We've been having a very interesting and lively discussion about prayer here on The Faithful Dissident. I've enjoyed it very much, have found it to be enlightening and appreciate all the comments that you have shared. The discussion is far from over, so keep your comments coming if you have anything more to say.
I was thinking more about prayer the past few days as there are a few people on my mind whom I would like to help. Unfortunately, there's nothing much I can really do for them except pray. Although I have expressed my doubts about prayer in the past, by no means have I abandoned the practice and so I felt inspired to start a prayer roll here on my blog.
I invite you all, regardless of your current spiritual state, Mormon or non-Mormon, to join in and add the names of anyone you feel needs some heavenly help in their lives, for whatever reason. Post the name of the person and tell us a bit about their situation if you wish. Feel free to change the person's name (as I have done) for the sake of privacy. I'm sure the Lord will know who we're praying for, even if the name has been changed. Tell us as much or as little as you wish about the person you are concerned about. Here are the three that are on my mind at the moment:
Fredrick: I met him last summer as he took a summer job at the nursing home where I work. I was impressed by his patience and gentle way with the old people, not just because he was the only male in a female-dominated workplace, but also because of his age. At just 18, he fit in very well into a sometimes extremely challenging and stressful work environment, where patients are often aggressive, verbally and physically abusive, and downright unpleasant to be around. Fredrick had gone on to become a truck driver, recently finished his schooling and started work. He still picked up a shift here and there at the nursing home until he fell ill a few weeks ago. A couple days ago at work, I heard the news that he has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He's just undergone surgery, 80% of the tumour has been removed, but he now has to wait to hear the results of whether or not it's cancerous. On top of that, his sight has been compromised and it's too early to say whether it will come back, which in itself is a huge obstacle for a 19 year-old who thought he was going to spend his years driving trucks. Please pray that Fredrick's tumour is benign. And if it's not, that he will have the strength to fight through the treatment he faces and win the battle.
Mohammed: This young man hails from Afghanistan. When he was approximately 5 years old, his family was wiped out by a bomb during the war with the Soviets. He was the only survivour and was sent to an orphanage, where he spent his childhood. Since the orphanage was run by Soviets, he was not raised in the Muslim faith. Around his mid-20's, he escaped Afghanistan, without any passport or identification, and made his way across some of the old Soviet states, where he lived on the street and was sometimes subject to beatings. Eventually he reached Europe and crossed through several countries until he entered Norway hidden on a boat. Once there, he applied for political asylum and has been awaiting the decision on his case for almost 5 years. A couple of years into his Norwegian stay, a couple of Elders struck up a conversation with him on the street and he eagerly accepted the Gospel. Mohammed has worked hard, against the odds, and built up a decent life for himself with a job, staying active in the Church, and learning fluent Norwegian. His life has been like something out of a sad movie and yet he always remains cheerful, hopes for the best, and is extremely grateful for whatever help is extended to him. This past spring, he had another meeting with the Norwegian immigration authorities who will decide whether he can stay in Norway or if he's to be deported back to Afghanistan. He was told he would be informed of the decision in 3-6 weeks, but now it's been over 3 months. Some of the other asylum-seekers that had a meeting the same day that he did have already been approved, but he is still anxiously waiting. We've been hoping and praying and though local Church leaders have petitioned on his behalf, it's out of everyone's hands. We pray that he will finally have that cloud hanging over his head removed, so that he will no longer have to remain stateless. Pray that he will be given the opportunity to live his life in peace and safety and not have the flame of his potential snuffed out because of the political situation he was born into.
Cliff's sister: A reader who commented in the prayer discussion told of his sister, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Even though Cliff and I don't see eye-to-eye on some things, I feel for his sister and family because I know that ovarian cancer is tough to beat. Pray that she will have the strength to beat this terrible disease.
I hope that we can all remember these people in our prayers and, God-willing, we'll see those we care about receive the divine help they're in need of, in whatever form the Lord sees fit to deliver it to them.
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