07 November 2009

Take it to the Lord in prayer

I had been thinking this week of another on my little series of prayer posts. And as it is the anniversary of my parent's passage from life through death, I had been thinking about my folks. Then came the news from Ft. Hood.

How do we as my dad's favorite hymn has it, "take it to the Lord in prayer?"

That is not a small question. People died because they were our soldiers and a man for not yet clear reason, shot them. He too, I understand from the news, may soon die of his wounds. One of the police, a young lady, who apparently shot and thereby ended his insane actions is also wounded but expected to survive. How do we carry the death of all those people including a pregnant woman and her unborn child to the Lord in prayer, what does that mean?

My mom once observed that one cannot pray about something without forgiving those involved. I think she had a point, albeit she was not quite correct. Better to say one cannot properly pray about something without forgiving.

There are those alas who can and do pray for vengeance. I have heard someone say they hoped the shooter recovers so he can be executed. Now there is a prayer I would not want on my soul! Jesus taught us differently. As the NIV has it:
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

So, we can take it to the Lord in prayer, but not in anger, not seeking vengeance, but rather after we forgive. I wonder if those who turn out for the funerals, who go to the memorial services get that. Or are they there praying for vengeance? Do the carry anger at Moslems even though we do not know if the fact that the shooter was one factored into his actions? Can they in other words lay the pain at the feet of Jesus?

When we pray, if we have in fact come to forgive, to let go of anger and hate, we can receive the benefits Jesus instructed us to seek, and that the hymn my dad loved lamented we often do not receive. It is not just the grief and horror at the murders we have to take to our prayers but our own anger and hatred. And that is where we often fail to take it to the Lord.

We all have been known to say the prayer. Do we walk the walk? That is another matter entire.



Christal said...

I try to "walk the walk" but I just keep tripping! LOL

Christal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JimB said...

We all do. When she was counseling novices for her order, St. Theresa was told by one of the, that she was having difficulty with her contemplative prayers and wished she was like Theresa. She replied angrily, "What do you think I am?"

It is a journey not a destination.


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