Prayer is not something we do first and foremost on our own. We pray with other Christians.
Just as an injured athlete needs to take a break, my friends needed to take some time to rest. And like the paralytic at Capernaum, they could depend on others' faith and not just their own.
We're all perpetually longing for love. Fortunate are those who realize early that another human being can't meet this unrequitable need. Even more fortunate are men and women of prayer who realize that peace comes by embracing the longing itself.
I have never felt comfortable praying. I almost feel I should put the word in quotes, as I'm never quite sure that what I do deserves the name.
Prayers linger in choir stalls, soak into walls. Centuries of prayer can make you feel buoyant in medieval European cathedrals. Gratitude settles over you like a benediction within busy urban shrines.
I believe that prayer can heal, and I’ve witnessed miraculous healings in my own pastorates. So why was I, cast into extremis by a chainsaw, reluctant to pray?