn't reconcile the Catholic church's beliefs (for instance, gays going to hell) with all the things he believed (that he was a good person).

His mother was the opposite, she could fit all her beliefs within the confines of the religion, even if her beliefs differed from the Pope's. He called her a good "American Catholic." She believed in birth control and gay rights and that women could be priests and they should all be able to marry.

Because she knew her son had fallen away from the religion she would say, "I know you don't pray, but keep me in your thoughts."

So last night, after hearing this, I kind of decided that to make it easier on myself, to make it less intimidating, I would just think about praying as "keeping you in my thoughts."

I've been praying all day.

I don't find it coincidental that I chose to listen to this podcast last night, just in time to ease my mind. I take it as a sign that God is always listening to me, even though I have trouble talking to him.
You can listen to the radio show HERE. Dan's segment starts at the 38 minute mark.

5 comments:

Hank Cameron Ewing said...

Funny you should post this...I got out my "Catholic Prayers for Children" book that you got Hank for his baptism. I was thinking that I know the "Our Father", I know the "Hail Mary", and I know others that ask for forgiveness, but I don't really have any good ones to just pray for comfort and care. I tend to recite the others over and over, and that calms my mind, but then when I get to, "pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death" I get kinda stumped. Does Fr. Ryan check email?

Hank Cameron Ewing said...

I think Mom would say this one (just did some poking around on the internet):
Serenity Prayer-
Lord God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen
Better...

Love + Marriage said...

I think they use the Serrenity prayer in AA. LOL!
I looked up some more prayers after I read this but I think I'm just better at talking to God in my own words.
This one's pretty good too though...
O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant the help of your power, that her sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Louisasmom said...

I like to say, "Lord, I lift up my beloved friend to you. I pray that her body be healed and that her spirit stays strong. I pray that You stay close to her and that she and her family feel Your presence at all times."

Since your mom is the ultimate mother, I think our Holy Mother would be another good one to ask. Also, I believe in asking for help from our loved ones in heaven- like maybe your grandma?

Love to you.

senorgpandgrammie said...

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for the love of family and friends. I know that in this life we may meet obstacles and uncertainty, but with Your grace and blessing, we are able to face these challenges and accept the outcome, knowing that You will be there, keeping us in Your tender care. I ask that You give me strength and courage, and a lot more years on this dear earth, so that I can hug my babies, and their babies, and their friends' babies...and give raspberries until my lips tingle!! Thanks be to God.