Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prayers

I'm sure it's obvious by my last post that I'm a spiritual person, a religious person, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yes, I'm a Mormon, but like many Mormons, I prefer the term LDS. I'm not very active in my Church, but I still share many of the beliefs and follow many of the practices.

One of them is prayer. I love prayer. I think it's an amazing thing. I love that we have this avenue of communication with our Heavenly Father and I enjoy using it. I pray mostly at night, before bed, as part of my night-time ritual. I find it helps me sleep better to unload to Him. As a long-time sufferer of insomnia and nightmares, prayer has proven to be more effective than any medicine or therapy at helping me to get to sleep and sleep better. My mother once gave me a little wall plaque that read, "at night before I go to sleep, I tell all of my worries to God, since I know he's going to be up all night anyway." I like that concept. It's sort of a "let go and let God" kind of philosophy, one which I'm still trying to adopt in my life (it's not easy to let go).

I also pray at little times through the day. I often don't pray much before meals as my husband is non-religious and I think my praying sometimes makes him feel awkward. We try not to discuss religion much as it seems to make him feel uncomfortable. My friends know I'm spiritual, but I try not to discuss this much with them, either, because I've found that it sometimes leads to false judgments and assumptions. Many of my friends have had bad experiences with overzealous religious people who tell them they are going to hell if they don't get on board. That's always been a pretty amazing assumption. Who is to make that judgment? I think only God has the right to judge this, and further, I don't believe that nonbelievers are going to hell. I would hate to think that my friends might think that I hold them in such low esteem. To think another is going to hell, is to disrespect that person and it is not love at all. It's not Christlike to treat others in this manner. I don't think that I am any better than anyone else because I am religious. Religion is a very personal thing.

Enough of that, though, and back to prayer. Scientific studies have proven that prayer actually works! I don't even think it has to be true prayer (a communication direct with God), but focused positive thoughts or meditation can also lead to extra benefits. There is so much more to this world than the eyes can see or the hands can touch. There is so much more to us, as humans, than we sometimes care to explore.

Over the last month I have definitely felt the power of prayer, through my own prayers and the prayers of others. I feel so warmed by all of the energy my friends and loved ones have given me through this IVF cycle - not just in prayer, but in positive thoughts, kind words, and focused energy.

So, since so many people are praying for me, I thought I would share what, until today, has been so private to just me and God. I thought I would share with everyone what I pray about on a daily basis.

First I always tell the Lord how grateful I am for my many blessings. These include the home in which I live, the food I am fortunate enough to eat, the many good neighbors and friends that share my life and space, and my loving family. I thank Him for granting me goodness and love in my life. I thank Him for my wonderful husband and for Tempest, our kitty that brings daily joy to my life. I am also grateful for warmth, for living in an area where the weather is usually enjoyable, and where Dave and I are able to prosper. I thank Him for the many wonderful people in my life, and for the many good things that I see.

During acupuncture, I thank Him for the ability to use acupuncture and ask him to bless the needles and energy flowing through them, and to also bless and guide my acupuncturist. During fertility treatments, I do the same, thank Him for granting me the ability to get help for my condition, for I know that I am very fortunate to have this opportunity.

Depending on the events of the day, I thank Him for good news, and sometimes bad. Lately, I've been thanking Him for the good news of Nav's positive pregnancy test, and I ask him to bless her and help her and her husband to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I know they are going to be excellent parents, but I pray for the Lord to be in their lives and to guide them through Nav's pregnancy and through parenthood. By the way, I believe we all have the same Lord, no matter which name you use.

I feel somewhat selfish at times because I also feel I sometimes ask a lot of the Lord. However, asking always helps me to relieve myself of many worries, because I ask him for things that I cannot do myself or control. Sometimes I ask Him to help me do better with what I can do or control in my life.

I ask the Lord first to bless and watch over those that are ill. By name I ask Him to grant wellness to my brother-in-law Tony, and ask Him to help Tony to live a better life, that through this my sister will have better harmony in her life. I ask Him to bless my cousin, Jimmy, in his long battle with cancer and to bless Jimmy's family during this difficult time. I also ask Him to bless and watch over Kelsi and Cohen, the children of my cousin Ashley, and to help them all to have strength through little Cohen's battle with cancer, and little Kelsi's lifetime battle with heart issues. I pray that Kelsi's heart will continue to strengthen and be less reliant on her pacemaker, and that she'll be able to live as normal a life as possible. I pray for Brian, my father-in-law, that his health problems will continue to improve, that the wounds on his leg will heal, and that he have the strength to endure all of the many hospitalizations and medical treatments he will need to reach wellness again. I pray for my brother and his family, that they may continue to recover from the devastation of the fire two years ago that took the life of little Halie Marie.

I then ask the Lord to bless and watch over everyone else in my life. Sometimes I mention people by name, sometimes it's just a general request. I know that the Lord knows what is in my heart and I don't always have to go into great detail. I also ask Him to bless those that are praying for me, that they will feel His love in their lives like I feel it in mine.

My selfish request is for a family of my own. I ask that He bless Dave and me with the children we've always desired and felt that it was our path in this life and that if parenting is not in our great path, then I ask for guidance and redirection. I've prayed a lot through this IVF cycle and I know many of you have, too. I believe that the success we've had so far is a direct result of all of the prayers and that through this, it reaffirms my belief (for now) that I am meant to be a mother, and for some reason I am meant to achieve this through IVF or at least experience IVF in my life.

I also ask Him to bless certain individuals in my life through the various challenges they are going through. I usually mention some by name, and some of them in groups. I pray for all of the women at a website I find support at called LoungePlace. There are many women there going through a lot of what I'm going through, and I pray that they also be granted the opportunity to have a family, or find their path and meaning through this difficult journey.

At the end, I think of all of those in the world whom I love, but don't know. I ask Him to grant all inhabitants of the world at least one day of peace and love, but I understand that this one day might not be the same day for everyone. I know there is much suffering and strife in this world and I pray for those that suffer the most. I pray for the people of Darfur, that they may see an end to the war and an end to the suffering. I pray for those that are hurting right now, that they may feel His love and let it comfort them in their time of need. I also pray that we all will see better days.

As a Christian, I say all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

6 comments:

Norah said...

Wow Lizzy, you are a wonderful woman. I am learning so much more about you here than at Loungeplace. Keep up the wonderful posts!!

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing that Lizzy. You have a huge heart! I'm one of those people who hasn't had the best experience with religion, though lately I've been thinking more and more about going to church. I don't know if it's because of what's going on in my life or just a function of getting older. Anyway, maybe prayer is a good place to start.

Hummingbird said...

Wow! What a beautiful relationship between you and God. Thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life.

Lizzybo said...

Thank you, dear friends, for reading this and for your sweet comments. You make it easier for me to share these things. :)

pam said...

You are a very special person Lizzy. You have great insight to things and the ability to express that. I just want you to know I think of you always and my thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow as they are any time you face trials. My Love to you and Dave

Barb said...

I've always been struck by your quiet faith and non-judgmental view toward others based on their faiths.

I really respect that and do not feel awkward at all in the presence of such true belief and love of God.

I, myself, am always struggling to find the path that is right for me in faith and am one of those people who is truly uncomfortable in the presence of some of the more zealous or judgmental people. I've been blessed now to know you, a few close friends and 2 people from my work who are truly faithful and open minded. It's a beautiful thing to see. :)