Day 12: Failing at Prayer

Mention prayer pose and there’s a good chance I will think of yoga before contemplating being on my knees at the foot of my bed or sitting in a church pew.  I don’t pray all that often because I’ve never fully understood the concept. I think if people mentioned the failure of prayer around the time of their fucks up as often as they attribute the power of prayer to their positive outcomes, I’d be totally down with the concept.

I didn’t pray for the sun to come up this morning nor have I specifically requested that there be enough oxygen in this room while I’m typing this post. I simply trust that everything is happening as it should be such that my asking, is unnecessary. This goes for brain tumors, money problems, when teenagers drive alone for the first time and anytime the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the playoffs.

Why ask for outcomes without first focusing on origins?  In all other parts of my life, I don’t jump to the end result, first. I simply begin at the beginning, do the work that’s necessary and if I don’t like the outcome, I change my methodology and try again.

When I got MS I didn’t pray for a cure. I gathered information, worked on controlling my stress response and assumed that things would work out the way they are supposed to. (And if there actually is an all powerful, omniscient God controlling my life then surely he or she already knew when the progressive neurological shit had hit my fan. It seemed disrespectful to interrupt the creator of all things to state the obvious.) Once I figured out what was required of me, instead of asking for prayers I specifically asked other humans for what I needed.

My other personal issue with prayer is that there’s always someone else that could use a cosmic, helping hand more than me. As you read this there’s a mom in an active war zone trying to distract her small, scared kids while scraping something together for dinner. Elsewhere there is a 8-year-old child, recently sold into sexual slavery, servicing her 6th John today. Those precious human beings win, hands down, when it comes to prayer requests over anything I could ask for.

And by the way, why they hell aren’t all of THOSE prayers immediately answered via worldwide peace and out of nowhere lightening strikes or heart attacks? Which is my next issue when it comes to invocation. If child rape can’t be obliterated by prayer then what are the odds my MS is going to get taken care of?

Please understand that this is MY ISSUE. Not yours.

If you rely on, love, need, believe in and count on the power of prayer, then by all means pray often. If prayer works for you, I’m truly happy that you’ve found what resonates with your authentic self. I’m not trying to change your mind as much as I’m simply explaining my failure to embrace what so many others find helpful.

I believe in the power of being clear with your intentions while stating them openly and honestly. I believe in the power of thinking positive thoughts and being kind. I believe in the power of asking for what you want and/or need. I believe in trusting that you’ll know what you need to know when you need to know it, and not a moment before.

Maybe these are just other names for prayer minus religion?

Or maybe in the end it’s all the same?


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