Prayer is an unusual currency with chaplains. We give it. We share it. We offer it. We try to make it meaningful. We fret when it isn't wanted. We are supposed to be the experts of it, yet no one tastes it's mystery more than we do.
My first day in behavioral health, I walked into a room with two elderly gentlemen. When I introduced myself, they immediately welcomed me and asked me to pray with them. I had to slow them down to catch their first names before we started praying together. It was a sweet and unpredictable way to start a visit.
The Chaplain department starts the day gathered together. Whoever was on call the night before leads in the prayer time. I've grown to love the prayers of my fellow residents lifted each morning. -Vicki's eloquent and thoughtful words, Cathie's stately cadence, Nathan's relaxed and personal petitions. Each inspiring and comforting at the same time. It's not hard to picture God listening intently with a smile.
Isaac Bashevis Singer said something like "I only pray when I'm in trouble. But I'm in trouble all the time, so I pray all the time." I think he wrote that during his year of CPE!
O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalms 141:1-3