This week I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer. Don’t worry this isn’t about to get too religious or too political or even too mushy into my trials and tribulations. I’ve just been thinking about the act of praying and how it makes people uncomfortable to pray in public.
I miss prayer in school. I miss football games not starting with an invocation. I miss seeing ball players take a knee and bow their heads.
My personal prayer life is a little bit more like a long ongoing conversation. It’s a personal conversation with God. But I find something truly peaceful about praying formally too. I find that a calm washes over me when I recite the Lord’s Prayer at church. I am not Catholic but I assure you that I’ve said my fair share of Hail Marys.
So, why don’t we pray publicly? If it calms someone as crazy as me down, I think it could do wonders for a crowd. I don’t think we necessarily have to pray to the same God. I have a friend that is teaching her young son to pray. She wants him to make his own choices about religion and faith, but right now as a young boy – she wants him to understand that at night it is healing to bow your head and show gratitude for the blessings in your life. He is quite little – so I think he prays to spaghetti right now. None the less, he thanks spaghetti for him mom, and his dad and grandparents and anything else he can think of. I like his style.
I just kind of miss starting off big occasions with a prayer – a nod to the man above that we are about to do something big and we’d like him involved. And I can tell you that I still find it sexy when a man removes his hat for a prayer or the National Anthem.
I went to Aushwitz a few years ago with my cousin. We visited Poland especially to go and experience this part of history. It was without a doubt the most important historic site I have ever seen. But each time we walked into a building where so many had lost their lives, Ryan took his hat off. Made me proud that he’d been brought up that way.
But that’s just it… isn’t a prayer… simply a moment to stop and show respect. To stop and show gratitude for what we received. I know I joke about praying for Mack Brown and Will Muschamp and this year, I’ll be praying for Gilbert’s arm… but I love UT football, so I stop and say thanks for sending great men to be a part of something I love.
My daily prayers are wrought with questions, sometimes filled with begging for answers, and that’s not really what I am talking about today. Today, I am talking about the simple act of bowing our heads, stopping for a moment, breathing in, and saying thanks. I think we could all use more of those moments.
I think there should be prayer in school. I think there should prayer at sporting events. I am pretty sure there is prayer in war (though I hope to never find out for sure) and I think there should be prayer before we do just about anything. It doesn’t have to be to my God. Pray to spaghetti, pray to Buddha, pray to whoever you want. If you don’t believe in God… well then tell me what’s wrong with simply stopping for moment to be grateful? So maybe we don’t call it prayer, but I just can’t find anything wrong with the act of stopping to say thanks – for whatever you are grateful for…like Mack Brown, Will Muschamp, converting on 3rd down, and this blog.