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How to Pray?

My mom Olive asked her older sister Hazel this question. I was little and wondered what the heck mom needed to pray about? Was something bad in the works, was trouble coming? Hazel replied, “Just speak to God as though you were talking to me or another friend. Let the thoughts and words in your mind take shape and say them silently.” That sounded good to me.

As I grew up, I got adept at saying thanks for good deeds done. I held a job as an activity director with older people and it was like having a battalion of schoolmarms on my case, all the time eagle-eyeing my manners and deportment. So, I began prayers heavily weighted toward thank you for gifts received.

As a single mother raising a teenager, I begged for courage, patience, guidance, and sometimes the ability to get through another day. In time, my boy grew up into the smart, sweet, loving person and good friend he is today. Bob and Olive were always there for us, and I still thank God for them.

During the worst of the pandemic, I asked for help to communicate through face masks. I missed seeing facial expressions and smiles but, most of all, being able to read lips. Almost all hard-of-hearing people rely to some degree on cues from the changing position of the lips in speech. I give thanks for my hearing aid, the computer, and other modern, energy, and time-saving conveniences so often taken for granted.

Today, I pray for friends as they struggle through illness, life changes, lessening abilities, and deaths. As the world seems intent upon destroying itself, I pray especially hard for world peace. I pray for the people of all ages escaping war zones wearing their best, most cherished apparel, pulling wheelie suitcases, with kids, or elders in tow. They look a whole lot like all of us setting out on a trip. That they are uprooted, homes and lives destroyed sickens me. I refuse to watch the news because it makes me cry. One day at a time, I keep reminding myself. I pray that the lion will lie down with the lamb, and that peace can reign overall.

Bobbin-olive has prayer journals for you to track ongoing topics and concerns. Doing so is a good idea. You can look back and see how often trivial things seemed earth-shaking and congratulate yourself for getting through it. Aunt Hazel was wise and her prayer advice excellent. Often though, the Lord’s Prayer is my go-to. It’s soothing and immediately aligns me with my higher power, God.

Write in your prayer journal about how YOU pray. Some day one of the kids might need your guidance. GET THE IMPORTANT THINGS ON PAPER NOW.

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