For me, as well as for a number of my friends, family and co-workers, this past year was filled with the loss of loved ones, illnesses, unemployment and the frustrations of day-to-day life. It was also filled with the blessings of God’s hand for a friend of mine in the birth of a new grandchild, the confirmation of a healthy pregnancy for another friend and the gift of a wonderful relationship for a relative.
Through these ups and downs, I have continued to pray. And I found comfort. I like the idea of connecting with God as I’m starting my day, so I’ve made it a point to pray on my way to work. I ask God for guidance and direction in my personal and professional life, and for His love and light to shine on those who are going through difficult times.
In the Bible, in 1 Thessalonians, chapter five, verse 17, Jesus’ followers are urged to “pray without ceasing.” I admit I struggled with that, initially. I felt like it might diminish my autonomy in making decisions.
What I’ve learned, though, is that God is patient, loving, kind and forgiving. And when stuff happens that hurts, He is there waiting to bring comfort and strength. Most importantly, even if the circumstances don’t change, I have an intuitive sense that it will all be OK—that is a promise from God.
If you have any New Year’s resolutions, consider adding praying without ceasing. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
By Marya Burns, CMSW, MPA
Rehabilitation/Skilled Care Consultant