Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘prayer’

Prayer

Prayer…it can be such an integral part of our lives.  I know for me, prayer is a vital life line.  It allows me to hand over my fears…frustrations…disappointments…concerns…as well as all that I am thankful for.

We learn many formal prayers….”The Lord’s Prayer”….”The Glory Be”…as Catholics, many more are learned…”The Hail Mary”…”The Apostles Creed”…”The Divine Praises”… I am sure several others have come to your mind.

We also learn to pray informally.  We are often told to use “The Lord’s Prayer” as a template for our own prayers…we are encouraged to use our own words…to speak to God as if he was in the room for us…like we would speak to a friend.

Often we can find ourselves in a rut…saying similar words as if by rote…going through the motions…not really allowing ourselves to open up and speak with our hearts not just our minds.

Many of us were taught the following pattern for prayer (referred to as A.C.T.S.):

Adoration – “Praise be to God!” -Psalms 68:35
Tell God how much you appreciate Him.

Confession – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
Tell Him where you have fallen short. Be as specific as possible.

Thanksgiving – Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” -Psalms 69:30
Thank God for His love, His faithfulness, His patience…express gratitude to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Supplication – “Make your requests known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
Tell God what is on your mind…whether it be for yourself…a family member…a friend…you can also just speak thoughts that you are having.

I know that I often pray informally…yet there are many times…especially when Fibro Fog is thick…or my mind is wandering all over…I find comfort in reciting one of the formal prayers…even if I cannot get all the words correct…it helps me to relax…to shift my focus.

Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts…He knows our needs…He wants us to commune with Him.  Whatever type of prayer…as long as it is from the heart…will be heard.

Limitations

It is disappointing as we struggle within our limitations.  Limitations that have been imposed upon us by ill health…whether it be Fibromyalgia, Polyarthralgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc. I am not suggesting that we are always disappointed or unhappy…not at all! Disappointment is a poignant visitor in our lives.

The medications that we take interact with our bodies and our conditions in a number of ways. For instance, when switching up doses or adjusting to a new medication, I often deal with the inability to stay awake. We can make tentative plans…only to find that I have curled up in bed and can not awake in time.

This used to really bother me. It often left me feeling guilty…feeling like a flake…or feeling that I have let my family down. However, I have come to the realization that this is just another aspect of my conditions showcasing my limitations. This can be interpreted in either a positive or a negative way. It is MY choice in how I react to these limitations.

During this most recent incident, I simply said a quiet prayer…something like, “Heavenly Father, you know my desire…” Truthfully, that is as far as I got before falling into a very deep slumber! I awoke hours later…to find that my husband and son had not yet eaten lunch.

We had missed an opportunity to get out and join friends for Church, however, I did have the opportunity to eat a quiet lunch with my family…and to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with them. No one was frustrated…they understood that my body was demanding sleep. I was not frustrated….I was disappointed, yes….but I know that there will be other opportunities!

I have learned to be a lot easier on myself…to not be so judgmental or harsh on circumstances that are truly out of my control. I know that my heart and mind are in the right place…even if I can not get my body there!  LOL

A sense of humor is a must for us as we deal with these situations….as we are reminded of our limitations. Yes…my body will always have the last say…I will continue to make plans and to find that I am not always able to go through with them. That is just one of the many lessons of living with chronic health conditions.

God Speaks

God speaks in so many ways…sometimes it is through a friend’s voice…sometimes it is an impression…sometimes it is in something we read…

Last night, I had some very heavy thoughts…wanting to somehow become more proactive in our community for those that are living with chronic pain (those with the condition/illness as well as family members, co-workers, friends).  I know that there are quite a few individuals dealing with this…just like I am.

The strong impression of pursuing working with the American Chronic Pain Association weighed heavily on me…I just kept praying for the right direction that I should pursue.

This morning another strong impression was given to me…to speak to a few individuals in town regarding a potential meeting place and trying to formulate my idea into a more concrete idea.  Keeping in mind that I am severely limited…as are some that I would like to reach out to…

Then I sat down and read the daily devotional for today, December 8, from “A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days” by Amy Welborn.  It reads in part:

“…God chooses each of us, too. We live in a hurting world that yearns for the healing touch of God’s love.  It seems beyond us.

But I have to remember this as well:  If God wishes me to be a part of this great work, He will give me the gifts I need to do it, and I have Mary’s prayer and witness to guide me along the way…”

Talk about a wonderful answer to my prayers last night! A great reinforcement to push ahead and to discuss my idea…to set about a meeting site…and further contacting the ACPA for the materials….

Faith

While reading Matthew 8:5-10 KJV, I was overwhelmed with the faith that was demonstrated by the centurion:

“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

I read this…then read this again. Each time the same question came to my mind…is my faith as strong as the centurion demonstrated?

Each of us is in a different place in our Faith.  Just as the path of chronic pain has its twists and turns…its ups and downs…so does our walk of Faith.  There are times we feel strong and secure…like we have a full measure….there are times that we struggle…like we are grasping tightly to that small grain of Faith that is the size of a mustard seed.

Remember…no matter where we are on these paths…our Heavenly Father is there…always watching…and listening to our prayers.

 

In The Quiet of The Night

It is in the quiet of the night that I feel Your presence….Your loving arms around me.  Lying still….not asleep….quietly praying….

Prayers in the night are more like conversations……quiet talk about friends, family…..time to pray for family and friends…..time to pray for my family…..time to pray for myself.

I feel that I am just rambling during these late hours!  I just let the thoughts shift….taking their twists and turns…..

It is during this time that I can relax my mind….to allow it to roam through random thoughts to converse…to enjoy that wonderful Peace that only God can provide.  It is my chance to renew…to strengthen….to prepare for the next day….to prepare for what is next.

My doctors give me a 50/50 chance as to having some type of residual nerve pain….they anticipate that I still have major hurdles ahead.  Me…I want to prove them wrong!  Yet…I am not the one in control.  So knowing the road travelled this far….knowing the struggle….the daily pain….

I look forward to that time….that Quiet of the Night….that time to quietly interact with God, Our Father…..And, yes….time to speak with our Blessed Mother…..

How truly blessed we are as Catholics….to have such a prayer source before us!  We just have to humble ourselves to ask for Prayer……

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