Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Thought on Petitional Prayer

God, please grant me a bone (and whatever the kid wants). 

Have you ever discovered that you've got so many people you're trying to pray for that you just can't keep it all straight?  And then there's the requisite I-am-a-horrible-Catholic-and-someone-should-punish-me guilt that follows - gotta love that. 

I'm all for praying for people. Sometimes I think it's worth asking whether in the act of asking we change God's heart or our own, our capacity to empathize with others.   But either way, I wonder if we go about it too literally when we worry about whether or not we've actually told God each and every name we've promised to pray for.  Even if we're not conscious of it, I wonder if we're not carrying those we pray for with us every day, maybe even physically, in the way we feel, in the burdens we experience ourselves having.  Maybe the act of saying we will pray for someone opens the door, and once it's open, we are the expression of the prayer.  

Just a little thought that popped into my head last week.  


Ken said...

I'm glad you said it, Jim. I've been thinking that for a while, only because I occasionally make the promise and--yes, I'm a horrible, horrible Catholic person--drop the ball.

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