Editor’s Note: Contributor Christine Moughamian is blogging each day of Lent about her progress becoming “one brave Christian.” Follow her experiment on Twitter @1bravechristian.
You’re caught in traffic, bumper to bumper, late to pick up your child.
Or you find another bill in the mail, not the check you need.
Or your friend tells you she’s sick, she lost her job and her boyfriend broke up with her.
Don’t you want to “do” something about it?
You want to honk and rev up the engine, don’t you? Or blame the economy and look for a job you’ll hate, though it pays the bills? Or tell your friend what to “do” next?
If you’re like me, you’ve been there, done that.
At some point, we realize to “do” something out there may not be the best action we can take at first. For me, it happened right around the gazillionth time I heard myself say: “Don’t just sit there! Do something!”
Then I read a quote by the Rev. Martin Luther King: “God, I have so much to do today, I need to spend another hour on my knees.”
Although he didn’t write the word, King implied when he had an extra workload, he prayed.
That caught my attention.
A few years ago, I was the prayer ministry chair at Unity of Wilmington. I facilitated retreats and wrote a retreat manual in response to the question of a team member:
“How do we pray?”
I looked up definitions in the dictionary.
PRAY: 1. To utter or address a prayer to a deity or other object of worship.
2. To make a fervent request; plead, beg.
3. To make a devout or earnest request for.
4. To move or bring by prayer or entreaty.
PRAYER: Any act of communion with God, such as a confession, praise or thanksgiving.
It became evident to me that to “pray” is to “do” something. Within. In fact, it may be the most important thing we can do about any situation, at first.
This morning, my “brave Christian” prayer and meditation began with a verse from Philippians 4:6:
“Do not worry over things, but always by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
I prayed for my family with our Unity model of affirmative prayer. I also
called Unity’s 24/7 telephone prayer service, Silent Unity, at NOW PRAY (1-800-669-7729). When I receive a prayer letter from Silent Unity, I put it on top of my prayer box on my altar.
After years of practice, prayer has become the texture of my life.
Before I drive my car anywhere, I say a prayer. When I sit in traffic or hear the sirens of emergency vehicles, I say a prayer. When a friend in need confides in me, I say a prayer.
Last Sunday, I was in the bathroom at church when a girlfriend started telling me about the drastic changes in her life. A few years ago, I might have jumped in to give her some advice.
Sunday, I administered CPR, right there in the bathroom.
CPR is the acronym I coined for our prayer ministry retreats. It outlines the format of our prayer time: Confidentiality. Personal Centering. Respect.
I hugged my friend, then said: “Let us pray.” I held her hands. Together, we took a deep breath in. Then I affirmed the prayer that flowed through me.
“Dear Mother-Father God,
We entrust your Beloved Daughter in your loving care, knowing that you are present in her life, always.
With each breath in, we strengthen our awareness of your presence within.
With each breath out, we release and let go.
Trusting in the power of prayer, we affirm that you are made manifest in your Beloved Daughter as Divine Guidance and Protection, Unconditional Love and Faith in Perfect Outcome.
Knowing that as we prayed, so it is, we give Blessings of Thanksgiving. Amen.”
With tears in her eyes, my friend said “Thank you. I feel much better.” From feeling despondent, she came to a place of inner peace and strength.
And I knew again I had “done” the right thing.
Prayer, that’s where the action is!