A Family Prays


 

A Family Prays

Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.  May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.

Psalm 88:1-2

Dad’s mind was on Saturday because he considered it to be our Sabbath Day.  On this day, as soon as we awoke, he summoned us to pray.  The kids all gathered in the living room and knelt.  Dad would then pray with us from his heart.  “Almighty and Everlasting God, we humbly ask you to continue to bless our family.  We are most thankful for the many blessings you have showered on us.  We are especially grateful for our health, food, and shelter.  Although, we do not have much, we’re most thankful.”

Amen!

“We humbly ask you to continue to bless our work, and especially the efforts of mom, who does so much.  We thank you for granny Sarah, Edwin, Squee, and Boyie for all they do.  Thank you for our family, and the kids, who are in school.  Help us to have joyful and kind hearts.

Amen!

“Please continue to guide us in having a loving home.  Be with our neighbors and friends.  And help us so that we would view the strangers we meet as angels of peace.” 

 I always thought when I heard this prayer that some strangers could well be devils in disguise.  It was dad’s way of helping us see the good in people.

 Dad continued, “Help us to envision living in your Heavenly Kingdom, forever and ever, amen!”  Soon he began chanting, “Miracles, miracles, God of miracles, miracles, miracles, God of miracles!”

 I was always wondered about dad’s repetitive chanting.  It was his belief that all things were miracles.  In discussing these beliefs, he would say, “Show me anything, and I’ll see a miracle.”  As a child I never understood when he said even bad things could be miracles.  Soon I thought Christ dying on the cross was the epitome of evil, but look at all the good that came from this bad act.

 Again, we sang, Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on us!”

“Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on us!” We responded.

 For dad, his chant was adequate in asking God to forgive us of our sins.  As he knelt before us, he was saying, “God’s in control.  God is in our soul.” We repeated, “God is in control.  God is in our soul.”

 Undoubtedly, dad believed God was the Master of our destiny.  We each had a soul that ought to be guided by his purpose.  This was what he taught us.  Soon, dad raised his eyes toward the ceiling and said, “God is the way, the truth, and light.  God is our delight.”

 We repeated, “God is the way, the truth, and light.  God is our delight.”

 Dad’s religious fervor was overwhelming.  As we knelt some of us shifted from side to side trying to make ourselves comfortable on the wooden floors.    But dad however was oblivious to this discomfort.  I wondered if such prayers had anything to do with the people who we later became in life.  In confidence dad persisted, “With God all things are possible.  With God all things are possible.”

 This saying reflected his beliefs that all things whether big or small God was able to transform according to his purpose.

 Again, dad implored God’s forgiveness.  “God, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.”

 Humbly we responded, “God, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.”

 The family’s favorite prayers followed, “The 23rd Psalm,” “Our Father,” and “Hail Mary.”  Dad then concluded the devotion with “May God’s peace, be always with you. Amen!”  And we all responded, “May God’s peace, be always with you. Amen!”

Often, I noticed some of my younger brothers and sisters had trouble following dad’s prayers.  The responses they blurted out were convoluted as they stumbled over their words.  The older kids giggled and we received a warning look from dad.  He yelled, “This was no time to fool around.”

 Once the devotion was over, the family returned the furniture to its proper place.  But while we prayed mom was in the kitchen preparing breakfast.  As soon as she entered the living room, mom asked dad how we did.  It was her belief, “A family who prayed would be together.”  She was convinced that we were all members of the Church of Christ, and liked the living room to be considered as a place of worship.  As soon as the prayers ended dad kissed each of us on the forehead before leaving the room.  After breakfast was served the kids did house work, and made plans for church on Sunday.              


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