I’ve had stomach problems for the good part of the last five years. I wont get into all the gory details but yesterday I had to have a procedure done that I was not particularly looking forward to. After my stay in the hospital last January I’ve tried to stay clear of getting sick enough to have to make another visit but unfortunately if I wanted to have a better quality of life this was a necessity.
I am a huge advocate for prayer, mostly because a long time ago I realized that I had little to no control over the world around me and thus prayer seemed to be one of the things that brought me peace in an uncertain world. Have you ever noticed though that there are times that we find ourselves praying more than usual? Having to go into the hospital again was one of these “pray; harder and more often” times for me.
I have to admit I’ve gotten out of the habit of asking those around me for prayer. There are a couple different reasons for this that don’t really matter at the moment but what I’ve gleaned from this is a beautiful communion with the Heavenly Saints, especially the Holy Mother. In fact, me being a mother with children, I find myself regularly asking her to intercede to her son on behalf of my children. I feel close to her knowing that she knows my pain when it comes to parenting. I know she weeps when I weep. I know she rejoices when I rejoice. She is a living example of a Christian faith.
I read a wonderful book on prayer several years ago called The Way of the Pilgrim . This book speaks to the idea of Pauls command to “pray without ceasing”. It also encourages the reader to practice the Jesus Prayer.
“Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
This is the prayer I pray when words wont come, when I am fearful, or when my mind wants to lose faith. The day before the procedure I made myself pray this prayer over and over and over.
I found myself before the icon corner in our home weeping. Asking to the point of begging. I couldn’t shed another tear. I couldn’t speak anymore words. I felt comfort. I knew He was there. How sweet the feeling of peace, and relief that came over me.
Lord, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, and The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 142
Glory to God for his mercy, the intercessions of His saints, and the trials that make us “pray; harder and more often.”