“When praying for yourself, include others.”
In March 2014, Pope Francis marked the first anniversary of his election with a typically humble message, “Please pray for me”. Reading this brought many thoughts to my mind—“How can we pray for others? Can a Jew pray for a Catholic priest, for instance? To whom do we actually pray? And how do we know if our prayers are heard and answered? (“Be Careful What You Pray For…You Just Might Get It” is the title of the book by Larry Dossey, M.D.) Tradition prescribes for Jews to pray three times a day, for Muslims—five, and for Christians—before meals and anytime.)
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
In the film Gravity, there is a tense moment where the heroine, played by Sandra Bullock laments, “No one taught me how to pray”.
Many of us pray, even if we’re not religious. I have a friend who uses the prayer of St. Anthony to find lost things. (I wonder if it would work for finding lost clients?) And then there is the “Ho’oponopono” prayer that I wrote about before:
“Please forgive me, I am sorry, Thank you, I love you.”
When I discuss interest rates with my clients and we cannot lock in the rate right away (in most cases), I ask them if they know how to pray and afterwards, we pray for the best rate together. If we pray to one God, regardless if it is called “Yahweh” or “Allah”, why is there a division among His children? Perhaps we are only praying for our own small world, our limited needs, and fickle desires?
There is a story about two men praying next to each other. One is asking God to give him $100 to feed his children, another asks for a million dollars to develop his project. After a while, the project developer reaches into his pocket and pulls out a $100 bill and gives it to the guy next to him, and tells him to get lost with the words “You are interfering with my deal with God.”
I believe that prayers are answered–my friend finds parking spots. I am sure that with your help and our prayers, the interest rates will stay low, and many old and new clients will call for our tailored mortgage solutions. And I will continue to pray for you and your well-being. The Jewish New Year 5775 began at sundown on September 24th. I spent two days in the “Synagogue” praying for my and your well-being in the New Year. Please pray for me as well.
In Cuba, the socialist government does not encourage religion, but those who still have faith, find solace in praying in the most beautiful churches.
You can see more of my images of Cuba in my book Soy Cubano, I am Cuban. It is available as an e-book for $9.99 on BLURB or you may also purchase a hardcopy, on Amazon, or just call me. I will be grateful to you, if you buy one, and send it as a gift to your friends for Thanksgiving. I call it a book of gratitude.