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Save Your Prayers

Sunset prayer

What are they going to do? What have they done? We don’t want them.

If you’ve been on any form of social media in the past six months or so, or have otherwise engaged in discussion regarding all of the recent atrocities that have afflicted our country, you’ve surely seen one of these statements or questions, or maybe even had one directed your way. I have. And, frankly, it’s really hard to hear.

Being brought up in church, one of the things that’s been ingrained in my mind is the importance of prayer. If you’ve spent any amount of time in church, you’ve surely heard the following, or something similar: “Have you prayed about it?” “I’m praying for you.” “Let’s pray about that.”

And here’s what it boils down to. Prayer is important. Not to everyone, I get that. But to Christians, it is. It’s extremely important. The Bible tells us, us being believers in Christ, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, to, “Pray without ceasing.” (KJV) Luke 6:28 says, “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (NIV) And perhaps, most poignantly for our current situations, Psalm 5:2, “Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.” (NIV)

We’re crying for help.

The word pray is used in the King James Version of the Bible 313 times. It’s important. It’s a big deal. It’s a very important aspect of faith for Christians. It means something.

Listen, I understand that someone saying they’re praying for something or someone seems like nothing but hot air. And in some cases, it just may be. Of course there are people out there who throw around that far-too-often-heard phrase, “I’m praying for you.” and mean absolutely nothing by it. They say it as a means to acknowledge a challenge or tragedy, and nothing more.

But that’s not the majority of Christians.

Most of us, when we tell you we’re praying for you, or when we ask if we can pray for you, mean it, and we follow through. It’s more than just a pleasantry that is shrugged off and tossed by the wayside. Most of us take prayer very seriously.

You don’t have to believe it’s going to work. You don’t have to want our prayers. You can say praying hasn’t changed anything. You can get upset when the first course of action for many Christians is to say they’re going to pray about a situation. All of those reactions are completely understandable.

But what really needs to be understood about Christians and prayer is that it is not, I say again, IT IS NOT, inaction. I know it may feel like it. I mean, how hard is it to take five seconds, stop what you’re doing, mutter some little sentiment and move on with your day, right?

But prayer is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. When Christians pray, we are falling on our knees before our God, and calling out to Him on your behalf, on behalf of our country, on behalf of our world. That’s not always a physical action, of course. You won’t see Christians just dropping to their knees every time they call out to the Lord. It’s not socially acceptable. But though you’re not seeing it happen in front of you, it’s happening in our spirits. We are visualizing ourselves kneeling at the throne of God, begging, pleading, crying, for you. For your situation. For your pain.

That doesn’t negate the need for us to act further, please don’t get me wrong. Our action cannot stop with prayer. We must do more. But please, don’t belittle the actions of a praying Christian. You may not see the results of a prayer. You may not notice a change in your situation because someone prayed for you. You really may not care less.

But please, do not negate our prayers. Do not condemn us for praying first and physically acting second. Do not think our Christian work stops when we say, “I’ll pray for you.” Because if anything, for us, praying is just the first step.

I’d take the recognition of a prayer over a Facebook rant about how messed up everything in our country is, over a 140 character hashtag-riddled blurb on Twitter, over a blog reminding us of what dark, sad, challenging times we’re in.

Because prayer brings us hope. Prayer brings us light. Prayer brings us solace in times of pain and peace in times of disorder.

Praying doesn’t fix everything. It can’t. We live in a fallen world. But then again, nothing fixes everything. So what does prayer hurt?

 

The men of Pantera

The men of Pantera. From left, Rex Brown, Dimebag Darrell, Phil Anselmo and Vinnie Paul.

Music makes memories

I’m a fan of all kinds of music: hard rock, classic rock, country, pop, smooth jazz, the Rat Pack, Christian and downright good ol’ gospel.

And there are songs from just about every genre that will move me, often to the point of tears, simply because of the memories they stir up. Sometimes they hurt, other times they’re memories of the most cherished moments of my life, like my wedding day.

The crazy thing is, it happens to all of us. Studies have been done on the human brain and the responses garnered from hearing certain songs. Here’s just one example.

Our minds are fascinating places, and being able to jump years into the past with just a few notes or lyrics adds just one more facet to the already intricate web that is the mind.

The Dallas Stars and Pantera

The one song that, for me, has more memories attached to it than any other won’t be found on any radio station or CD. It’s hard to find as an mp3, and you can forget about hearing it pop up on Pandora. And sadly, as of last year, you couldn’t find it in the one place you were supposed to.

Here it is. The Dallas Stars fight song by Pantera. View full article »

Growing up, I spent my summers playing on sugar white sands that flirted with the rushing tides of crystal clear blues and greens. The waves sparkled like a million chandeliers reflecting the beauty of some mysterious unknown light. It was as close to paradise as I could get. Pensacola, Florida.

Being in the sun day in and day out for weeks at a time, and great genes that were infused with hints of my Native American ancestry, guaranteed me a summer tan that would last all year.

And then I turned about 12. Suddenly, that great summer tan seemed to break up and scatter across my shoulders, down my arms and all over my cheeks. Freckles: the “adorable” facet of the complexion people cooed over. I hated my freckles for a very long time. View full article »

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and talk with a student from Russia (Ruslan) who is visiting America for the first time. He speaks English incredibly well and was so excited to be here it honestly took me back a bit.

He came because he became pen pals with a woman who lives in, of all places, Hickory Creek, likely one of the smallest towns in suburban Dallas. And crazy life worked it out that I got to sit down and spend an hour learning about his culture, his life, the things he’s interested in and how in the world he learned how to speak English so well.

Turns out, he reads A LOT of English books, watches English television and movies and works his butt off to be a more fluent English speaker. View full article »

And I’m off….

Well here it goes. I’ve finally created my own blog. I’ve started it for one of the final journalism classes of my college career, but knowing me and how much I think about things and like to share my thoughts and opinions, this will probably be around for a while. Thanks for checking it out, hope you enjoy something you read here. Cheers and GO STARS!

Love and hockey,

Alison