I think we are all called to prayer, to talk to our God about what is happening in our lives. When we are worried about life-changing health issues, who better to talk with? If a misunderstanding or quarrel takes place in our lives, we talk to the person involved in the situation. When we talk to the person and ask for clarification or forgiveness, we usually feel better and can begin healing. Placing our health concerns before our loving God is a part of our total health care — right up there with doctor visits and our medicines.
I pray in my own little “sacred space” in the corner of my bedroom. It is my refuge, a place for prayer and healing. It is not necessary to have a separate room to pray; any corner in the house or even an uncluttered closet might be used for quiet prayer. My dad prayed in our finished basement on his recliner. He had a list of intentions written down on a table in his “man cave” down there and said his prayers and rosaries.
I have a comfortable chair in my space. Next to my chair is my grandmother’s refinished table, and on the table is a scented candle, a cedar statue of St. Francis of Assisi, an old army photo of my dad, my mom’s prayer book, and a rock from my Assisi, Italy, pilgrimage. Under the table is a basket that holds my office book, spiritual books, and a pen and journal. I keep some Band-Aids and a prescription bottle there to remind me of health and life.
My prayer begins. I say a prayer to God the Creator, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I pray the Memorare to the Blessed Mother, and speak with my deceased parents, relatives, sisters, and friends. I pray the Office with its psalms, prayers, and readings. Then I stop and sit in silence, without reading anything, just to focus on what I have just prayed. I read that day’s Scripture readings from the Liturgy.
Many times, I find myself distracted and try to get back on track. Sometimes I have to fight sleep, but most of the time I get distracted by what I have to do at work — or more often, by any health issues. An upcoming doctor appointment or a medical test makes me anxious. That is the time that I pray my often-used Scripture quote from John 14: “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
For almost 35 years, I have asked God, in Jesus’s name, to heal me, to cure me of my multiple sclerosis. I believe God has granted me this request because I am doing pretty well. New MS medications are released frequently, and I have accepted this devastating disease. I also pray for friends who are ill.
I leave my space and go to work in the morning, still having to face the challenges of my day, but I am different, more peaceful. At night, I am drawn to my space again; I light my candle and pray my evening prayers. I sing a verse from “You are Mine” by David Haas:
I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see, the lame shall all run free,
And all will know my name.
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine