Sometimes the only appropriate response to life is prayer. When I start to feel overwhelmed, when friends have problems I can’t even begin to fix and I start to feel immobilized, then I am so grateful that I can go to God and hand it over. Oh, yeah, I still try to wrestle it back from time to time, but I’m getting (a little) better about that.
I pray for my friends and their needs, those they’ve shared with me and those they may never speak out loud. I pray for people I’ve never met. I pray for our economy, for the people who make the decisions that will end this recession, for all the people who are fearful, and those whose faith is slipping and those who have never had any faith at all. I pray that people at the end of their rope will find strength for another day, that people who have enough to share will share and be blessed by that sharing, that God will give each of us a clear sense of his presence and his hand on our lives. I pray that we will all be able to trust that God will meet our needs and that his plan is indeed perfect.
At the end of prayer time, are my friends healed? Is everyone fully employed and all the bills paid and businesses thriving and the future so bright we’ve gotta wear shades (I love that song)? No. Not at all. But the end of the story is already written and the author is pleased with the way it ends. Prayer works (Larry Dossey, MD has done a great deal of work with this, as have others), it matters and that at the end of the day, we’ll all be okay.
(of course, there are also prayers of praise and thanksgiving…I don’t mean to imply that life is so difficult that I never sing and raise my hands and feel overcome with joy…it’s just not that way today)