Saturday, December 15, 2012

Power of Prayer

In the past 24 hours, along with all of us, I was moved by the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The loss of life is devastating and the confusion of it all only compounds the enormous sadness of it all.    As I pray for those who were killed on Friday and for their families, these lyrics sung by Marius from Les Miserables are particularly haunting to me. 

“There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on

Phantom faces at the window
Phantom shadows on the floor
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.”

Eight months ago, I wrote the following words about prayer.  As my friends and I shared our sadness and disgust for these events, I thought I would share this again. 

Pray.  Right now. Take five minutes, less even and pray for someone you know. If you are uncomfortable with the word pray, then I suggest you simply think about some who is struggling. Many times we think of the strangers who are poverty stricken in another country, but right now, I am asking you to think about someone you know who is having a difficult time. This practice has helped me in the following ways:

Perspective – By taking a moment to offer a prayer for someone who is struggling, you step away from your own chaos. By thinking of another person, your heart and mind can reboot.

Reduce Anxiety – By offering prayers for another, you can stop thinking about your concerns and take a few deep breaths. This allows you to recognize that perhaps your problems are solvable.

Community – My favorite part of this practice is the immediate feeling that I am not alone. When offering a prayer to another, you are no longer alone. Whether they know it or not, the spirit or of the prayer connects you to the one in need.

And finally, there is simple joy in acting with love and kindness. Again, whether you share your prayer and thoughts or not, creating a moment in your day that is dedicated to someone else will refresh your spirit.

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