Prayer is not a magic wand

Prayer is not a magic wand

Prayer can be many things, but it is not a magic wand. If it was no one would be sick, there would be no murders, no wars, and none of us would be mourning the death of a loved one. But all these things, and more are happening all around the world.

So what is prayer?

Well, that depends on what you believe, I can only share what I, as a Christian, believe prayer to be, and that is, prayer is communicating with God. It is not all asking for your needs… or wants. Prayer is also listening, and studying the Bible.

After all, the Bible is the word of God.

Types of prayer

Well, there is the kind that, in desperation, someone cries for help.

a desperate prayer

That person might not even know God personally, but in a critical emergency cries out to God. Sometimes that urgent request is answered.

There is also the model prayer that Jesus gave the disciples as an outline. This is the daily prayer we said in school (that’s a long time ago) in Scotland. A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the model prayer… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/a-look-at-the-lords-prayer/

Some sites say there are four types of prayer, others say seven types, or six types… instead of me ‘reinventing the wheel’ as they say, if you are curious, this site lists some and what they are. https://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/faith/2015/09/11/learning-pray-seven-types-prayer/72100692/

Ever heard of imprecatory prayer?

It is actually praying for bad things to happen to enemies and was prayed by King David, as recorded in Psalms. There is an article on it here…. https://www.gotquestions.org/imprecatory-prayer.html

Kind of contradicts ‘forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,’ though. The article goes on to cover that aspect.

In our day and age

With the Corona virus (Covid-19), the plagues of locusts, the fires, floods, not to mention the riots, the looting, the demonstrations, the anger and the rage where does prayer fit?

Well it doesn’t. At least not with those who respond from a self-centred base line. Guess that now I have angered you. That is not my intention.

When I was much younger there was a song, ‘Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” There are several versions of this on YouTube. Here is one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGoEJyV7Snw

For some reason this song is associated with the Christmas season. Why? I don’t know. Every time we feel anger or hopelessness overwhelm us… is a time to stop, breathe, and pray for peace on earth to begin with me.

When to pray

In an apparently impossible situation

When sad, broken-hearted, lost, alone

If anger washes over us

After the death of a child, a spouse or other significant person

What about when we are happy, joyful, grateful…

Every emotion is an opportunity to communicate with God – our Father in heaven.

Jesus taught that we are to pray to the Father in His (Jesus’) name.

when to pray

And of course, when we are joyful, happy, and grateful.

(The sentence above is a repeat from the previous paragraph. It is important, but often overlooked so I put it in twice <smile>)

From experience, I have learned that a good time to ‘count my blessings’ is when nothing seems to be going well.

Try it next time you feel the world weigh on your shoulders.

May you be blessed with good,

Susan

PS My apologies for the ‘missing post’ last Sunday. Health was bad,  and the week went on being bad… Internet down, computer freezing, a dental emergency – but I am still here and still typing away. 

I am grateful for the life I have and the opportunities given to me.

Social Distancing in Perilous Times

Social distancing, not immune

Social distancing is nothing new, what is new is that now it applies to people who never experienced it before. Many people have already been isolated; some from disease, some from disability, and others because their spouses and friends have died. However, now everyone (who keeps the rules) can experience what these people have already experienced.

Will it make people…

  • More understanding of the less fortunate?
  • Less critical of other people?
  • Aware of what it feels like to be ‘stuck at home?’

And for those who are in the categories above…

  • Kinder towards those who are experiencing these things for the first time?
  • Understand, rather than think ‘now you know what it feels like?’
  • Offer help?

Interesting article on Wired.
https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-covid-19-isolation-psychology/

Social distancing and COVID 19 dominate the news

Most of us are weary of hearing nothing else, but we watch, listen, and try to understand.

As the article on ‘Wired’ states, “depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.”

What is known about the virus is not much more than it was at the start… see a previous post https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/coronavirus-what-do-we-know/

Talking, via video conferencing with friends overseas, it seems that compared to them Western Australia has enacted much stricter rules. But with a degree of compassion.

A German cruise ship which has been refused entry to several ports was finally granted access, under strict conditions, to Fremantle port.

Passengers had made signs saying ‘Thank you Fremantle,’ as well as ‘We love Fremantle.”

What now?

Like circling sharks, several cruise ships have been travelling up and down the West Australian coast. However, some have anchored in Gage Roads waiting.

The situation here changes daily. Who could fail to feel sorry for the passengers on these expensive world cruises, who are denied entry at most ports.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/25/cruise-ship-passengers-to-be-quarantined-on-rottnest-island-in-western-australia

Then it changed, and   two private hospitals are now caring for some of the passengers taken from the ship.

Other ‘venues’ have been proposed.

Some defy the order for social distancing

risk to healthcare workers


And have led to the closure of beaches, the frustration of authorities, and put others in danger.

If you ignore the rules and contract this virus, you are putting a strain on the hospital system. You are also costing the few remaining tax payers their valuable tax dollars, which would be better used in prevention, or finding a solution. In addition you are putting the lives/health of our healthcare and emergency workers at risk.

Danger of social isolation

Unless we make an effort to keep in touch we will become ‘stay-at-home’ shut-ins. Already, because of busy lifestyles the elderly are often forgotten. With people working at least one job, up until recently at any rate, there never seemed to be time for visiting elderly family members. What happens now? And what happens if the elderly person is not a relative?

What can we, who are used to being isolated do to help?

  • Email
  • Phone calls
    • Ask if the person needs any shopping done.
  • Send a card, or leave one in their mailbox.
  • Leave a small food parcel on the doorstep of someone you know is isolated.

Don’t forget

This virus, and the ‘flu which will follow it, does not only target old people. Young people are at risk, so are children and in a rare case, an infant in Illinois has died after testing positive. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid-19-united-states-rare-case-us-infant-dies-coronavirus-12586822

May the parents find comfort.

And may you all find peace

Susan

Coronavirus – what do we know

Coronavirus threat

The first death from ‘the’ coronavirus has just been recorded in Western Australia First Australian death

The man was in the same hospital I was in last week. Am I panicking? No. In fact there is a great deal of somewhat confusing information about it, depending upon which source you read, listen to, or watch on TV.

About coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

There is a lot more information at that site if you want to find out more.

How dangerous is this ‘new’ strain of coronavirus?

Simple answer…

Authorities say “we do not know enough yet and will not know until more data becomes available.”

Quarantine

One thing that seems clear is that over the years we have lost the knowledge, or motivation, to quarantine ourselves, or a disease. Once upon a time parents ‘quarantined’ a child with an infectious disease. In the past people refrained from attending church services if they suffered a severe cold or flu. Nowadays we are urged to take a pill and ‘soldier on.’ Most people have no choice due to economic constraints.

(I have written about quarantine before… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/)

Coronavirus and face masks

The general consensus of opinion is that most of the facemasks available to the public to buy are ineffective. They are ‘surgical’ masks and designed to protect a patient from a nurse/medical worker’s mouth borne germs.

Coronavirus and facemasks

What CAN we do?

  • Be sensible.
  • Be considerate.
  • If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, stay home.
  • Be careful with your hand hygiene.
  • Avoid crowds

If you have a chronic health problem you are more ‘at risk’ so take the precautions seriously but don’t panic.

Plodding on,

Susan

About last week’s missing ‘post’ – I was in hospital. By the time I came home the five days of violent summer storms had started, and the computer was more ‘off’ than ‘on.’ In the last few days the NBN has been ‘down’ so I have a limited service, and no phone.