Do you believe in prayers?
Do you believe in a power greater than your own?
Here's what I always wonder about prayers: where do "faith" and "Thy will be done" intersect? How can I have faith in a miracle and also expect that it won't happen if He doesn't so choose? What is expected of me to have "sufficient faith" to receive my prayer's appealing? And if I pray somewhat hesitantly because I know that God knows what is best, does that make my faith less sufficient?
Sometimes it seems that the only stories of faith that are shared are the ones about FAITH OVERCOMING OBSTACLES. Something precious was found, someone found their way home, someone was healed. Cynics, like me, always think silently after such a story is told: that is truly wonderful, but a lot of times it doesn't work out and we should still have faith.
I believe that a Father in Heaven hears my prayers. I believe that He wants the best for me. I believe He wants me to confide and trust in Him and His Son. I believe that if I ask for something, in prayer, that He agrees will help me to become a better person, He will grant it.
Trouble is, I don't know what will make me a better person. God is omniscient--He knows all. I may think that this or that will make me better, but He truly knows what will best form me. So, why should I go around asking over and over for something that I think will make me better when He knows that it won't? He might just give it to me after a time if I keep asking so fervently. And I might have been better without it.
But ask I do. And pray I will.
What of the prayers of many? Do you believe in their power?
I have been the recipient of the prayers of many. Just yesterday, in fact. Without going into detail, I asked for my family to join me in prayer. I can't suppose to know what they said, but I can say that I know that they did. Not because they told me, but because I truly felt it. Truly.
I have had 3 MRIs in the last year. If you have had one, raise your hand. You know what I am talking about when I say that they are loud, and stiff, and can play tricks in your head. Each time, they have scanned my brain. When they do this, you cannot move your head in the slightest or the test will have to restart. (each test can be from 1 - 4 minutes long x 15 - 20 tests)
I always have to swallow saliva. It collects in the back of my throat and I feel like I am going to gag or choke. If I swallow, then my head moves and the test has to be restarted. This happened MULTIPLE times during my 2nd MRI. And I always have to pee. And my head starts to pound. And my feet get unbearably cold. And my shoulder starts to itch. So does my nose. But DON'T MOVE a MUSCLE.
During yesterday's MRI, I felt calmer than normal. Less anxious than normal. The tech even told me that I was doing a "great job." I would have laughed at this if it were my first time, thinking "how can I do a great job by sitting still and doing nothing?" My other MRIs were harder for me to sit still and do nothing. So I was glad.
My anxiety during another test yesterday was also quelled significantly. I cannot describe how calm I felt. But I realized--on more than one occasion--that I was being comforted. That there was a calm presence surrounding me and literal love encompassing my being. Literal love.
I believe in the power of the prayers of many. And I am completely humbled that there are so many that will pray on my behalf.
Humbled that I could be so loved.
What are your thoughts on prayer? Do you believe that with faith you can overcome anything?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Do you believe in prayers?