Thursday, December 12, 2002

Letting Prayers Fly

This has been a busy month for prayer so far. Lots of people sick--some seriously, some not--many people hurting; others struggling with depression around the holidays, or dreading change, or stuck in a rut. Another friend is in danger of losing her house because of financial problems; yet another quit her job after a huge internal struggle and is taking some time off for mental and spiritual housecleaning.

But sometimes when the prayer needs are many I forget something important. I begin to feel burdened and worried. I start a kind of "hand-wringing prayer," in which I plead with God to lighten the burdens of the people on my heart. But when I wring my hands and carry the burden with me, I have not left the need in God's lap. If I'm still carrying the worry for my friend and her financial situation, pleading with God throughout the day to please do something, I am assuming either (1) that he has not heard me, or (2) he for some reason doesn't want to help her and needs my prodding in order to act. I know that both of these things are impossible--God hears our every prayer and he works all things together for our good. (And he certainly doesn't need me to play Moses and try to talk him into something other than what he thinks is best.) When I focus on my worry instead of his grace, my prayers never get higher than my ceiling, because I won't let them go.

Our lives are created in partnership with God--every moment, every breath, every thought. We can never be apart from him. We can be unaware of our oneness with him and with each other, but never separated from it. When I focus on God's love and life--in my friends who are sick, or in financial need, or under stress--I know that he is more than able to heal, solve, move, and act in their lives and in the lives of all those they love. What is there to worry about? I'm going to trust those prayers and let 'em fly. :) k

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