Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When Prayer Isn't Enough

My friend taught me a lesson yesterday. Generally speaking this is nothing new. Each day I am constantly learning and relearning lessons retold by those I respect. This is one such friend but this was not the same such lesson.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
-- Matthew 6:6
It is no secret that I'm not the most empathetic person in the world. But as time passes, wounds heal, and faith matures, I find I've become more so with each day. As I watch my friend calmly handle those challenges life throws with grace and composure my desire to pray was physical and immediate.

In truth, I think I get that from my father who is a prayer warrior of indomitable resolve. In no way would I compare my meager measure with his full treasure but if through vicinity and not vocation some small smatter of him no doubt has rubbed off on me.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
-- Luke 18:1
Like my father, when faced with trials of my own my first response is to pray. When faced with a friend under fire, the visceral reaction attempts to vomit from my lips without restraint, "Can we pray?"

Unfortunately, in the workplace and other certain social settings, it is important to exercise restraint; to recognize that sometimes remaining circumspect is the most effective use of my life as His reflection.

How do I reconcile my faith system that asserts the most effective support I can proffer is to pray, with the world view rooted only in words and actions? Once again, I learn how powerless I must become when all I can offer is prayer to a world that doesn't value it.

At least I have prayer to console my heavy heart. What despair must be felt by one without faith?

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