Thoughtful, Heartfelt Prayer

The concept of prayer has been in my thoughts a lot lately because it has been a very important part of my cancer journey. That includes my prayers and the prayers of those of you who have been praying for Sue and me. I imagine that there are almost as many ways of praying as there are people praying. This thought process has led me to examine the spirit with which I pray.

I’ve gone from more ritualistic prayer to more prayer from the heart. I think of it as more of a conversation where I say what I have to say and imagine God’s side of the dialog. In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Rick Warren references authentic prayer or worship. He reminds us that Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart and soul; with all of your mind and strength.” Only thoughtful, heartfelt prayer fulfills this command.

In my conversations with God, I’ve tried to focus on making these conversations thoughtful. I find myself looking forward to the next opportunity to give thanks, ask for God’s intercession, remember people on my prayer list or simply to receive the peace of mind that a conversation with God can bring. As our son Thomas wrote in the blog Welcome, “With the combination of God’s grace and good medicine, the future is bright.” I pray for that for sure.

My friend, Cheryl Orkis, sent me a card with a cute story involving prayer.

It seems that the church service had started and everyone’s attention was turned toward the Pastor as he delivered the words of his sermon. Because the church had no nursery, one couple had the privilege of having their active 3-year-old daughter sitting in the pew with them.

She had been appropriately instructed to be quiet, but after many admonishments, her father found it necessary to take her outside for a little conference. This was not here first trip outside with Daddy, and she understood the significance. She also understood the significance of prayer!

For as her dad picked her up and was walking down the aisle to the back of the church, she reached over his shoulders with her arms outstretched to the congregation and the Pastor, and proceeded to call out to all who would listed: “Y’ALL PRAY FOR ME!”

Update – This was my week off and all is well. Tomorrow we leave for Pittsburgh to attend our granddaughter’s wedding. We are looking forward to a safe trip and joyous weekend. I have an Oncologist visit and infusion scheduled for next Wednesday and a stent procedure scheduled for next Thursday. Keep up the good prayers!