Monday, December 18, 2006


It is known that there are times you listen to a speaker and certain words spoken stay with you. That’s what happened to me yesterday at church. The head pastor was on his honeymoon and the associate pastor was called to deliver the morning service. Rev. Barnett is his name.

While giving his sermon, he expressed a desire to see and hear of people praying more. Yes, you expect to hear a minister talk about prayer but, what grabbed my attention was his reference to consistent prayers. Rev. Barnett spoke of how we all say prayers as we go to bed, wake in the morning, before eating a meal, and during bad times. What he brought out was how we really should pray more often than that.

The first thing that came to my mind was of followers of the Islamic faith. As I understand things now, those who practice the Islamic religion pray five times each day, faithfully. It suddenly hit me, why don’t we? As a matter of fact, why doesn’t all religious followers have a set schedule, like Muslims, and pray faithfully a certain number of times each and every day? Is it written somewhere, in some document not to do so?

So I asked myself why don’t Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Quakers, Amish, Mormons, Jews, and die-hard Baptist like me do the same? For all I know, they may pray on a regular basis. My curiosity got the best of me. I called a fellow classmate who is a Muslim and asked of her if we could set a time to talk about praying. I wanted to find out more about her religious practice of prayers. So the time was set for this afternoon. She will call me and we will discuss the prayer ritual to help me understand better.

You see; my church pastor touched me with his words. I have for the past five years found myself wanting to be closer and closer to God more than ever before. I suddenly feel a need to pray more. No, I have no plans to become a religious fanatic, just more spiritually enlightened. In the New Year of 2007, it will have been five years since I took a leap of faith and changed careers midstream. In 2002 I began writing for a living.

Oh trust me when I tell you; it hasn’t been a picnic. I have had good seasons but just as many bad ones. So many times I have asked myself, did I make a mistake? Yet, when I think about what I used to do and what I want to do, writing always comes out on top. Teaching and speaking are second and third. Corporate America isn’t my thing anymore.

What has one got to do with the other? Everything. Remember I said I took a leap of faith changing careers? I put my trust in the higher power, God, to see me through the journey from here to there, wherever that may be. I seriously want it to be pen and paper, 7/24.

Like the pastor said, it is when things go bad that we tend to pray more than usual. I want to change that. I want to, like Muslims, make it a ritual. I am a creature of regularity. I like knowing what I’m going to do morning, noon, and night. I really don’t like idle time. So this afternoon, I will talk with a classmate about regular prayer time. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, another bridge will be built to connect a faithful religious follower with another one. From what I can see, one Muslim and one Baptist might be able to bend their knees together as they pray to the higher being. I’ll let you know next week.


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