Friday, October 16, 2015

When Your Prayers say Please.



I remember hearing beautiful prayers in church and wondering how holy one needed to be to pray with such flourish. Peppered with Lord Father and salted with a small chorus of whispered affirmations and so emotional, the prayers stunned me.

My appreciation for those people with their gorgeous prayers quickly became an intimidation in my own prayer life. I spoke simple, plain sentences to God -who had no fixings like Father or Lord or Almighty sprinkled atop His name. It felt like offering The Cat in the Hat to a literature professor in the wake of their radiant review of Dante's Diving Comedy in it's original language of Italian.

And so, I gave up. I gave up on a thriving prayer life, on being a prayer warrior, on bowing my head when it came time to close out service. I just couldn't. And so I didn't. And I haven't. I haven't for decades.

Until the other night, I laid in bed and hoped so deeply for His answer that I prayed. Very short prayers that dance on the edges of waking and sleeping and say "please, please, please" over and over again. 

"Please, please, please" my prayer said. "Please, please, please." 

Unspecific and simple. Boring and mundane. Comfortable like cotton. That was it, all I had to offer, all I could muster at 2:00 in the morning. The darkness lay over me like a thick vintage quilt, giving me an unjustified sense of secrecy. "Please, please, please." 

For what, specifically, I do not know. For what, I have a million answers. But He didn't ask me what came before the staccato of my pleas. Instead, He sat and He rubbed the crescent of my back. Not literally, I don't sense Him in such physical, wonderful ways. He rubbed down my back with cool night air and He lulled me to an unconscious place. I woke in the morning refreshed, but my spirit continued those simple prayers. 

"Please, please, please."

The three words, open and endless, have allowed Him to provide in His most-knowing, most-assuring of ways. Please has delivered me kind, honest emails. Please has brought me a quiet sort of inner peace. Please has afforded me a comfort in my body. Please has kept a strong husband's arm along the top of the couch behind me. 

And so, I continue to say "please". I say it desperately, kindly, humbly. I say it hopeful, faithful, sure. I say it knowing one day I will follow it with "thank you". 

But for now, please.

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