This I Believe

Carina - Los Angeles, California
Entered on November 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Power of Prayer

A long time ago, as a little girl, I believed in God and I prayed. I prayed over meals, travel plans, and family illnesses, of course. But I also pleaded with God for clear skin or a new pair of jeans, the kind without pleats, the kind that were not on sale. I became fervent for good grades in Algebra and for Andy Legrand, the blond boy in the choir with the expressive hands, to notice me. At night, when the carpet fibers of my bedroom floor stuck into the grooves of my pink, sweaty knees, I climbed in bed and continued my supplications in the dark.

As an adult, not much has changed. I may not believe in God with the intensity that I once did and some days I may not believe in God at all, but I do believe in the power of prayer. I am one of those drivers you see on the highway who’s always talking but not I’m not on my cell phone. I walk Santa Monica Boulevard to my local grocery store just chatting it up with whatever deity happens to be listening. Strangers pass me on the street and, most times, I’m quick to make my streaming monologue a silent one but, believe this, I am still praying.

I don’t actually ask God for much anymore. Ok, I still pray for a new pair of jeans but, at this point, it’s more for a pair that just fits. I’ve given up on clear skin and Andy Legrand is long gone as are those grades in Algebra, good and mostly bad. But I still pray. I tell the cosmos about my day, I search for answers to questions like, as an adult, why am I still intimidated by some women? Why do I feel stupid and weird some days and unbelievably cool and funny on others? What am I doing with my life?

I believe that prayer is not for God like I believed as a kid; I believe prayer is for me. It’s my chance to talk to Fate, Allah or Zeus about my doubts, my funny stories without interruption or judgment and in as much detail as I want. It’s my time to actually speak my dreams aloud and, in a split-second, know if they are silly or if they are attainable. Whether it’s God talking back or not, I find my answers or I find my peace. Deep calls to deep, as my pastor said from the pulpit so many years ago, and this I believe.