Friday, June 24, 2011

Prayer 101

I am cautiously optimistic about the way the show HawthoRNe has incorporated the value of praying this season. It’s almost as if the writers are alluding to and acknowledging the power of prayer to God (not just any old deity) and its positive attributes. The main character, Cristina - wishes she had taught her daughter how to pray and is glad that she is now learning. As an aside, you can't teach what you do not know or what you do not live - you can provide lip service, but you can't really teach it. Parents often learn that children mimic what is modeled not just what is said.

Earlier in the episode, Camille asked the young surgeon - how to pray and he says - "It's quite simple, pray from the heart."

So what is prayer? There's an old song, a hymn that I think covers all the bases of praying. Would you believe my mother used to sing this song? Verses 3 and 4 stuck, and are my favorites.

by James Montgomery

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Unuttered or expressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains
That reach The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters Heav’n with prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, “Behold, he prays!”

The saints in prayer appear as one
In word, in deed, and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.

No prayer is made by man alone
The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus, on th’eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.

O Thou by Whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray.

Prayer is as vital as breathing; I encourage you to do it. Pray from the heart when you're happy or sad; mad or glad. Don't worry what others think, it's your heart and it matters to God. There is absolutely nothing that you cannot bring in prayer to God. Just Pray.


  1. I think this is just lovely. Many think that you have to speak impressive words when you pray, when in reality, GOD is listenig more to the heart behind the words. I use to be that person, afraid to pray because I wasn't as "good" as others when I spoke. What does it mean to be a "good" prayer? Prayer is prayer. Even the mute can pray. Thank you for this post.

  2. Great post! I always believe the best prayer are those with simplicity such as "Lord have mercy on me!" :)


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