Vail Daily Editor and Publisher Don Rogers: Do we have a prayer?
Vail, CO Colorado
We’re hard-wired to pray, but a little confused about it, too.
What qualifies as a proper prayer, exactly? Why do we pray? To whom are we praying? Are our prayers answered? What gave us the idea to do this in the first place?
I’m blessed to be exposed to a full range of religious and spiritual thought between family, friends and an eternal supply of references available to everyone in the free world, as far as curiosity leads.
Right now, I’m reading about Islamic culture and spirituality, while chewing on concepts such as divine grace vs. many lifetimes to work at getting it right.
I also wonder at a kind of faith that goes beyond merely needing proof to believe something, to the point of scoffing at the notion there’s plenty we don’t perceive that indeed exists – which pretty much covers the history of science.
And I pray. These days, a lot. I imagine tougher times will inspire that. I’m quite sure I’m not alone here.
I give thanks for being born into incredible fortune merely as a somewhat normal American, luckier than nearly all the rest of humanity, all 7 billion or so souls.
I pray for help. I pray for others. I express gratitude. I whine on occasion, oh yeah. I pray my wife’s lottery numbers come in, my daughter gets A’s, my son passes probation. (I mean at his new job.) I’m every bit as petty as profound in prayer.
I accept, apologize, promise, question, barter and once even berated God in my sense of tragedy over an extremely trivial misfortune – which I realized well after making a pity party of that one. At the time I felt righteously justified, though.
Life is big enough that I get the aphorism there are no atheists in foxholes. And lord knows, I do not believe in Pascal’s wager.
Do we pray to a creator who is involved personally with us; a timekeeper who set a clock running and moved on with a bang, oblivious; an old, bearded dude sitting in judgment of us; a force we can fool if we word our attractive intent just right; the Source of All, which is in me, is me; absolutely nothing, a void?
I know that I know nothing. Even what I think I know can be in error. Which is something, anyway. Right?
I know my beliefs, steered as they may be by instinct and culture.
In this country, in this time, I can at least be honest about what I believe. I give thanks for that, knowing huge chunks of the world have good reason to fear even this. All they have are their prayers.
Does prayer help? I believe so.
Whether God is there or not, it helps me.