Can You Have Too Many Prayers?

Emerging from a long illness and overwhelmed by an outpouring of love and prayers

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Posted in , Oct 7, 2015

Is it possible to have too many prayers?

I’m home recovering from a two-week stay in the hospital caused by a mysterious lung infection, and I’m utterly overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers and get-well cards and good wishes and praises of thanksgiving for healing.

I feel wholly indebted to friends and their prayers, as though the balance were completely off and I should never ever be able to repay their kindnesses or repay them for all their prayers.

I open another card offering prayers, and, for a moment, I forget to be grateful. Instead I wonder how I can give back? “I need to write this person and pray for that person,” I think. “I need to thank them.”

I feel, for a moment, spiritually small instead of large, which I don’t think any of the card senders or the praying friends or all those good people praying on Facebook would have me think.

God seems to be present in the healing that is working slowly throughout my body, bringing me closer back to my functioning self. But where is God in this weird reaction of indebtedness?

I pick up one of the books friends have given me and turn to a passage on the beatitudes, those lovely paradoxical sayings of Jesus in the Bible. And for the first time I see them with new eyes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Yes, yes, that’s exactly how I feel, poor in spirit, and look what Jesus is promising me because of it.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Yes, yes, that’s me, too. I’m mourning the loss of good health and mourning an attitude that took it for granted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. I feel small and indebted, and yet, Jesus is telling me, this is when he and God are closest to me, filling in all those small places.

I see, through the Scripture, the quizzical gift I’m being given. My indebtedness to God and my loved ones knows no bounds, but that is not a weakness, or, rather, in that weakness there is great strength.

Can you have too many people praying for you? Can you ever have too prayers? It’s not possible. Every prayer feels like a connection, my connection to that person and our connection to God.

So thanks for the prayers. They have made a huge difference, in healing both my body and soul.

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