A Personal Prayer of Gratitude

Our heavenly Father,

I ask for your forgiveness of the manner I speak this prayer offends you.  I wanted to use the gifts you gave me to take my time to say what is on my mind.  It may not be much, but it is probably better than what I can currently offer you in physical form.  (I will, however, give you the courtesy of hearing it from my lips, as I do not want to disrespect you.)

First, I have been asking for signs for a long time.  I have been asking for some clue as to the direction I am to go, some insight as to what I am to do, and some sign of whether or not I am going in the right direction.  I Believe earlier tonight you gave me a few signs of everything.  I think it’s awfully strange, for example, that some things that have been on my mind have been mentioned by others, in services like tonight and on Sunday, or in conversation with those around me, before I’d get to bringing it up.  I think Friday night was an example of what you’ve been wanting me to do, and that the gifts you have been giving me and the hints that you’ve been dropping for a number of years are finally being understood.  As for tonight, that feeling I got when I was thanking you, I wish I could describe without either sounding crazy or sick (or both.)  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt warmth that came from within, and peace that flowed through.  I suppose taken on their own, it’d be easy to dismiss, but I have been trying to keep myself – my mind, my heart, my spirit – as open as I know how.

I am not afraid to admit, as I am a student of life, I am also a student right now of listening, and a student of spirit.  I’ll admit to not fully understanding what others are saying around me, and I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t always understand what you’re trying to convey to me.  I’ll be the first to admit if i had misinterpreted or missed your signs, when I know I have.  However, I believe tonight you gave me a sign, both that I am going in the right direction, and a sign of things that may come.  Thank you for both of these.

Second, I would like you to bless my ex and her family for being there to help see me through a crucial turning point.  I am sorry that the journey had to end the way it did, and I hope somewhere down the road we can meet again and see where the journeys have taken us.

Third, I would like you to bless a few special people who’ve come out of the woodwork in the months that followed.  Some, fellow classmates, are helping me see the path I am to follow, and are helping to keep my days bright.  Others, fellow and former coworkers, have been supportive and understanding of the struggles I’ve had, and have been coming through with support and advice.

Fourth, I would like you to bless my family, as small as it is, for helping me in what has been a personal dark point in my life.  I may not have always appreciated them, and I may not always understand their help, but I am lucky I didn’t end up dead or in another family.

Fifth – sorry if this is a lot (as I said before, I did want to use my gifts!), But bless any family and friends I have not mentioned.  I didn’t forget them, I felt others needed this tonight first.  I know you know how to balance things and to keep things in perspective, and I am lucky to have all of them in my life as equally as those I have become close to recently.

Sixth, thank you for the second chance, thank you for the gifts of knowledge, reasoning, thought, and spirit.  Thank you for the ability to feel again, something I have been missing for a while.  Thank you for not giving up on me, for showing me what I could not see alone, and for providing me with the ways to my answers.  Thank you for reaffirming that my baptism last year was not fake, and for reminding me of what I have known all along.

I may not have appreciated people the way I should have.  I may not have always done the right thing for everyone.  I may have made mistakes that have hurt others.  I am grateful for the second chance I have to prove to those around me and those who care about me that all that we have shared together, that all that we are going through now, that we went through then, was not in vein.

I would like one last thing, if it is not too much trouble.  There are others, connected by friends and family of friends, people who are sick, who are lost in their diseases and their obsessions, who have had a bad hand or two dealt to them in life, who need my help more so than myself.  I will continue to ask of your help in the future, but I would like for you to remember them tonight as well, to help guide them to what they need to see, to help them get to where they need to go, and to help them know that they are remembered.  I’m not completely out of my darkness yet, but I know if you can help me, there are those who need it more than I do.  You didn’t give me the gift of patience to have it just wasted, I hope!

That’s all I have to say right now.  I made a commitment to You a few months ago, and even though I had to fall to be reminded of some important lessons, my commitment to You has become stronger for it.  Thank you once again for lending me an ear.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

For those of you who are not religious, or who don’t understand what has transpired, I still want to extend some heartfelt gratitude to everyone I listed above.  I hope you will not be offended that I have chosen to make this into a prayer to God, or that I made you uncomfortable by it.  I have had reason to believe that everything happened the way it has for reasons that are higher than my own personal understanding, and that God – or, if you don’t believe in Him, some other higher power – had an almost-equal amount of influence as the actions of my own hands have.

I have, in the past, kept my beliefs as a personal matter, and although I have chosen to expose them now, I have no desire to force  them upon you.  Even so, one belief I feel strongly about is that the best teacher is example, as it was example that led me to my beliefs pre- and post-baptism.  I don’t pretend to know what is best for everyone, but I hope you will respect my choice as I will respect yours – whatever it or whomever they may be.

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