Have you ever been fortunate enough to have someone sincerely tell you, “I’ll keep you in my prayers” or “I’ll be praying for you.”?
Has anyone ever suggested you should pray about a problem?
Or, have you noticed associates on FB asking for prayers for an ailing relative? Sometimes the request is prefaced with an affirmation like “I believe in the power of prayer.”
And to whom am I praying?
Do I still believe as I did as a child at Our Lady of Mercy that there is a man even better than Santa Claus who listens to each child’s petitions and acts wisely? Benevolent. Omnipotent.
Do I think someone listens to my prayers?
Not all prayers are petitions. Some are expressions of gratitude and thanks. When beauty in some form or a feeling of well-being leaves me gobsmacked, to whom am I saying thank-you?
In Solace in So Many Words the poem “Calculus” by D. I. Gray, which I share below, appealed to me because it sees “a symmetry implicit” or divine order to the world (at least in my interpretation). The intricate mathematics of the universe is evident to me in so many ways (for instance, the repetition of patterns in nature) and such order convinces me that randomness and coincidence could not create anything so detailed and amazingly interrelated.
The skeptic/cynic in me considers the world as we know and although I see order, I do not know if this came into being by the act of a divine hand.
I wonder whether prayer doesn’t just fill a void for those who pray; that it fills the space usually occupied by the Unknown with hope. Prayer is a type of hope, I think.
The pragmatist in me comes to realize that if prayer has a chance of working, it can’t hurt to try. After all it is free and convenient; lines are open 24/7.
Those who know me know I like to go to the casinos, which says something about me, I know. It says something about an innate characteristic, and that is: I believe in luck.
Gamblers believe in breaks and coincidences. Gamblers think you can tap into the energy of the roulette ball so it finds its way to the money. Even blackjack players who play according to the odds and always make the logical choice whether to hit or stay will tell you that the odds don’t help when you don’t get the cards.
If I innately believe in luck, I must thereby innately believe in another Force at work. (Sorry, if I sound like Star Wars).
So in this moment, since it doesn’t cost to pray and I don’t have to know who the dealer is, I’ll put in my ante and take the bet.
How about you? Do you pray? How do you envision God or the Higher Power? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Peace, love, and solace
by D. I. Gray
Well, maybe it’s the smallness of your hands,
how carefully they carve onto the page
the pieces of expressions—operands
and lean manipulations on the stage
of mathematics, with its varying players
whose entrances and exits leave a mark
indelibly: the alternating pairs
of conjugate relations, squares with stark
configurations, differences or sides
insisting on a balance in the mix.
But it could also be something that hides
within those hands, within the pencil’s flicks,
that I have not yet seen, a symmetry
implicit, quietly adjusting me.
© D. I. Gray Solace in So Many Words, 2011