Due to a comment from a friend on last week's post, I've been thinking and "pondering" on prayer this week. She shared with me that she has seen great power in prayer. There was a time when I would have said, thought, and felt the same way.
I'll be honest here, and share that my once next door to a zealot level faith is now essentially non existent for reasons not only too numerous to mention, but too boring and personal to go into here.
With that being said, my personal experience has been the more I pray, the more I try, the more pressure I put on myself, and do my hardest to be the best that I can be---the worse things get. I know--refiner's fire and all that. But my views on religion and spirituality have drastically changed in the last few (2-3) years.
Last week I shared some struggles I've been having with my daughter. Has that situation gotten any better? Somewhat--we have mended things for the time being. However, it did not happen without more damage being done. At least to my heart and emotional well being.
Young adulthood is hard in the best of times. You're not grown up, but you're not a kid anymore either. You want to do things on your own, but you don't really know how to handle everything yet. Not to mention that you're supposed to be knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life and deep down you most likely have absolutely no clue. Add into that a few PTSD, ADD, Anxiety issues and those difficulties are multiplied by about a gozillion.
So here's the question -- did the prayers of my good friend have any affect? What is prayer for? To help things turn out for the best or to help us be comforted and deal with how things turn out? Does prayer actually have power?
I believe so, but not in the traditional sense. I believe that positive thoughts and feelings have power. The same power if they are demonstrated on your knees or in any other sense. Thinking and caring for others is powerful. Not because a Heavenly Father gives it power, but because we are all connected to one another and when someone we care about is hurting, we are hurting. When we even do so much as want to help, we are helping. Just sharing thoughts and feelings of difficulty and confusion is comforting. Having someone who cares about us individually commiserate and validate those feelings is even more comforting.
So does prayer have power? Yes. It is the power of expressing love. It is the power of the individual. The power each of us carries within us by being compassionate for others. The power is not in the praying, but in the caring.
That is my opinion. Every person has their own experiences and opinions and I do not expect that I am any different than many others.