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Perspective: In Defense Of Prayer

Myriam Zilles

Lately, I’ve heard people mock the idea of thoughts and prayers in the wake of a tragedy, but I have seen the power of these prayers. Jesus says we’re supposed to bug God with our requests, and that we can ask him for anything. I have prayed for friends and seen their marriages healed. I have seen daughters take an interest in faith. I have found joy again.


I prayed that God bless a woman I hated because every time my thoughts turned towards her, I sputtered about what I’d say to her face if I had a chance. It was ugly imagination. The only way out was to turn those “I wish I’d said” imaginations into blessing.

Jesus said to bless our enemies. The Buddhists say to wish others well, including ourselves. (I’ve noticed that my hatred towards her was hatred towards parts of myself I couldn’t stand.) It took twenty years, of turning thoughts as hard as stacking hay in a barn, but that enmity healed and became trust.

Sometimes I wonder whether my prayers do any good. I have seen suffering ratchet up instead of easing. But my friend still asks for prayers. It is hard work, this praying, because your thoughts turn toward someone else, when they could be yours.

You release hopes for blessing like flapping doves. The Psalmist says God collects tears in a bottle. I believe he does.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

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