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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Praying For Our Enemies

Raised in an Italian Roman Catholic/Mass attending family, I'm not now a religious woman, although I consider myself spiritual.  And while I do not understand how it works, I  believe strongly in the power of prayer.  I also believe in the existence of Good -- and wonder (and here's where my linguistic background comes in) if the development of the concept of "God" actually derives from the word "good".  It makes sense.  Perhaps it is not exactly 'prayer power' that elicits change, but the power of the collective 'good'.  And while this is something to think about, it's not the point of my post.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of many, I confess that I pray for Bin Laden, the Taliban, and those throughout the world who through their intolerance or greed  harm others.  Why waste my prayers on these people?  I pray for their victims and those who are preyed upon as well, but wouldn't it be wonderful, in every sense of this word, if the Peace of Goodness came to these tortured souls and they never again felt the hatred that has engulfed them and thereby affected so many others?

Perhaps it's just the season that has spurred my idealistic meandering, but considering what's at stake, what can prayer hurt?

17 comments:

Charlene said...

Prayer is a focus for my mind. I don't know how it works either, but it has worked too much in my life for me to discount it. I pray. Your idea of praying for our enemies isi one of the hardest things to pray for. I recall a woman who made the life of everyone at this one job I had, miserable. She slept with the boss and got promoted, took the job of a good person and ended up their superviser until they left. It was awful. I prayed for her though I had to force it. Amazing how that worked. SMILE

George said...

The Book of Common Prayer contains prayers for our enemies and we are to use them. I must admit that it is sometimes hard, but I do try. I don't know how prayer works, but it does.

Tracy said...

Ummm, interesting concept~ like you, I find I am a very spiritual person who also believes in God and good. I actually pray often; it seems since I'm a teacher I'm praying for patience or other such qualities on trying day. However, I never conceptualized praying for our enemies, rather prayed for my response to those individuals.
thanks for the thought provoking entry...

Snappy Di said...

I don't believe in prayer, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything. AND, if I remember correctly from my childhood, we are supposed to pray for sinners. I think Bin Laden probably fits into that category. :-))

Di

Linda said...

I believe we need to pray about the anger and hate in our own country. I think correcting our own anger would make an amazing difference in dealing with anger in the rest of the world.

Purple Flowers said...

I believe in praying for those who are heartless and cruel. There is something missing in their minds and in their hearts. They have many levels to reach before they attain that level of lighted goodness/Godliness. And it probably won't happen in this lifetime, which might mean they may have to start from the bottom rung...again.

Deb said...

Prayer for those who have wronged us or done evil is, I believe, the truest spirituality.

Linda Reeder said...

As an agnostic, I don't "pray". But I sure do a lot of thinking, what some might call meditating.
It seems to me a person who prays for their eniemis has reached quite a high level of goodness, much more so than many outwardly religious folks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I totally believe in PRAYER--and couldn't live my life without it... I do believe that prayers are answered ---but sometimes we don't get the answer we want!

As far as praying for our enemies, YES---we should do that too.. I ask God to help all of us learn to get along with each other and with those who are different... I'm not sure we'll have peace in our world in my lifetime --but we can pray for it!

Hugs,
Betsy

Happyone :-) said...

I pray all the time and I know God hears them and answers them all. Like Betsy I couldn't live my life without it either. I think we should pray for all people, even our enemies.
I also pray for people who think there is no God.

Maggie said...

I truly believe prayer works. Hugs.

Gilly said...

As a Christian (a struggling one) I do believe in prayer, and praying for our enemies. Trouble is, I don't do enough of it!

I think perhaps this post, and the other comments have spurred me to making a better job of "being Christian".

Whatever that might be!

ain't for city gals said...

I love this concept.."The power of Good"...makes sense to me. Praying for one's enemies is a good thing...

jane said...

amen kathy.
xxx

vanillabeanbaker said...

I definitely believe in the power of prayer. Prayer is healing, not only for those you prayer for but for you as well.

Lena said...

It is good to pray for our enemies. when ever someone tells me some awful gossip about how someone treated them badly, I always say that they need prayers.

Janette said...

I pray for my enemies.
I have a side question. I wonder if my meander away from organized religion- into personal prayer- will affect the next generation. Since my attendance at mass is not as important, my children's attendance is less. If my daughter does not bring up our grandson in a religion- will the chances of him seeing being spiritual as important diminish?