What do you pray for?

I was visiting with a woman the other day about her involvement in a yoga class. She returns to Mexico every year to teach a group of woman that have come to depend upon her wisdom. While she loves the trip every year, the journey has come to be more about the connection with others like herself. Her husband works at a golf course so they can play for free and they have lived in an RV on the beach. This year though, because of failing health issues, they have rented an apartment. She is returning to teach yoga.

Her life, like so many women, is about supporting those around her.
A step-granddaughter, a niece and her own daughter are the people that come up in every conversation. Meditation has become a healing art for her and is an integral part of her life.

We were standing in her kitchen talking with another friend about the mornings and the time they both spend alone thinking, meditating, praying. One has prayed in the mornings all of her life and is a lifelong member of the Catholic church. The other is also Catholic but she has turned to yoga and meditation has replaced her prayers…or at least she thought it had. It was when a family member was struggling, she realized that she was not clearing her mind and going to a place that made HER happy. Instead she was going to a place where her only thought was to somehow give her family strength and courage. She was, she discovered, simply praying.

That was only the beginning. It was what she was praying for that caught my attention. The language of prayer she employed held words like “outcomes” and “strength”. In her words, “I cannot pray for the outcome…I do not know what is best or even if there can be a good result. All I can ask for over and over is that God grant us all the strength and courage to get through this.” I thought that was very wise. A prayer for calm, strength, courage, peace are prayers that I think God will always answer…and the answer will be yes if we let it .

We are all faced with difficult times. It does not even matter who or if anyone is to blame. We can gather in market places and churches to pray for outcomes. There can be prayers for world peace or the release of a prisoner or the healing of a sick loved one. The list of humanity’s need are so long that we cannot wrap our mind around them. We need to know that our wealth is and always has been in our hearts…not in our bank accounts. Some things are just simply part of life and death. I can honestly say that I believe the pleas that will be answered are those that ask for dignity, strength and humility. When we have those things we can find the wisdom act to change those things that can be changed. That is where the answers will be found.



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