Praying: Everyday Magic, Day 45

Today I’m praying for friends and their just-born or just-about-to-be-born baby with all my heart. I don’t know what’s happening, only that a call went out for “hardcore praying power” for them. All night, I kept waking up, wondering if their baby had been born after about two days of labor. Now that I heard this call, I’m sending my deepest wishes for whatever healing is needed.

When I first heard the news, I fell into deep worry for a moment, but then I told myself, “Remember what prayer can do.” I should know and never forget. When Daniel, now 21, was born, he inhaled amniotic fluid and was on the cusp of leaving us for a while. People prayed far and wide, and one friend saw him in a dream standing on the edge of a pool, wondering whether to jump in. “Jump in,” she encouraged him, and he did. He survived in fine fashion, and a few years later, asked me, “Do all babies, when they’re born, leave their parents and go back to God and then return to their parents again?”

My other story concerns my youngest son, Forest, who was thrown from our van in 2001 when I hit some black ice and careened off the road to land upside down in a ditch. His brain was bleeding in three places and jaw was broken in five, but thanks to the superb energy healing of Ursula Gilkeson, and prayers from around the world and in dozens of flavors, he pulled through. The doctor who examined him after three days said his staff couldn’t make sense of the new x-rays compared to the original ones right after the accident.

This is not to say that prayer gives us the results we want in all cases or that I can fathom the intentions of the life force or the mysteries embedded in why people suffer, recover, live or die. This is only to say that when it comes to my friends at this moment, I’m praying, sometimes by crying a little, sometimes by envisioning them with their baby healthy in the future, sometimes by just yearning for whatever healing is most needed. Mary Oliver, in one of her poems, says, “I don’t know how to pray, but I know how to pay attention,” and this sums up for me what it means to let our deepest love guide us.