Monday, November 07, 2005

OpenHouse 2 "Hotline to God"

went surprisingly well…Torrential rain, and the last gasps of half term had made me fear the worst, but though numbers were down on last month, they were still the right side of 40, with 18 assorted children and their parents. Even better, 3 families had phoned to apologise for their non appearance, which suggests that we already have some notional "regulars"- always encouraging.
We talked about teaspoon prayers (t-hankyou, s -orry, p -lease) wrote our thank you's and pleases on coloured labels to hang on a prayer tree (will try to get camera to church this week, as the tree, a twisted willow, looks really excellent, and I want to purr in public) and our sorries on sad faces to be posted in a shredder….And somewhere along the way, there were a couple of moments of really rather wonderful, holy concentration.
Then there was mayhem again, but that’s fine and exactly what I expected.

This evening, I was writing down all the prayers from the tree, as I’d promised we’d pray them during the Office this week…and there was one which made me cry.
You may remember my mentioning D a while ago, when he taught me a lot about God’s grace-ful generosity during his own baptism service…His mum is in a wheelchair, due to MS, and on the tree I found a prayer "Please make mummy walk". D is too young to have written this….which means that R herself is the likely author . And I don’t know what to do with it.
Yes, I believe that God can heal….but do I believe that God will really intervene like that? and if I don’t, how do I pray? I spoke yesterday about the times when God’s answer doesn’t match our requests, about the times when we ask for things that are not in our long-term best interests, about the fact that it is OK to be angry with God if he disappoints our hopes….
Fine words, but despite all that, I’m left with the reality of a young mum who wants to walk and who can’t.
I don't know what to pray for, but would be glad if you would join me.
Sometimes this calling is slightly overwhelming.


Songbird said...

Sometimes this call is slightly overwhelming.

No kidding.

Will these be prayed aloud?

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who has MS, and sometimes she can walk and sometimes she can't because her legs won't work. Perhaps it's OK to pray for her to walk? We can always ask for what we want.

St. Casserole said...

I would feel very alone in ministry without posts like this one. It is overwhelming.
I say pray the petition that R wrote. Blessings to you...

Songbird said...

I was coming back to say the same thing St. C did. Just pray it. Just pray it.

Emily said...

I always pray for the specific need, but I also always add for "restoration to wholeness of body, mind and spirit." That's my personal way of covering all of the bases and leaving it up to God's will as to what needs healing. But I do think we need to ask specifically, and in hope, for prayers for healing of body parts and such.

Mary said...

When civil servants deal with judges the worst sin they can commit is "fettering judicial discretion" - they are supposed to make it possible, as "mere" administrators, for Their Honours to make the decision but not do anything that might influence it directly or indirectly..... I sometimes think our lack of faith leads us ot try to do the same thing to God: we just need to tell him the problem and trust him with it. So pray the prayer, to the God who is able to do more than we can ask.....

1 i z said...

As someone who has a mother with MS, this is rather close to home...

All I can offer is this:

Pray the prayer by offering up the situation, but maybe don't limit the 'acceptable response'.

To focus solely on the 'well formed outcome' of Result=Mum can walk can I think be problematic.

I found that sort of prayer led to

a) viewing my mum as a single issue entity/issue - she's 'My Mum' - who happens to have MS, not 'My MS Mum'
b) it treats prayer like a spiritual vending machine and I increasingly feel that prayer is as much if not more about the impact that process has on us than the impact we have on God

Accordingly the answer to D's prayer may be that Mum gets to walk, but it might equally be about ways in which that family needs to come to terms with the absolute bastard of a disease that MS is, or about how the external prayer might be motivated to help their situation etc etc.

But then maybe I just don't have enough faith to prayer the "please make mummy walk" line anymore...

And don't think the guilt of that doesn't eat me up. I try to believe in a God that wouldn't punish the mother for the daughter's lack of faith, but hey sometimes when you read that Old Testament...

brother terry said...

Just pray.

Just break your heart open before God on behalf of this family.

I KNOW how hard it can be.


Sue said...

My partner lives with MS, and so I know the desperation of the little boy's prayer.

Just pray.

rev mommy's entropy said...

dear rev kathryn
i am praying for you that you are safe. that ocean is big but God is bigger than everything.
p.s. i like dogs.

Lorna said...

thanks for sharing this

we come before God as we are. and pray as we can. and his spirit guides us, most of all Jesus prays with us.

this call is extremely overwhelming Kathryn - but it isn't about your prayers - it's about the cross. That's where victory is won.

just a thought - but it might help - I think the child might have spoken the prayer and mummy wrote it down. that means the child is praying it too. It's important we encourage people (kids and adults) to carry their prayere to Father God with confidence too. And kids have more faith than pastors and another other adults too :) that's what makes God grin. They KNOW that nothing is impossible for God

hugs and love
and prayers for C's mum

Lord hear our prayers for healing. Amen

Serena said...

Hi Kathryn, I'm late to the conversation, but wanted to say that, whilst my Dad for years has wanted healing, his body hasn't been healed but he has more acceptance - a sort of spiritual healing and calming. I would pray for R to be able to walk, because there's nothing wrong with that. But I also want pray for her to feel loved and pray for healing in a more general sense. No deep theology here, just experience. Lots of love xXx

mibi52 said...

God knows what is wanted and needed. Just pray it as it is, and He will know what to do with it.

As someone with chronic illness that is sometimes OK and sometimes not, the prayer and its intent shift with the situation, but God is always there faithfully.

Hugs and blessings on you. Your heart is an open flower. Thanks for sharing it with us.