…and a Prayer

I returned to  The Church of the Holy Spirit in Santa Rita, Honduras for their midweek evening service.  Sr. Conception and his son picked me up at the park at 6:30 in his son’s car, for the ten-mile trek, to the church.  As we were talking before the service I mentioned I was a little disappointed that he didn’t pick me up on his motorcycle.  We both laughed and got ready for the service which was completely lay led with praise music, prayers and a lay preacher.

During the first song a woman came forward and kneeled in front of the ombrey (the box on the wall where the consecrated bread and wine are kept).   Another woman came up and laid hands on her, she had been kneeling on the bare tile floor for seven or eight minutes and I was starting to worry that there was something terribly wrong.  When the other woman approached her I got up and stood on the other side of her and prayed as well.  Then the woman kneeling got up and the other woman took her place kneeling on the tile floor, and I return to my seat.

This exchange happened about seven or ten times, men and woman.  Again, I am in awe, of how people in Honduras pray.  One of the most memorable experiences people tell again and again after visiting the students on the farm is how long and seriously the boys pray before meals.

In my second church, the senior warden said to me after I prayed one day, Man, was that a grandpa prayer! I said, A grandpa prayer? She said, yes, a grandpa prayer is one of those prayers that goes on forever, like your grandpa says at Thanksgiving.  I never forgot that.  Especially the way it made me feel.   I felt like what she had said was that the length of my prayer had wasted her time.  Prayer never waists God’s time.

God is always pleased to hear from us, and especially when we say “thank-you!”   As I sat there not able to understand very much of the homily, I found myself wondering what the people kneeling on the hard ceramic tile were sharing with God.  No matter what, they had my admiration.   Did I have that much to say all at one time?   I certainly could stay on the phone that long with my best friend or my Mom, so why not have that much to talk to God about?  I know my Spirit is strong but I am afraid my body would be too weak.

When it came time to leave Sr. Concepcion ask me if it was OK to take the motorcycle home.  Of course I said, yes.  So he went and got his small motorcycle and a helmet for me and at 8:30pm in the dark of the night we drove on a hard dirt road home.  I have to say there were several times when I found myself talking to God.  When was the last time you took a moment to talk to God?  Where you on your knees  or where you flying…on a wing and a prayer?

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