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My Prayer
By Mary Kincaid

When I heard that the topic for the Evangelist was prayer, I felt compelled to write something. I have been receiving and distributing prayer requests for over ten years from St. Luke parishioners, relatives and friends. By no means do I feel I’m more qualified then anyone else on the subject, but I do know how important prayer is for me. We all experience gains and losses in our lives. However, for me this year so far, has me deep in the loss department. I’ve gone to five funerals in the months of January and February; two friends, a brother in law, a friend that felt like family (Alexandria) and a grandson. Each one brought pain and sorrow. But the pain was magnified beyond my comprehension when my nineteen-year-old grandson, Matthew, died suddenly. I screamed and cried. I didn’t know what to do. The realization that I wouldn’t be seeing him again was unbearable. All the dreams of him coming back to Illinois, sitting at the dinner table and just talking—everything died with him. Everything except the regrets of missed opportunities with him. I felt guilty to be alive or even to laugh again. It was difficult for me to really pray at this time. I did, but it was mostly begging God to take care of Matthew. I couldn’t concentrate; every prayer attempt was cut short with tears. I figured I needed a dose of my own medicine, so I started reading all the little writing from our church fathers that I put on the bottom of the prayer letter each week. The one I couldn’t get out of mind was, “Pray the hardest, when it’s the hardest to pray.” Sounds easy, but I continued to fail. So I started reading prayers from different books, prayers I didn’t know, so I had to concentrate. Reading out loud helped. The new Orthodox Study Bible, which I had been looking forward to for a long time, also brought renewed joy to my Scripture reading. It came to me at a most perfect time. It helped to lift me up a little from my grief. I miss Matthew; and believe me, I still cry. But if I close my eyes and think about our last visit, I can still feel his hug and tenderness. And I realized I can still send him a gift—my prayers.

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