Since being vaccinated, I meet with a couple of clergy friends for lunch; we pray over lunch which is not awkward. Sometimes the food is still bad no matter much we pray over it. Just as we are leaving one of them usually says to me, “So, what can I pray about for you?”  It’s not forced for him. He is genuine with his desire. Sometimes I have to think about how to respond.  Sometimes it’s a generic response – like I need more patience to deal with a few people in the congregation.( not saying who that is) Other times it’s an invitation for me to share a struggle, a concern, a personal situation that I am dealing with.  His inquiry draws us closer as colleagues and friends.  Anne Lamott wrote a little book called “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers.”  It is a book of wisdom in which we are reminded that prayer connects us to the heart God. She makes prayer simple and yet transformative.  She writes: “Help” is the main prayer. “Help” is the prayer of surrender and having a real shot at things beginning to change because you’ve finally run out of good ideas. “Help” is the hardest prayer, and it’s the most poignant. It’s a person being humbled. People say “Thanks” all the time in so many ways. Even people who don’t believe in God or in any kind of higher power notice when their family catches a break– the diagnosis was much better than it could have been; it really isn’t a transmission, it’s a timing belt; it’s something manageable instead of huge and awful. “Wow” is the praise prayer. I think every time we see a night sky full of stars, we say “Wow”. Every time we watch that sunset on Siesta Key we say “Wow”.  Every time we see the leaves changes we say “Wow”.  Every time we experience love between others we say “Wow”.  Praying matters. It is the action of moving our faithfulness forward.

Scripture Reading: James 5:13
“Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.”

Reflection Questions:
How is your prayer life?
When was your last “Wow” prayer?
Who do you need to prayer for?

Prayer: Holy God, I say thanks for all the blessings in my life. I say wow to all the amazing moments and I say help for the times I lack awareness of the needs of others. Amen