Monday, November 19, 2012

Prayers in a Year of Faith

As those who have read the blog this past year know, I've been keeping a "score card" of prayers for several months.  I missed October so before it is already time for November, October's tally was:
9 Yes
3 No
11 Not answered or seemingly in progress.

Three of the yeses were major:  No breast cancer and clear reports on two other health issues. The rest were moderate to small--such as having a call that I had been waiting for returned almost the instant I prayed about it and a successful compromise on a tricky issue.

One of the noes seemed like a big deal at the time--that I would have a clear mammogram--and when it came back not good, that felt like a pretty big NO!  But in the end, it led to an even bigger Yes. It certainly was a time of struggling with faith and I can't say that I did really well throughout. But it did show me that the no wasn't the end of the prayer.

Which brings me to my six-part series on Prayers in a Year of Faith.

I have decided that in addition to my "score card," which I am still keeping because I'm finding the process intriguing and I'd like to see what the result is after a year, I am going to focus on six specific prayers this Year of Faith. Six prayers that seem key to this stage of my life. 

The first is Healing.  Not of a specific disease although that might still make the "score card" sometime, but a particular kind of healing. Healing of those things that have been transmitted through the generations that now cause me to suffer in ways that God might not intend.  For example, my father and mother were both over-wrought, highly-strung individuals who worried themselves sick and lived in a constant state of nerves. Now, as I get older, I find myself in much the same position, despite what I hope is faith in God's provision. I have become more familiar with the racing heart, the shortness of breath, the lightheadedness of anxiety than I would wish on anyone. especially since my mother's death last January. And, to be blunt, it sucks. Even with all the assistance modern medicine and psychology can provide, it still sucks to be thrust in flight or fright without warning and without so much as a natural disaster, wild beast or apocalyptic event to trigger it.

I don't know if this tendency is something biological, chemical, emotional, spiritual, or merely modeled and learned, but I have decided that in this Year of Faith, I am going to pray that whatever part of it I have "inherited" from my parents (and their nerve-racked generations before them) will be transformed under the healing power and gift of God. I am praying that if there is an inherited quality to this, that with God's grace I can stop that part now, and not pass it on to my son or my (possible) grandchildren.

So my first prayer is for Generational Healing; that I might be like the woman who touched the tassel of Jesus' cloak, believing in faith that I and my family can be healed of those tendencies, those failings, those weaknesses which may have come down through the family tree. That from this point forward they will be replaced by peace, confidence and trust.

And so, my first prayer is based on this prayer by Fr. John Hampsch.

Prayer for Healing
the Family Tree
Rev. John H. Hampsch, CMF
Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.
With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.
I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members' guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.
In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus' precious Name. Amen.

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