This I Believe

Alexander - Manhattan Beach, California
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe: Say Your Prayers

I believe that saying your prayers is very important. Ever since I can remember, I have said my prayers every night. Now, I am by no means an extremely devout individual. I rarely go to church and I do not read the bible. The only time I am religious is when I pray.

Praying can mean so many things. You often hear in movies when people say just as they are about to kill someone, “Say your prayers.” Say your prayers, now what does that really mean? I believe that it is thanking God for everything in your life, and my little nightly, and sometimes in the morning, prayer goes like this:

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord this child to keep

Thy love stay with me through the night

And keep until the morning light.

The verses that follow consist of all the people and aspects of my life that I love and that I want God to bless. I finish with:

Guide my little feet up to Thee

Amen. Night, Night.

This pursuit is very dear to me and I feel that it really helps me reflect on all the wonderful people and things in my life. This practice cannot be taken lightly though. I could not pray for wanting something superficial, such as a new video game, or for a good grade. No, the subject matter of the prayer must have deep, personal meaning to me. In the retrospect of life, I could really care less if I got the hottest video game or if I got an A on a test. Things that really matter are the happiness and health of my family, safety on great journeys, the good company of friends, or winning a national championship with my soccer team. I know the latter is not typically found in a prayer, but the boys on my team have become my second family, and I pray and wish for success with those guys, as I think about them everyday.

I wanted to mention this prayer because my grandfather, who is very pious, taught me this principle when I was a small boy. He still asks me today if I am saying my prayers every morning and night with a stern face. He knows that God is important and that I must take my prayers seriously because sometimes in life prayer is all you have. Life is not always fair. You can be loaded with work, have illnesses, stress . . . the list goes on and on, but one thing that remains constant is prayer. Prayer is something no one can take away from you, and in my eyes is a person’s closest connection with God. I have always imagined that when I die, my feet will be “guided up to Thee” as I say in my prayer, where I will go to the kingdom of Heaven to rest for my better days.