Dear Father in heaven, guide me as You would have me go.
I pray this prayer every day. It is a reminder to myself to open my heart and trust that my Higher Power – God and Jesus – are watching over me and shepherding me along the way. I often hear non-religious people posit the question, “Why would God – if there is one – be worried about my everyday concerns? If there truly is a guiding hand in the universe, He/She/It surely would have better things to do than help with finding that button I’ve lost under the bed or calming my ragged nerves just because I’m not sure what I should be doing with my life. After all, isn’t that the arena where the person should take personal responsibility? Hardly worth a Higher Power’s time and attention, don’t you think?”
I can see the bait dangling in front of me with those words and I am tempted to plunge headlong for it. This would entail jumping on my soapbox and quoting (badly) the scripture from Matthew about God knowing the number of hairs on your head. Instead, I take a deep breath and point out the beauty of the day or ask if that person would like a cup of coffee. I do, in fact, believe in a God who cares about every aspect of not just my life but every life, but I also know that my engaging in a mental boxing match on this subject will do nothing but land me in the corner with a busted lip.
My more fundamental friends would say I have missed a prime opportunity to witness, but being the Episcopalian that I am, I don’t think that way. I hope and pray that I can discern the difference between those who are eager to hear, and honor the beliefs of those who are not. I also believe the Holy Spirit is alive and well and doesn’t need me to get in the middle of things. My job is to do the best I can every day and trust that God will do the rest. Non-believers might snarl, “Oh, good. I suppose you think just praying about it will be good enough?” My answer is a resounding no. Though I believe in the power of prayer, I also believe we’re called to action to stand up for what we think is right.
I strive to be open and surrendered to God’s guidance. And, yes, I do believe the Almighty has the capacity to care/attend to/value what I think, feel and do in all matters, big and small. In my mind, that is the very definition of an Infinite Power.