Monday, December 19, 2011

Learning to Pray

There was a prayer that my mother gave when she was a little girl in the 1920s after being born in 1919. I was born in 1948 when she was 29. Here was her childhood prayer:
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take"

Even as I was growing up in the 1950s this prayer seemed kind of harsh to me. However, remember there were NO antibiotics, and no polio shots, and most medicines we take for granted didn't exist in common usage in the 1920s. So there were still a lot of kids dying in the U.S. then of all sorts of things. In 1900 the average life span was only 40 years of age and even in 1950 the average was only about 60. And in the 1950s most people I knew over 40 years of age had lost some or all their teeth.

And someone like me who didn't lose an adult tooth out of my head until last year when one of my teeth couldn't be root canaled at age 62 would have been almost completely unheard of even in 1950. So, as a result most people looked much older for their ages than they do now because they mostly all died from all the wear and tear much younger than people tend to now. So, just like now if you live to be 30 you can pretty much expect to be 90, in 1900 if you lived to be 20 you could expect to be 40, and then in 1950 if you lived to be 30 you could expect to live to 60. Whereas like I said now, "If you live to 30 you can pretty much expect to be 90. And theoretically in another 10 or 20 years of you live to be 30 you will be able to expect to be 100. Or if you are wealthy and healthy enough if you reach 2045 you may never die as some people begin to become relatively immortal after that because of quantum advances in medicine and science.

But for right now the way things are in the world it is pretty intense out there. The Good news is that even though we sort are in a second Great Depression kind of scenario for the next 5 or 10 years the way things look now and half the population is in poverty or is low income, it has been much worse than this many times. How would you like to be drafted and sent off to world War II right now to die or be maimed like then?

But still, I think that there is no time since I have been born where learning to pray would more help people with their sanity and the everyday stresses of life. There is no better time to learn to pray than when you don't have a job, or food, or a place to live. Learn to invoke into your life what you really want and need through your prayers. I suppose it could work for you whether you believe in God or not because even pretending to believe in God will comfort you and allow you to focus your energies towards getting a place to live, food and clothing and a job if that is what you need.

Otherwise, what people often do is to prevent themselves getting what they need by just freaking out so much that that freaking out becomes a de facto prayer in their lives that brings nothing but chaos, disease and death to themselves and their families.

So, whether you approach this from a point of view as believing in God and asking for help or whether you approach this from simply psychological and physical survival it is a good time to learn to pray so you can focus your energies and actually survive all this and not just be another casualty during these difficult times on earth.

One of my favorite sayings that saved my life more than once is: "There are no problems only opportunities". If you learn to live this saying you will survive anything. Happy Praying!

No comments: