When our mother died, my five brothers and I started an ongoing dialogue reflecting on the loss of our last surviving parent. While the rest of us stumbled along in our attempts to comfort each other amidst our own grief, my brother Clark would simply say, “Let’s pray.”
I recall one prayer he led with me that went like this: “Dear God. Help Pat in Heaven. Amen.”
You have to know my brother to understand the significance of this simple prayer. Clark took care of my mother as she deteriorated over time from her diabetes. He lived with her until she was placed in a nursing home after her second leg was amputated and she was determined legally blind. While in the nursing home, Clark called our mother every morning and evening to check in with her.
The rest of us siblings were not as devoted in our contacts with our mother and we allowed our busy lives to excuse this bad behavior. But Clark was ever faithful, both in keeping in touch with mom and in praying for her. This may not seem significantly different than the average American family except that my brother may not fit the common definition of average.
You see, he was born with Downs Syndrome. Even in his simplistic world, Clark understood the comforting value of prayer.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
– Romans 12:12 (NIV)
“Dear Heavenly Father, I turn over all my pain and distress to Your capable care and I find comfort that You are in control. Help me not to worry and grieve about the difficulties in life. Show me how to be faithful in prayer. Let me start now by praying for…”