Prayer is not necessarily something I talk about over wine and lasagna dinners with friends. It’s not the sexiest topic of conversation. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.
Perhaps this all started with my increased awareness of current events. Sometimes, the busyness of my own life keeps me from reading the newspaper. But lately, I’ve been back on a news binge. I watch morning news television while I pound out steps on a treadmill, and I giggle with John Oliver on Sunday nights. And the news is, as you know, depressing. Last week, while watching the coverage of missing people during the Houston floods, I literally was brought to tears in public at the gym. And tears bring hope. And for me, hope brings prayer.
I don’t care to whom/what you pray. I don’t care if you pray in church or a synagogue or a mosque or in the drive-thru of Popeye’s Chicken. I don’t even care if you don’t want to use the “p” word, but instead just want to call it an inward reflection of gratitude. I actually don’t even care if you pray at all.
But I do care about my own teeny prayers. I don’t talk of them often, but they are there when I need them.
My mother is a woman who talks about prayer. I think the lady prays all day long. She tells us that she says prayers for us regularly. And she regularly uses the phrase, “Say A Prayer.” Say a prayer that your pet has a healthy annual exam. Say a prayer that your father doesn’t choke on a Triscuit. Say a prayer that the rat snake in the front yard moves to Mississippi. Say a prayer for our veterans, children, zookeepers, cheese makers, nurses, pilots, farmers, machinists, and gin-makers. My mother prays as often as she breathes.
I, on the other hand, probably pray as often as I sneeze. (Not often, but when I do…they come in spurts.) They pop up in sad moments when I step over a turtle who has fallen victim to a Honda Accord. Or happy moments when I step off King Da Ka roller coaster in one piece. They happen in quiet moments when I’m in awe of the little Lady’s Slipper orchid growing in my backyard. Or in loud moments when lightning is crashing around my house and I’m grasping to a pillow in fear.
My prayers aren’t much to speak of. Just little admissions of joy and hope. Nothing biblical. Nothing with hands folded towards the sky. Just little somethings for the sake of a bigger something.
But they do make the day a little more meaningful. And they give me something to focus on when I step on a roller coaster or into a hospital. Prayer may not be the most exciting topic to discuss, but during the most exciting times of my life, it’s what I rely on.