With all of the political, pandemic, and general fears, pain and suffering and losses of the world and our country, climate change; sometimes it may be hard to pray. It feels like there is no hope in sight. Sometimes it may feel like there is no point in praying. “Why bother?” “What happens will happen whether I pray or not.” Finally several bits of wisdom shared with me by a friend were confirmed in my own heart.
Prayers can be offered for ourselves and for others. Sometimes someone can’t pray for themselves; so others pray for them out of love or concern.
My neighbor who made and gave me a Prayer Blanket when I had surgery years ago, also shared a letter with me that had been sent to her from another recipient of one of her Prayer Blankets. I will reword it and write it as I might have written it since I don’t have the recipient’s permission to use her name.
"After having a traumatizing surgery for cancer and recovering after a few weeks, I realized that I had not prayed to God the whole time. I was so full of fear and anxiety about my recovery and whether the cancer could come back, that I omitted my daily talks with God. So I began to pray. Sadly I told God, 'I realize that I have not spoken to You in weeks. I am sorry that I didn't pray even once.' I received an answer in my heart, 'I know, but the many people who loved you, prayed for you. I heard them say the prayers you would have said; I saw the love they had for you; I heard their prayers as if you were saying them.' I thanked God for helping me get through everything. My heart was filled and warmed as I felt that Love from God and from those who had prayed for me."
As I was thinking during the day about the world’s situation a hymn came to me that I first heard from Tennessee Ernie Ford. Below is a link to it.: The name of the song is “Farther Along,” It is believed the words of the gospel song were written in 1911 by W. A Fletcher and the music by J. R. Baxter. Later many others sang it but my favorite version is by Tennessee Ford. (There is a 44 second brief story before the song.) So I will share the link and the words here.
Tempted and tried we're oft' made to wonder,
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.
Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why;
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine,
We'll understand it all by and by.
When death has come and taken our loved ones,
Leaving our homes so lonely and drear,
Then do we wonder how others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.
When we see Jesus coming in glory,
When He comes from his home in the sky;
Then we shall meet him in that bright mansion,
We'll understand it all by and by.
Farther along we'll know more about it, Farther along we'll understand why; Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine, We'll understand it all by and by.
If we can’t make a difference in the big things, we can make a difference in the small things. We can be kind, friendly, helpful, and loving. These behaviors affect other people positively. How do you feel when someone has been rude to you? It may make you angry, sad, ignored, or mistreated. So if negative treatment affects the recipient negatively, then positive treatment will affect the recipient positively. Even in a small way we are making a difference. It may not happen immediately but maybe for some it helps them cumulatively.