I’ve come back to an old post a lot in the past two weeks. In that post, I explored prayer, what it is, and how to do it. This post, from 2011, addresses how there are many ways to pray and that it’s okay to pray differently. I can’t recall what made me write the post in 2011, what horrible tragedy we were praying for at the time or what change we were hopeful for. But I recall that, in writing that post, it became okay for me to pray in my own way. Usually, that’s silently or in discussion. Rarely in public.
These days, there’s always someone and something to pray for. We ask for prayers on Facebook for everything from a paper cut to a job interview. (So, I may be exaggerating with the paper cut.) And then there are those we pray for and prayer makes a difference. Or it doesn’t.
The past two weeks, I’ve turned to prayer, as have thousands of others, for the recovery of a friend, Amy’s, son. During this time, Amy mentioned that she felt the power of prayer. That she saw changes in her son that could only be from prayer. She needed a miracle. We prayed, in our own ways, from Houston, Texas to West Chester, PA, to Los Angeles, CA to Ireland and Japan, for a miracle.
As I re-read my 2011 prayer-post yesterday, I noticed Jessica’s comment:
I read, in some book, the results of a study that was conducted in a hospital, where one man, in an MRI machine, did not know that a prayer group had gathered outside the room to pray for him.
The MRI registered the “prayers” the group was saying – prayers he did NOT know were being said. (Found the study: http://www.jeanneachterberg.com/achetal.pdf)
I was not a pray-er before I read that, but now? What if spending two seconds thinking healing thoughts to someone actually can make a difference?
Which was so much of what my friend said — she felt the prayers, even the prayers that traveled from Japan. She could feel the power of the prayer. Amy made me a believer.
Amy’s beautiful son passed on yesterday. An intelligent, active and friendly boy who I knew only from Facebook posts. I wish I’d had a chance, I wish my kids had had a chance, to meet David. To meet someone who brought a world together in love and prayer, no matter the method of prayer.
I’ve been friends with Amy since 1993, when we met in college and became sorority sisters. We went on to work together after college in our marketing agency, and then went our separate ways as life moved in. We connected again on Facebook, as has magically happened for so many of our generation.
Through this tragedy, Amy taught me more about religion, about Faith, about Hope and Belief than I ever learned in religion classes growing up, in college or after. I’ve always considered Amy to be a friend with strength, courage and a positive attitude–she put it all out there daily since the day we met. But even more so, recently, I saw these attributes for her son. And, really, for all of us. She was our cheerleader, cheering us on in prayer and love as we prayed for her David.
And now he’s gone. And I want to be angry. Angry because we prayed so hard and our prayers weren’t responded to. Angry because Amy and her husband and daughter are now living with something no family should have to live with. Angry because this beautiful boy will never meet my beautiful boys. Angry because a friend’s son is gone from Earth.
And I am angry. Yet. As angry as I am, I’m turning, once again, to prayer. Because as much as I don’t know about prayer, I know it’s what I can do and what I can offer. And, so, I’m praying for peace. I’m praying that Amy, Dave and Macy will have strength, love, warmth and peace in their lives. That we’ll all have peace. And that David has gone, in peace, leaving behind a world that’s a little more solid and a little more connected.
© 2014, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.