Monday, June 07, 2010

The Season of Praying

I don't know for certain that today's world is scarier than what my grandmothers experienced, or their mothers before them. I think a little perspective is in order now and again. My great great grandparents, for example, were murdered in Armenia during the Turkish holocaust. In fact, their entire family except for two sons died at bayonet point and the entire town lost their homes and farms fleeing for their lives. Dare I say my world is more frightening? What is of concern is that I wonder if we pray like the generations before us prayed or do we sit by shaking our heads at the CNN crawl while we watch the gulf become thick with oil. Maybe there's too much breaking news to watch to have time for a prayer closet.
Do you remember prayer closets? I don't have one. Do you?
A prayer closet is a place where someone, often the woman of the house, went and closed one's self in with God. Children knew that the prayer closet was sacred and not to be disturbed. If you were very very blessed as a child, you have stood in the hallway and listened to weeping and calling out to God from within. And lots of times, the weeping gave way to singing.
I think the prayer closet being usually the territory of women makes sense. They did have jobs, as homemakers and mothers, true. But they also considered it their job to do spiritual warfare having the time at home. And then you know what they did? It's utterly wonderfully simple. Every time you saw those women, Sunday School teachers or grandmas or distant relatives, they would hug you very hard and look you in the eye before they let you go and say quietly, "I pray for you every single day." What more fantastic thing can be given to anyone? To be prayed for every single day. The Mr.'s grandmother is 92 years old. She has five children, 11 grandchildren and lots of great grands. She is nearly deaf and now losing her sight. She has terrible arthritis. And every time she sees any of the four of us she hugs us hard, looks us in the eye before she lets go and says, "I pray for you every single day."
Maybe we are so disturbed not because of the state of the world but for lack of a prayer closet. And maybe our children are so confused for lack of hearing mom or grandma calling out to God from behind a door. And Jesus forgive us, do we still tell our children that we pray for them every single day?
Do we?
We need to. We need to pray quietly and earnestly and out loud for so long that it ends with worship and song. And we need to tell them that we have prayed for them and they need to know it's true because they have heard the weeping and seen the tearfully joyous face that emerges from the prayer closet.
Listen to me, Ladies. Don't let the generation of praying women end with you.
Or we really will live in a world worthy of fear.


Jada's Gigi said...

Amen! we must pray...for our loved ones...for our neighbors..for our world...

Mrs. Mac said...

Such a good post, Sara. I have seen that very look and squeeze from my grandmothers.