In My Opinion
I will pray for you. This at first seems like a benevolent thought. In fact the power of prayer is said to have accomplished many miracles. But what if someone is in fact praying for you because you have a different opinion then they do? Is their prayer than benevolent? Is it okay to use prayer as a weapon.
I find it very offensive to express an opinion and be met with I will pray for you. I want to say I actually would like to offer a prayer for you, it goes something like this. “I pray this person opens their mind and their heart to the ideas of others. I pray this person has the compassion necessary to be in the same room with other folks and see them as people and to love them whether they are the same or different. I pray they shut their mouth long enough to listen and not condemn. “
I was in church one day with my husband. We were in fact at Easter Mass in Hawaii. My husband recited every prayer. I was reading along since I am not Catholic and my version of religion changes right around Easter. When he was done I asked him what was the meaning behind what he just recited? He looked at me and smirked. You see he had been taught those words a long time ago. He has repeated them over the years since he was a boy and as a man he never stopped to evaluate what he was saying. He had never reflected upon his religion. He said, “It is just a prayer we say.”
It started a whole new fascination for me. Do we just believe blindly what we are taught as children? If we hear it repeated enough is it the truth? Whose version of the truth is it? What happens if our teacher didn’t give us the right message? I believe like the game of telephone some received the message and some did not and some got the wrong number.
If we all believed and thought the same things, look at all we would miss out on. The world would still be flat and you can’t possibly get from point A to point B in minutes instead of days. The ingenuity of water coming out of a faucet in your kitchen would have never happened. We have in fact sent people to the moon. In my lifetime I have seen the Shuttle explode while watching from a field. I have seen Women take over powerful positions in the world. I have even seen a President who doesn’t look like the previous Presidents hold office. I have seen people being judged on what matters, who they are, not what they look like, their religion, or their gender. I have seen people seek information instead of just follow.
I have seen prayer work and I have seen prayers go unanswered. I believe in the power of prayer but I also believe in the power of the people. I believe sitting around and praying is not as effective as standing and doing. I believe prayer is powerful but your intentions need to be pure. We are no longer being indoctrinated into one way of thinking. If you disagree with someone stop and ask them about their position, learn something from them. Do not discount their beliefs, ideas, or actions because they are different than what you would have done and smile and say, “I pray for you.”
If I could offer a prayer for our world right now I would pray that everyone looks for the good in others, that we focus our attention on how we can help one another. I would love for everyone to see how we are similar instead of different. I pray that the lady that offered me a prayer because I asked a question learns to question her beliefs and her ideology so that she can grow in her understanding of others. I want her to save her prayers that are offered in judgment for the people who need them. The baby on life support, the woman who is being abused, the person on their deathbed who hasn’t made peace with their children, those without jobs or houses, or running water, those who can’t speak their mind or practice their religion, those who can’t walk out of their home for fear of being killed. I hope she prays that we as a country, world, and universe have the power to help every person to ask questions until we have answers no matter how difficult the question or resolution is. I also PRAY she doesn’t use the word “prayer” like the people from the south use “well bless your little heart.”