The Simple Gift of Prayer

"I Commit to Pray"

Sticker on the traffic box near 111 South Wacker

I was passing South Wacker street earlier this week, when someone threw me a lifeline.

I had just come from a difficult meeting. I was in that stupor you feel when you have done the best you can, for as long as you can, and it just hasn’t matched the need of the moment. I was tired, and I was humbled.

It was there, on the side of a metal box welded to the corner of Wacker, that I saw the small sticker: “I commit to pray.”

It was so small, I bet most people did not notice it when rushing by. Me, I was in a mood to notice things - even little things - if they were good. And this was good.

What does it mean to pray? I imagine a lot of folks have differing opinions.

I know some of my friends pray in the belief that their prayers will move mountains to match their needs and desires. I know other friends who pray so that they, themselves, will be moved to accept with grace the paths and the obstacles that come their way.

One of my favorite verses from Scripture talks about this:

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I admit I have wrestled with how I feel about all this. Some days, it seems the silliest thing in the world to whisper words in the hope the world will change. Nevertheless, I find myself whispering. Though I am never sure exactly what prayer does, I know that I believe in doing it.

My most consistent prayer, my favorite prayer, is a prayer of thanks. Sitting down for a meal, I try to always voice my gratitude for the food and the company. Many days, I try to say thanks for the many other blessings, large and small, that come my way.

This was a lesson taught by one of my heroes, Fred Rogers. He was quoted saying that he thought one of the best prayers was simply to say, on a regular basis, “Thank you.”

So I am expressing my gratitude to whoever put that sticker on that metal box on Wacker. In that moment, I needed that reminder. Whoever you are, you put a moment of connection into the universe, and it reached me, and it gave me hope.

Thank you.

Do you pray? What are your thoughts about the power of prayer in your own life?

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