Tag Archives: prayer

We Have Only Today

I was watching TV last week and came across an episode of 8 Simple Rules. I never watched it when it was on the first time. I soon realized what was happening. The wife played by Katey Sagal was deciding she couldn’t sleep in her bed because it was the first night after the funeral of her husband, played by John Ritter. Since that was the only episode I have seen, I realized the series was using the death of Ritter as part of the script. I remember how quickly he had died. On the series, they took the attitude that life goes on.

Last week a member of the choir sang two solos during church. He has been through some very rough spots in his life but as he sang, it was obvious that he was in a very good place. Things were coming together for him. One of the songs he sang was Carolyn Arends song “New Year’s Day.”

I buy a lot of diaries 
Fill them full of good intentions 
Each and every New Year’s Eve 
I make myself a list 
All the things I’m gonna change 
Until January 2nd 
So this time I’m making one promise 

CHORUS: 
This will be my resolution 
Every day is New Year’s Day 
This will be my resolution 
Every day is New Year’s Day 

I believe it’s possible 
I believe in new beginnings 
‘Cause I believe in Christmas Day 
And Easter morning too 
And I’m convinced it’s doable 
‘Cause I believe in second chances 
Just the way that I believe in you 

This will be my resolution 
Every day is New Year’s Day 
This could start a revolution 
Every day is… 

One more chance to start all over 
One more chance to change and grow 
One more chance to grab a hold of grace 
And never let it go 

He’s the type of guy who can really make others feel good. We believed him when he sang of changing and growing and grabbing grace. He made  us all feel good. He made us believe that every day we should resolve that this is our best day. That was Sunday.

Yesterday morning he posted on FB for his friends to pray for his daughter. She had stopped breathing and was rushed to intensive care in Tennessee where he had spent days at Christmas. She was on a ventilator. He updated last night that neurological signs were not good. An hour ago he posted that his daughter was with her mom among the angels in heaven.

The 8 Simple Rules script had the teenage children talking about the last things they said to their father. They were deep in grief for suddenly losing him.

I’m sure my friend is in deep mourning for the loss of his daughter. As far as I know she never regained consciousness. I wonder if he remembers his last conversation with her.

Our lives can be as normal as ever and then suddenly without warning everything can come to a screeching halt. Both the show and my friend’s loss brought that home to me. We are not able to always have that last moment to say good bye.

My father and I were not on the best of terms. He was in the hospital and I should have gone to see him even if it would have been out of a sense of filial duty. However, I really didn’t feel like it. I remember exactly where I was when I decided I would wait until the next day. After all, the doctor had said he was doing OK.

About six hours later we got the call from the hospital that he was dead. I did not take the time to say good bye. I can’t remember my last conversation with him. Those times during my senior year in college were few and far between.

I had that one day. Only one day. To tell my father I really did love him…to ask him if he really did love me. I let that opportunity slide by.

I talk with my son a couple times a month and email him a few more. If you have adult male sons you know this is very normal. He is living his own life. But one thing I have realized that we do more often is end up writing or speaking “I love you.” He often initiates it. He is able to do something I had great difficulty in doing. He is teaching me the importance of letting him know and his letting me know that we love each other. It is then that I realize we have only today. If I die suddenly he will remember that the last time we communicated he ended the conversation with love. Namaste. Attic Annie

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Filed under Casual conversation, family, general topics, God, Uncategorized

How do you pray for others?

Good Sunday morning to all! Yesterday I attended a Unity of Texas Prayer Breakfast at the Petroleum Club of Fort Worth. That place is really nice. We were on the 39th floor. At that height, when I look out the window, the cars and trucks approach the size of car models. The sky was overcast with rain clouds approaching, so it was difficult to see too far, but I was able to trace the road leading to my house stretching out to the horizon.

I started a discussion with the prayer chaplain sitting at our table. I related to her a story of something that happened to me two weeks ago in my volunteer job at the hospital. I was making my rounds visiting the new admissions surveying them about their satisfaction for services received so far.

I walked into one room to bed 2 and saw that the patient was asleep. As I passed the patient in bed 1, I noticed that she was crying. No one said I couldn’t stop to talk with other patients, so I took it upon myself to talk with this patient for a moment. I felt the need to listen to her.

I asked if there was anything I could do to help at which time she started to cry harder. She began sobbing  so I could hardly understand her. I asked if I could contact a nurse for her or if she would like to talk with anyone else. She shook her head no and said the nurse had just left.

I felt an overwhelming desire to pray with her. Believe me, that is simply not me. I have never come close to thinking about taking time to pray for someone else when I was with them, let alone a complete stranger.  I stood there gently stroking her arm. I couldn’t bring myself to ask her. You see, for the past five years, I have learned to direct my prayers to Mother-Father God, or Great Spirit, or sometimes simply God. I was afraid that those salutations might not be appreciated by those who pray to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is not that I don’t believe in Jesus. I definitely do. However, as I grew up I could never really understand why my prayers could not go directly to God. I felt the same way of going through Jesus as I do about going through any of the saints or Mother Mary. For those who start their prayers that way, I have no problem with them doing that in any way. I just feel more confident now going directly to God as I now understand God.

Yes, I realize someone is probably going to want to comment to me that we must go through Jesus to get to God, but I’ve never really understood exactly what that meant. I have studied more about the Gospels and what Jesus taught in the past five years than in the previous rest of my life. I am beginning to understand what He said.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t offend this woman if I didn’t start my prayer correctly, so I didn’t pray out loud. I just said a silent prayer instead.

When I related this story, the people at my table started offering suggestions. No sooner did we have that conversation than the program began.

The speaker started out her speech saying many people are afraid to pray for others because they don’t know how to begin their prayers for others. I couldn’t believe it! She asked the question. Then she rattled off the same answers that our table members had just mentioned. She said other things as well.

She said, prayer is where Spirit meets language. It is the Spirit within us which is doing the praying. She commented that we need a prayer for grown-ups. So many pray the same prayers they learned as children.

There is no way to get prayer wrong. That made me feel much better. I found that reassuring. The word prayer is derived from Sanscrit ‘pal al’ meaning “judging ones self wondrously made”. We pray believing it is already delivered. It does no good to pray  begging God for something or trying to make deals with God. The persons praying get what is focused on whether they want it or not.

She said if we offer to pray for others, and the others accept, very seldom will they be offended. If I ever do get into a position again where I feel the need to pray with someone else, I will choose to believe that and give it a try. Namaste. Attic Annie

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