No Wrong Way to Pray

I struggle with prayer at certain times of my life. Often times I chalk it up to a struggle with method. If my prayers aren’t answered in the way I want them to be, then perhaps I am doing it wrong. Or perhaps I should switch to a different method — between journaling and rosaries and reading the bible.

Past words … Image: Kuzma/Shutterstock

Past words …
Image: Kuzma/Shutterstock

But what would I do if I could no longer do any of these? When this woman lost all of her ability to communicate, she found another way to pray to God — although it took her family twenty years to understand what she had done.

Twenty years, and they finally needed the help of the internet community of MetaFilter to figure out the cryptic sequences of letters she left behind on index cards. But it was surely prayer, and I am sure God knew it when the woman prayed it.

We all will face moments when we struggle with prayer, and eventually our bodies may succumb to an inability to function in the way that we want them to. But no matter what obstacles may seem to keep us from prayer, there really is no wrong way to pray. God meets us where we are.

This story reminds me of a prayer of Pedro Arrupe’s after he suffered from a stroke:

More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself totally in God’s hands.

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