Growing up, it’s no secret; my father had a severe drinking problem. Although he was an alcoholic, nobody wanted to openly talk about it, except to talk ‘about him’ behind his back. Much later on, Dad would reflect and say, that at that time, he was a drunk, not an alcoholic. He would explain, with his big old goofy grin, that drunks go to bars while alcoholics go to meetings. Of course.
I wasn’t privy to engage in these conversations about him until I was about 12 years old. Because growing up in the south, children were to be seen, but not heard. My thoughts or opinions on the subject of my father’s problem mattered little. So I remained silent.
For a number of years, I would sit at the kitchen table with my paternal grandmother and my mother and listen in on their conversations about my dad. Both were always in agreement at the end that he just needed to ‘hit rock bottom.’ They felt that if he could just get low enough, be miserable enough, suffer enough that he would miraculously have an Epiphany and decide to stop.
They even prayed to that end!
I was appalled, even though I said nothing.
So to counter balance that ‘Negative Prayer’ I would sit quietly and pray for the opposite. I prayed that he would receive goodness and grace. I wished for a better life for him and the ability for him to make better choices for himself. I longed for him to see himself as I saw him; brilliantly smart, and funny, generous to a fault, loving, kind to all creatures great and small and exceptionally Tolerant to race, creed, religion, sex and sexual orientation.
It just made no sense then, nor does it make any sense now, to pray in a negative way for anyone. Why on earth would you want something bad to happen to someone so that something good might come of it?
I pray now for intercessions for my family, friends and even enemies in all circumstances that they will be delivered from their infirmities great or small. I don’t wish bad things on them, or pray for negative things to happen to them. Unlike Mr. Newton’s hypothesis, it doesn’t always take a bad action to cause an equal and opposite good one. I refuse to believe that.
And I don’t pray that way.
I pray for you that you are lifted and gifted. That you see your own glorious and beautiful potential. That you are relieved from your addictions or afflictions. That you rise to a higher calling. That you receive all that you deserve and a little bit more as a bonus. That you love and get loved back. In Abundance!
Positively Prayerfully yours,
Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world!