Pray With Me, Please

praying-hands-by-unsplash-com

Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness. (Psalm 143:1 NRS)

Yesterday my son started an internship.  A recent graduate in a slow job market, we were all very excited when he got a ten-week opportunity for a job in his major. Knowing well Houston pre-dawn gridlock, I suggested he leave a bit before 6am.  I pulled on my running shoes at 5:45 planning to have a few moments together before he left.

I found my husband alone in the kitchen reading the paper, “Where’s Craig?”

“He left a while ago.”

My heart sank. “He left?!”

“He woke up early and wanted to get a jump on the traffic. What’s wrong?”

“It’s okay. I just wanted to pray with him before his first day.”

Disappointed, I headed out for five miles. Well, I could pray FOR him even if I couldn’t pray WITH him.  While dodging bats hunting mosquitos by streetlight I prayed about his commute, about his first day nerves, about his co-workers. As a bat swooped a bit close for my liking I also prayed about the various critters he would encounter on his day of environmental field work. I prayed for him throughout the miles, but somehow it just wasn’t the same as praying with him.

We’d had a tradition back in elementary school and beyond that we would pray together each day as he left for school. Maybe it was about a test, or a busy day, or any of the thousand things important to him. It was just part of the rhythm of the morning. So much so that when I started seminary many years ago he came running down the stairs as I was leaving, “Mom! You can’t leave for school until we pray!”

That connection is the biggest difference between “praying for” and “praying with.” God is faithful and hears our prayers either way. Still, when we pray together it forms us, it weaves into the fabric of our relationships. It’s a blessing to hear aloud the prayers that others offer on our behalf. It shapes our own prayers when we are not even sure what we should be praying for. It reminds us again that we are not alone.

He got home in the late afternoon tired and excited, eager to share with me everything he’d done that day.

“I’m so glad it all went well! I prayed for you today.”

“I know, Mom. I know.”

Faithful God, Our prayers are wishes of our souls that we whisper to you. Help us to teach our children how to nurture that inner voice that longs to be heard by you. Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

Image Praying Hands courtesy of unsplash.com via Pexels

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2 thoughts on “Pray With Me, Please

  1. This is such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing! Is it too late to start praying with my son? He just started high school. We moved him from the public school where he had much support to a Catholic high school where therebid modest support….squeaky wheel kind of thing yet I hope to guide him to seek help before any sqeaking :). Do you have prayer suggestions to start us? Thank you so very much!
    Amy 🙏

    1. Hi Amy! It’s never too late to start a routine of prayer. I suggest three things to set a pattern to a daily prayer. 1) There are so many aspects to God, so I name the aspect of God my child need most that day “Inspiring God,” “Protecting God,” “Comforting God,” “Courageous God” … 2) I thank God for something, whether it’s the beauty of day, the chance for an education, the teachers at school, the challenge of a test. Sometimes I just thank God for my son and all the things that are wonderful about him 3) Ask a specific request for the day, “Send a friend at lunch time,” “Calm his nerves for his test so that all he has worked so hard to learn shines through,” “Encourage his gift of writing.” It’s nice to track answered prayers! It makes for a specific prayer that just takes a moment during the rush to get out the door. Let me know how you get on and feel free to be in touch. Blessings!

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