Keep me in your prayers

I recently hit a rough spot

In a life filled with rough spots.

In a weak moment,

I told an acquaintance.

She said, “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

I’ll keep you in my prayers.

That is all she offered to me

In my sorrow and pain.

 

Now to some that is enough.

A social understanding

That we are all helpless

In a raging shit-storm.

So I will say this phrase

And we can part

And avoid any unpleasantness

And think there is hope.

 

To me, prayer was always

More for the one who prays

Than for the object of her prayers.

It makes that person focus on a problem

Until a solution appears

Which should eventually lead to an action.

 

“God, please give me that promotion.”

Eventually, you will realize that

Until you merit that promotion

By going the extra mile,

You don’t deserve that promotion.

And that will change you

Into someone who deserves the promotion.

 

But does God listen?

“Prayer hotline, this is God,

How can I help you?”

If God is God,

Shouldn’t he already know our sorrow?

Will he help us only if we ask?

And only if we ask in the right way?

Does that mean that God wants us to suffer?

Should a parent not feed her baby

If the baby doesn’t ask?

 

If God will listen to me, and not to you,

Does that mean that God favors

One person over another?

One group over another?

Does this mean the racists are right?

Of course not.

 

This is an ego trip,

If you think you have a direct

Hotline to an all powerful being.

Is God your errand boy

And you just give him a honey-do list?

 

If you must pray,

Ask for guidance

On how you could help,

And then help.

 

And the next time someone

Tells you their sorrow,

Ask, “How can I help?”

And then do what you can.

 

Prayer is not a substitute for action.

It is action.

 

“He prayeth best,

Who loveth best,

All things both great and small,

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.”
-Cooleridge

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About oxrider

Mr. Winter has written novels, books of poetry and short stories, and books on acting. He has written over three dozen plays, winning the S.C. Playwright’s Festival. His inventive theatrical work has been seen in the US and Europe. A.F. Winter has been acting, teaching, and directing, for over 30 years. He created a theatre which worked with at-risk youth giving them positive alternatives in their lives. Please visit his website at AFWinter.com. View all posts by oxrider

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