We have often heard friends complain about a distressing event, death of a relative, sickness, loss of a job, or a monetary setback. They often end their stories with a special plea: “Pray for me.”
Supportive friends send their best wishes, promise to pray or share some special ‘vibes’.
We see terrible scenes on TV news and wonder why, and we pray. But the disasters and killings intensify and our prayers are not answered.
I read somewhere that America is a praying country, and the older we get, the more we pray. An impressive 48% of Americans ages 18 through 29 pray every day, the Pew Research Center reports. For the 50 through 59 age group, the number grows to 61%, and the 70-plus crowd is downright pious, checking in on a daily basis.
Prayers are like letters that flutter upward, missive of gratitude or requests for blessings. Some people pray every day, some only on special occasion. For some prayers are like urgent calls of help sent to God. “SOS I need you right away.”
When I was small my parents taught me to recite a bed prayer: “God Bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy, my big brother, my little sister and all the people I love.”
I did the same with my children and grandchildren.
Many remember the famous paragraph from the Gospel, “Ask and you will be given. Knock and the door will open for you.”
Right now we are praying for my husband’s niece. She’s 43, has two children 10 and 7 and she’s been battling colon and then lung cancer for three years. She’s undergone several surgeries, radiation and chemo therapy. She’s fighting with all her will, to live and be allowed to see her children grow. Family and friends have organized a chain of prayers for her, and we refuse to believe the doctors’ prognosis that she has only three years to live, if lucky.
So do you believe in the power of prayer? Do prayers change things?
What if God doesn’t seem to listen and your prayers are not answered?