Many things about my father (may he rest in peace) used to drive me absolutely crazy.  One of those things was the way he prayed and forced us to pray.  Every night during May and October he would drag all eleven of us into the living room to pray the rosary, without ever really giving us a reason why.  It’s amazing how many of us would be asleep by the time we were finished.  And many, many times throughout the year he would force us to come together to pray for things that he thought we needed, but what really got the best of me was the way he would always begin the prayer.  He would always start out by saying, “Lord, if it be Your will, we ask that…,” and finish by saying, “...please give us what we need to accomplish Your will.”  To me that just did not make any sense.  Isn’t the whole point of prayer to ask God for what we want and need and not what He wants?  Why would we ask Him for His will to be done? Usually I didn’t say anything because I was a little bit afraid of him, but his manner of prayer did cause me to stew in frustration.  Then one day during the summer when I was about 12 years old I had enough and I had to say something.  He had called us together to pray for our crops (we were farmers).  He prayed as follows: “Lord, if it be your will, could you provide us with rain so that our corn might grow and sun so that our freshly cut hay might be dry for baling?”  To me that just did not make any sense.  He was asking for sun and rain at the same time for adjoining fields.  I got my nerve up and said, “Dad that does not make any sense!  You asked for it to rain and to be sunny at the very same time!” In response, he said something that I will never forget.  He said, “But son, that is exactly what we need.  We need rain for the corn and sun for the hay.  What would you have asked for?”  At that moment and to this day, I have no response and have learned a great lesson from his wisdom.  And you know what else?  When we pray the Our Father, we are basically praying in the same way that my father always prayed.  We are praying that God’s will may be done and that we may have what we need to accomplish His will.  My father was right again.  It’s still enough to drive me crazy...sometimes!

AuthorCathy Remick