Something for the Soul: Importance of prayer

September 2011 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Winnie BoltonWinnie Bolton

Faith is only one part in the equation of a spiritually mature life.

Faith is similar to believing we need food for our existence else we die.

But prayer is different; it’s the food in many different forms.

One can eat nutritionally well-balanced meals or choose junk food which will sustain us but muscle, bone, blood and brain requirements are neglected over time due to a poor diet.

I visited a friend in the hospital awhile back who made me think deeply about this word – prayer.

He didn’t have much time left to live but I wasn’t aware of that during my visit.

I had not planned that visit, it was only after I finished my volunteer shift at the gift shop that I remembered George being rushed to the hospital a few days before.

Upon checking to see if he was still there I was informed he was sleeping on and off and only family members could visit him, but when he overheard me checking with the nurse outside his door he called out, “Come on in, Winnie” and I was delighted to see him.

He didn’t exchange too many words but out of the blue he said, “We don’t really know how to pray.”

His statement took me by surprise, because I was not prepared for that depth of conversation, but some how I managed to utter, “It’s almost like feeling so overwhelmed with God’s love that one doesn’t know how to say, thank you, isn’t it?”

He nodded pointing to his heart whispering, “It’s all in here.”

At that moment I felt George had been in a constant dialogue with his maker because nothing else in life really matters a hill of beans when you’re going back from whence you came.

Our busy time on earth consists of living our allotted years wherever and however that direction takes us, so another part of the equation with faith and prayer has got to be finding truth.

Once truth is clear our choices are clear due to our prayer life kicking in, because to do less is a conscience killer. In busying ourselves with the opportunities and choices life offers struggling to stay on course is a daily occupation.

I believe George was pondering all that and more in his silent prayer repartee because prayer’s mysterious dialogue moves us – freeing us simply to acceptance, forgiveness and being charitable to others.

Three days after my visit, George’s family informed me that he had passed with a smile on his face. Hearing about the smile consoled me, realizing his search was over with and all his questions were answered through prayer.

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