By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist
Depending on family and personal experiences, LGBTQS attitudes about prayer may range from curious to ambivalent to negative.
Because a social conservative prays doesn’t mean anyone should avoid it. Think about it. Would you stop being a Mets, Yankees or Red Sox fan because a homophobic, anti-marriage-equality crusader happened to support the same team?
In addition, prayer is like golf, skiing, sailing, gardening or exercising. The more you do it the better the outcome. (No. The more you pray will not increase the chances of winning the lottery.)
Below are several modest prayers I crafted for LGBTQS persons of faith and their families. They’re nondenominational so anyone can use them. Read them, use them, change them, ignore them or place them on the bottom of Fluffy’s litter box.
The last prayer is a modification of the “Lord’s Prayer” also known as the “Our Father.” It should be noted that use of the word “Father” was not intended to limit God with gender. Although I do not think of “God” in a masculine context, some do. Hence, I’ve tried to use names that are gender neutral.
Giver of Life –
Hold me when I am rejected.
Holy One –
Console me when I am mocked.
Great One –
Teach love to those who hurt me;
Holy Author –
Give knowledge to those who misunderstand me;
Pure Light –
Feed my heart with hope and optimism during darkness.
Blessed Being –
Remind me of your unconditional love when I am overwhelmed.
Perfect Soul –
Inspire me with your love, strength, and patience to change the world.
Like the rainbow you made me special.
Like the oak tree you made me strong.
Like the sunflower you made me majesty.
Like the blade of grass you made me delicate.
Like the star filled night you made me wondrous.
Like the field of wild flowers you made me beautiful.
Divine Light let me always hear the music of your voice in my soul.
I AM YOUR CREATION
Maker of All,
You made me who I am;
You gave me life;
You gave me a soul;
You made me worthy of your love;
You made me in your holy image to love and be loved;
Give me the courage never to lose hope;
Give me the strength never to lose faith;
Teach me to love and respect myself in mind, body, and spirit;
Send your guidance to teach me your ways and show me your revelations.
Never let me forget that I am beautiful because I am your Creation.
Our Creator, Who is in the heavens.
Holy is your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in the heavens.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into wrong doing,
but deliver us from the harm we may cause or receive.
It doesn’t matter what prayer you use. Ground yourself in something bigger and better than all your cares, troubles, or anxieties. If you don’t like structure then wing it each time. Prayer in its most basic is a conversation with something holy.
Perhaps you’ll be inspired to craft your own. Be creative. Be reflective. Be contemplative. Be awed by the mystery of Supreme Goodness. Prayer is spiritual food. Enjoy the feast, but remember to feed the soul daily.
* Paul is an author, attorney, and a seminary-trained, ordained priest in greater Albany, NY. Email questions to Dilovod@aol.com.
Thanks for the inspiration, Paul! Such pure, true words are always soothing and empowering. These will help me pray more truly this Lent. Thank you.