Whenever I read that somebody is “praying for” so-and-so, I tend to roll my eyes and scoff at it. And I’m not really sure why.
Maybe I was burned one too many times by my Southern Baptist roots. When I peruse Facebook and see that Sally is sick and people respond with statements like “I’m praying for you” – I instantly feel this indescribable hurt inside. My mind instantly makes this person one of those Christians who doesn’t like my kind. The kind that say words like “abomination” and quote 6 scriptures from the Old Testament.
Now, I know that all Christians aren’t like that. I have some wonderful, dear friends who are both Christian and love me. So, why do I think “prayer” is a dirty word? Do I think that gay people can’t use prayer? Do I think that liberals can’t tell a friend that they’re “praying for them”? I’m just not sure.
The other day I heard somebody say “I’m sending positive thoughts your way”. Hmmm. I’m not sure if I like that any better. Sure, I didn’t have the nausea-induced feeling that I get when I hear “prayer”, but it was just kinda weird. Is that what people who weren’t raised Christian say? Or is this a phrase used when you don’t wanna offend a non-Christian?
You’re probably wondering why in the world this is on my mind, right? Well, Keithy has been sick for over a week now. And if this were me, it would be no big deal. We all know I’m a total sicky. But this is Keithy – and he never gets sick. And last night as we’re lying in bed, he tells me that even after a trip to the doctor, he’s still not feeling better. I was feeling completely hopeless and helpless, and I just wanted to do something. I wanted to pray for him. But could I? Would I be a hypocrite?
I got on Wikipedia to do a little research. I wanted to know the history of prayer because all I knew it from was my upbringing – the same upbringing that hurt me so much. I read that prayer is used by pretty much every single religion on the planet, and it’s been around for at least 5000 years. Wow. So, maybe I shouldn’t associate prayer with such negative feelings?
So, call it prayer, good vibes, positive thoughts – whatever. I did one for Keithy this morning. And ya know what? It felt good.