Praying is a close as our next breath. It is a living place, never far away. It inspires and leads us on. Prayer finds us and bring us home. Praying fills our hearts and empties our minds. In these many or few words, and even saying nothing at all – there is a sensing of time slowing down, sometimes appearing to stop, and a feeling of being held in love.
Almost every day I am praying for someone. Friends and family members. Folks on Facebook. Listening and watching the news. It can be daunting. It can feel overwhelming. Everyone has her own prayer-practice. Mine is to try to stop as soon as I feel the need or when I am asked and say a prayer. Prayers can be words for healing, for strength, for courage. Sometimes I speak a person’s name and say, “Precious child” over and over and over again. Yesterday when Betsey went for her post-surgery follow-up, I said the mantra prayer: “God bless Betsey. Surround her in your love and enfold her in your arms. Surround her in your love and enfold her in your arms. Surround her in your love and enfold her in your arms. And bring her your peace.” When Sam and Daddy John toured Emory, I found myself softly singing, “Open My Eyes That I May See” for this amazing son who is beginning to be on his way to what is his next chapter.
For me, there’s no boilerplate prayer. More importantly there’s no “right, best prayer.” Praying is connecting and re-connecting with our loving, Almighty God.
A few months after Mom died, I clearly heard her voice say, “Time is different here.” And I believe that it is. This place we seek of peace and healing. This Holy One we call to for reassure and relief. This holy time we yearn for where something will change or stay the same. Time is different here speaks to our connections with God being as regular and familiar as our next breath. That close. That easy. Always bringing us life, always as near as that.
(Inhaling) Lord in your mercy (exhaling) hear my prayer. Amen, may it be so.