January 18, 2011

My 25-Cent Take on Prayer

"That and a quarter will get you nothing."

Sad words.
Spoken by someone I love.
Referring to prayer.

I have mentioned before that my spiritual life is not what it should be.

I rarely attend church, even though I grew up going to Mass with my Catholic mom (and agnostic dad). A big reason I don't attend is because Daniel "cannot." We would receive too many stares, from too many ignorant people. And, in all fairness, he would be a disruption. (Although I think God would say, "So what? He is as much my child as any other." You know, suffer the little children to come onto Me, and all that.)

I also must confess that I am no Biblical scholar. I do, and believe, any number of things that the leadership of the Church would condemn.

But ....

I believe in a higher power. More specifically, I believe in God.

And ....

I would never, ever say that prayer is worthless.

I know many people feel that way. It doesn't make them bad people. Some of the smartest people I know are atheists or agnostics, and they are good, moral people.

But prayer is never meaningless. To even suggest a thing, I think, is insulting-- and, well, ridiculous. Even if the atheists are right, and there is no God, prayer has meaning.

When we pray, we recognize that we are not infallible. We acknowlegde our own limitations.

When we pray for others, we acknowledge our love for them. And, call me crazy, but I believe there is value to positive thoughts, expressed in a focused, sincere way. They sure as heck don't hurt anything.

When we pray, we reject evil. And without a doubt I believe there is plenty of that lurking in this world. All too often it is cleverly disguised--the "helpful" person is really just a shyster with a selfish agenda, hoping to manipulate, and willing to destroy those who stand in the way. I can't help but wonder if people who have turned from prayer with disdain have done so because they have been overtaken by a force of evil.

When we pray we are true to ourselves--our fears, our hopes and our insecurities.

And, perhaps most of all, when we pray, our hearts cannot help but soften.

I have prayed many times for my son, and what I have asked for has changed over the years, as I have reached greater amounts of acceptance with regard to his disability.

I will never understand how God operates. I do not expect to wake up one day and find that my child's limitations miraculously have been removed. I do believe, though, that prayer can only help me be a better mom--and surely the good Lord knows He has not heard a lot from me lately.

So, tonight, as I stop to consider the words I noted above--when I think about how uncomfortable I was with the sentiment--I vow to seek solace in some praying of my own.

I will acknowledge my limitations and ask for greater patience.
I will ask that He one day bring words, in whatever form, to my son. And to Clark, and Rhema, and all the children whose lives are touched by autism and developmental disabilities.
I will ask Him to help my daughter be the kind of sister her brother will need.
I will ask Him to heal my son's broken foot, and my broken heart.
I will ask that He help deliver my loved ones from evil.

And I will go to bed knowing that my prayers have meaning--meaning beyond measure.


  1. oh so true you have nailed it on the head for me i so got that ,i dont go to church i dont even no all the bible but what i do know is that i beleive in god i pray most days tho i could spend more time in prayer for sure ... i try to be the best person yet im not perfect i stumble and fall most days weather it be bye losing my patients with the kids or what ever ..our youngest is 3 and all though she is going through some assesments she is a handfull and so very differnt from her older siblings yet she is truley a blessing a gift from god i think he gave her to me to teach me to have more patients ..lol i feel very blessed to have been giving the opertunity to be a mum to 4 beautiful children ..and i know what you mean bye the stairs that you get its so wrong ..as i said my youngest is some what diruptive in places that are crowded and i get all sorts of stairs ,nasty looks and what not i used to be embarrest but not any more i ignore or if im feeling very stressed i glare back with a mind ya busness look ...lol
    take care Heidi :-)

  2. oh, prayer has meaning and power. and i am proof. because just seeing my daughter's name in your post and knowing that you even just once uttered a prayer on her behalf has me in tears. THANK YOU, Leah.

    Dear Lord, thank you for Olivia. Thank you for the help and joy she is to her mother. I pray for Olivia that you would protect her heart and fill her with a deep abiding peace. That you would continue to grow her compassion for her brother and help her to be the sister he needs. I pray for Daniel that you would pour blessings down on him. Please bring words - increase his understanding, help him to communicate, settle him in his skin. Thank you for blessing him with things he enjoys like pool time. I lift Leah up to you. I ask that you would make yourself known to her more and more, that she would know she's not alone. Heal her broken heart. Surprise her with joy. Give her an extra dose of strength and patience in this very moment. Bless this family, with all my heart, I pray, knowing that you always hear.