I had an interesting exchange on Facebook this weekend that I decided to share. After sharing my relief after hearing back from all of my family and friends in the Carribean we’re safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma I was prompted by a comment to clarify my intial point regarding the power of prayer and what it means in my life. Too often I believe Christians are so taken aback at how some question our choice to pray in times of trouble that we have a tendency to overreact. I’ll admit that what I ended up writing was not my first reaction, but experience has taught me to choose my words carefully, especially in matters of faith. My response was as follows:
I mourn the loss of those who are not among my friends and family as well. I embrace the Virgin Islands as a part of my community and my heart has ached throughout all of this destruction. When I reference the power of prayer, I speak to what my Grandfather taught.
Prayer can offer comfort to those in pain. Prayer is a petition to what I call God for mercy over things for which I have no control.
People who pray can die.
People who pray can live.
Prayer is a way of managing the feelings and emotions that come with this human existence. It’s not a qualifier of who deserves life over death.
Prayer is also a choice and does not nor should it be forced on anyone. Prayer does not have to be defended because again, it is a choice. I hope that helps you understand my choice of words.
I am not threatened by those who would challenge my choice of prayer nor my faith in a higher being or greater purpose to my life than mere existence. Prayer works for me. I leave it to others to decided if prayer works for them as well.
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Lubbock, Texas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.