Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2000

ANNA MONICA / L’Observateur / September 6, 2000

Never have I liked that old expression about not having a prayer, like “we didn’t have a prayer,” or “you don’t have a prayer.” That leaves me emptybecause, if anything, I truly believe we always have at least, or the very most, a prayer.

“Mr. Webster” defines “pray” as “to address God or a god with adoration,confession, supplication or thanksgiving” and “prayer” as an earnest request.

There are other descriptions, but they confuse me.

Prayer is simple, though. Believing in something or someone beyond ourselvescan be a great comfort, morale booster, healer and “all of the above.” Noformal recitations, carefully selected or sophisticated words, are necessary.

I think sincerity and our belief that our prayer is going somewhere is what is important. It really helps, too, if prayer comes from the heart.While making a visit to River Parishes Hospital about a month or so ago I met up with some Garyville friends who encouraged me to visit J. D. Millet, whowas also there at that time. They thought that J. D., and his attitude towardhis illness, was truly inspiring. J.D. was buried recently, but I know, from myvisit, that he was a man of renewed faith and courage and definitely a man of prayer. I didn’t get to talk to Shirley Millet, who was so devoted to J.D. andhis health care, but I do know that she, too, is a woman of deep devotional prayer and prayer gave them courage until the end.

Some of you may remember “The Christophers,” which was a religious radio program – I think. Maybe it was on TV, but I don’t know. Anyhow, their sloganwas a beautiful one; “It is better to light one little candle than to curse the darkness.” That symbolic candle could be a prayer, because it is my personalbelief that prayer can help us out of the darkness that befalls all of our lives.

There are many aids for prayer, regardless of our religious preferences. Wehave the Bible, Torah, Koran, Book of Mormon and others and for those without a religious bent, perhaps solace and comfort can be found in the moon, sun, clouds or stars or a special person. But we always “have aprayer.”We should never be reluctant to ask for prayer. I spoke to a friend recentlywho said their prayer list at church each morning was so long they had to arrive earlier to get it all in. Friends of mine e-mail me with requests forprayer, and I have asked them for the same thing. My neighbor, Gloria, a veryprayerful woman, gets calls almost daily and her list gets longer. I try to helpher out with some of them, but I don’t know what it is to start prayer at 5 a.m. every day. My mom, my aunts, Clara Frances and Marie are prayerwarriors, and everyone I know who prays often and regularly still experiences life’s difficulties – but they get through them in a most wondrous way.

Prayer – we always have one.

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