When I hear about people who are sick or who are struggling in some way, I feel like saying, “Thinking about you” is not enough, but I’m not confident in my prayer. What is prayer?
Consider these types of Facebook posts:
- someone shares their uncle’s obituary
- someone announces that he or she has a serious illness
- someone posts a vague declaration about how he or she is struggling and needs prayer
And then all these people respond with, “Praying for you.” “Prayers going up.” And then if I write, “Thinking of you,” that seems less supportive. Some times I feel obligated to write, “praying for you,” and then at night, I think, “Well, you have to pray for him. You said you would.” So I guess prayer (as opposed to thought) is a proactive means of sending out waves of cosmic positivity. *But how can you be proactive if it’s just in your head? This is how my prayer sounds:
“God, whoever/whatever you are, (person’s name) needs to get better.” *But then I think, “Well, this is pointless. Isn’t God omniscient? Shouldn’t he already know this? And isn’t he supposed to be the definition of ‘benevolent’? I guess not if I actually have to ask him to make this person healthy again. And why am I referring to him as ‘him’? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the almighty life force to be female? Also, if prayer really does help, then what about people who don’t have friends and family? Are they screwed just because they’re socially inept? *Then I’m frustrated because I think that my prayer is worthless and I feel guilty that I “prayed” out of a sense of obligation rather than a sincere desire to support a suffering fellow human being.
Here are my thoughts:
- I think it’s arrogant to assume that one’s god is superior over another or to deny the validity of another religion.
- I think that the universe is under no obligation to make sense to any of us. #neiltyson
- I think it’s arrogant/futile to attempt to understand the universe.
- I think there is something greater than me, but I don’t know what that is, and that’s OK.
- The last time I saw my grandpa, he had this look in his eye: a brightness/ an alertness; he was staring intently at me, and I thought, “That’s the last time I’ll see him.” And then one night a week or so later, I kept having strange dreams, so I’d wake up, and then in my conscious state I’d have these strange sensations, and then early in the morning the phone rang, and I knew it was because my grandpa had died. I think there are cosmic forces that send us messages.
- But I don’t buy into a lot of the mediums that serve to connect us to those forces. I like The Fortune Teller bar on Cherokee. You should go (the decor includes taxidermied animals and a painting of Rasputin). Sometimes they have Tarot readers there, so one night I decided to try it. I’d always been curious, but I refrained because, even though I didn’t believe in it, I didn’t want to risk hearing something like, “You’re gonna die a terrible death,” and then have it turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Anywho, the tarot reader said something to the effect of, “You are timid and afraid to express yourself.” This experience proved to me that Tarot cards are bullshit. I think it was that morning that I had gotten a call from an ex who asked if he could take pictures of my butt, and I was all, “Sure.” Timid my ass. Also, one time when I was struggling with my life’s purpose I went to see a Reiki master/medium, and she told me that she saw me living in Europe and having servants. This could still come to fruition, so fingers crossed (I’d be nice to my servants).