Boy in prayer

About a month ago, I was waking up the kids to get ready for school and found Zach standing in the middle of our lawn. I watched him for awhile wondering what in the world he was doing. Is he peeing, I wondered? He is so his father’s son, I thought. But he kept standing there for a long time. Geez, he really had to go. Then I realized what he was doing. He was facing east towards the morning sun…praying. The vision and act melted my heart. Sweet sweet kid I have. He walked in, his face seemed to be glowing although I realized this was probably my imagination, and he said, “It’s going to be a good day.”

IMG_3343_2The thought or act to pray makes some people uncomfortable. To me, it’s about being thankful and appreciating the good in our lives. Prayer is recognizing and acknowledging it. This is what I have taught my kids, apparently better to Zach then Amélie. Amélie said to me not long ago,”Praying doesn’t work. I pray and ask for things and they never come true!” Oh how she makes me laugh! But she is not alone. People think praying is about asking for things they want. And maybe it is…to some. To me, it’s about realizing what I have and never ever taking if for granted. It’s so easy to overlook what we do have and focus on what we don’t. To me, it comes down to a few simple but  important things in life (THE most important in my opinion)…health, our loved ones (family & friends), food & water and a roof over our head. Because without those, what do we really have? After all, there are SO MANY people who don’t have those things!!

I do pray for others. I had a powerful experience when I was in my late 20’s. I had a friend who was dying from cancer. I told my sister how he was close to the end and the end was pretty miserable. I’ve always turned to her for spiritual guidance. I will never forget what she said, “Never underestimate the power of prayer.” So after a late night in NY,  I went home that night and said outloud, “Please don’t let him suffer anymore.” I really didn’t know who I was talking to or asking this of and felt mildly awkward but I felt helpless and wanted to do something, anything. I got a call the next day that my friend had passed that night. Now I am NOT suggesting that that was my doing but it did have a feeling of a prayer answered and turned me into infinite believer about the power of prayer.

I also reflect a lot on the Native American ceremony that my sister put up for Lance towards the end of his life. 40 people sat 14 hours in a tipi all night long who didn’t even know Lance or I and prayed for us. I don’t know what they prayed for but what I do know is even after losing Lance, my life has still had a lot of blessings. I have often wondered, did those people pray for me and my kids too? Did they pray that things would be okay for us, that we would be looked after? Did they pray for Lance to have a peaceful passing? How did this tragic situation show some rays of light? Was it prayer? I believe it was.

And I notice that when I live my life in gratitude, appreciating all the good things in my life, that there is an overall feeling or attitude I carry with me for the day that inherently feels good. I hope, that if this is not something you have ever done, you’ll try it. After all, what do you have to loose?


22 thoughts on “Boy in prayer

    • Coming from a writer, I’m flattered. He is a beautiful boy, although most people think he’s one of my daughters cause of his hair 😉

    • This is so beautiful Nancy. Just the picture alone made my heart melt. I have been in lots of prayer these days in a daily basis. It’s truly amazing how it shifts our consciousness from fear and worry to gratitude. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story.
      Xoxo Alison

  1. Great Post, Nance!
    The power of prayer, especially when done routinely, is a great way to not only express gratitude, but to also feel it. It is a great process for expressing thanks for our blessing’s, etc…on that note, I am very grateful for your post, as it has served as a great reminder for me to pray more often! 🙂

    Best wishes and much love, Andy

  2. How I love this post and this picture. I remember sending you a complaining text and you replied with this picture of Zach, and I instantly felt humbled and at peace. You boiled it down to exactly what matters – love, family, prayer, water, food, shelter. Thank you for your gentle invitation to pray. My heart is touched to hear the gratitude you have for life. I give thanks to Spirit for the gift of knowing your sweet family (dear Zach and Ama, Lance and you.) XO

    • You have been a teacher and guide in how to pray. When I have heard you express yourself so eloquently, I think…not only to take notes but that you really have the prayer thing down. You should teach a class.

  3. This is beautiful, Nance. Thank you for sharing it today, it really struck home for me. Love and hugs to all of you.

  4. Something about how you write makes me (and I think many readers) feel like an intimate, treasured friend in your life. The willingness for you to assume our hearts are connected even though we have never met is a beautiful and profound thing.
    Holding you in my heart as well.

    • Shana, Thank you for your comment. I’m deeply touched by your words. Flattered even. I just write from the heart, hoping it will resonate. These things have been written about many times before so I know I am not writing anything new just something that has helped me in my life, and hope by writing about it, that it can help others too…even just one person.

  5. it’s such a sweet thing to teach your children about prayer. i think prayer is a powerful force in our lives and it helps us thank god every day for all of our blessings. love that zach has an extra special angel looking out for him and your special family :).

  6. 1. I believe Zach was glowing.
    2. Do all boys and their dads have that outdoor restroom practice? I feared it was just mine, and they try to divert my claims they need to use the inside facilities by claiming they are doing this to scare off the cougars.
    3. My grandfather always said “if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.”
    4. We think of you all in our prayers.
    5. We turned our fountain on today and it reminded me of Lance running by one day, barefoot of course, and asking if we had a “water feature.” Funny. Still can’t believe he isn’t here in the physical form.
    6. Happy Easter to you and the kids.
    7. Thank you for making me smile. Keep writing. It is great stuff.

  7. What a beautiful moment you captured Nancy. I’ve been missing you so this helped to feel closer. Thank you for including us all and reminding us that this moment matters.

  8. i don’t know if i believe in the power of prayer. i only know my own journey.

    i have been around those who pray my whole life (going to catholic school) and i lived with carmelite nuns every summer of high school in beaverton, oregon and we prayed in the convent daily. the rosary, the angelus, the station sof the name it. (this is why camilla’s middle name is vesper…i thought the idea of prayers said specifically at dusk were sooooo beautiful.) i carried on my quest for the understanding of those who pray when i was a comparative religion major in college. and when i finally settled on NDE (near death experience) for my concentration, i met with many people who used prayer in their religion. snake charmers, backwoods preachers, healers who saw colors of energy flowing through me…it was a wild ride to see them invoking their god and asking for what they wanted.

    what i know, is that i know nothing. and this is fine. i choose to live my life unmoored and unafraid. i do like the idea of prayers being turned into meditations on gratitude. we need more of this…from everyone.

    nancy, your blog post comes at a tender time as tomorrow is the one year of my father’s death. he was very into prayer. he was also very into marrying my babysitter and not talking to me for 23 years. i struggle to think of his cognitive dissonance and how it related to his daily prayers. regardless, i hope he found some peace in this world.

    we all deserve it, no matter how we get there.



  9. Very impressive at such a young age. Clearly he has learned to live in the moment, one of the most important lessons. Nicely done nance

  10. Nancy,
    It is wonderful to hear how you and the kids are doing via these posts. I love the intimate quality your writing has, and would have loved to sit right down next to Zach and share a moment of peace with him!

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