Perhaps prayer

This is the moment when you start praying

perhaps for the first time in your life

perhaps for the first time you’ve really meant it

perhaps as a matter of habit

perhaps as a leap of faith

perhaps for the last time

ever

or before you reconcile yourself to the truth.

Perhaps you pray

to a specific God

to all gods

to the people around you

or, recklessly, to anyone.

Perhaps you pray

because you feel alone

because you feel unprepared

because you’re scared

or angry

or faithful

or even grateful

Perhaps you count your blessings

perhaps they are:

1.) I am not sick

2.) no one I love is sick.

Perhaps this is not what Meister Eckhart had in mind when he said that thank you is the purest form of prayer.

Perhaps you pray because you’re confused or hurt

perhaps you pray because you feel forsaken, unloved, unsaved, unsalvageable

perhaps you pray because you feel the spinning/out/of/control

perhaps you pray because you feel responsible, because you must make decisions and you don’t want to do it alone.

Perhaps you pray for pestilence to skip your house, or the houses of those you love

perhaps you pray for an after

perhaps you pray for a hand to hold,

or strength,

or resolve.

Perhaps you pray for 28 seconds today in which you feel free, or connected

perhaps you pray for the stock market to recover

or a person to recover

or a cure.

Perhaps you pray for a different government or at the least a lie-detector

or even a bit of crisp, clean, true information or air.

Perhaps you pray for an America that stops trivializing everything, commodifying everything, selling souls for a few points on the Dow

perhaps you pray for billions to be injected, like so many missing immunizations, into safety net programs

perhaps you pray, now more than ever before,

for an end to hunger

for year-round hot-water sinks in public parks

for paid sick leave

for insurance that ensures something, anything.

I don’t know what you pray for,

but eventually you do,

there on your knees

unadorned and abandoned.

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