Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Mother's Prayer Companion: A Review

I first heard about it on Facebook. 

An old Ann Arbor friend, Christa, recommended A Mother’s Prayer Companion, created by a friend of hers from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Right off the bat I could see it had to be a good recommendation. Christa (whose recommendations in the past had been so spot on*) and FUS (my alma mater). I checked out the link. 

After perusing the website, filling a basket, then backing away while I doubted myself (“Would I just use it for a few days and then forget about it? Would it end up a pretty binder and a good idea, but no follow through on my part?”), I finally bought it. 

I was very excited when I got it. I put together the binder and got a pen and pencil case to fit it and found the perfect place for it—on a little table, next to a comfy chair that I had just moved into my bedroom to be my little prayer corner. 

I think it took a few days to actually sit down and use it. 

At first, I read through the pages-- one for Jim, one for each of the kids and one for me. For each person there were spots to write down gifts that I am thankful for and intentions. I wondered if I should write it in pencil, in case I make a mistake (like I could make a mistake about what to pray for?!!). Or should I find colored pens to make it all pretty? (No, that was too much pressure). 

Instead I filled out the “other intentions” page…that was easy. Black pen felt bold and confident, but I did it anyway. 

There, I was ready to pray. I just read through each page, stopping to fill in the blanks in my head. The prayers were what my Catechetics professor would have called “Scripture speak”. Verses from the Bible, slightly altered so that they made sense as a prayer. The citations were there and I looked up a few. But mostly I just read through each one, inserting the correct name and intentions and gifts. 

I was hooked. I finally felt like I was DOING something about all the things that swirl in my head—Will this child ever get over that issue? Will that child ever find his/her place in life? How do I help that child develop that gift? How can I help Jim with work? 

After about a month I began to write down intentions (in pen), and soon I was writing the answers to some of those prayers on the blank page opposite! 

I also wrote down gifts to be thankful for, including those little characteristics that are trying now, but you know are really a future gift in the making (her intensity, his entrepreneurial spirt, her single mindedness). 

Although I can’t say I use it everyday, and I often forget to bring it to adoration, it is my place to go when I feel myself fretting, and it is my anchor when I don’t “feel” like praying, or I am so distracted I feel like I “don’t have time” to pray. It has become such an integral part of my prayer life that I began to wish my kids could hear me pray some of these words: 

I praise you Lord, for (fill in the name) is fearfully and wonderfully made. 

What kid wouldn’t love to hear their mother say that about them? So I took parts of the prayers and copied them onto another page and began to pray aloud over each of my kids at bedtime. It was already our routine for me to pray something, like the Memorize, over them as I said good night, so this was easy to substitute once in a while. Then it became a nightly thing. 

They loved it! I could see my youngest grin at me in the darkness as I said the words. My boy would cuddle down deep and lean into me while I prayed over him. 

After a few months of this, my boy asked if he could pray over me. To my surprise he had it memorized perfectly. He put in “Mama” wherever I usually said their names. Now I was the one grinning in the darkness and leaning in to cuddle a little. 

After all of this, it was a no-brainer this past Christmas to buy one for my sister, sisters-in-law, and my mother. 

If I could buy one for every Mama I know, I would. Instead I write this, so you might go check it out and get one for yourself (or any Mama you know).

*About 16 years ago I showed Christa the online profile of a man named Jim, and she confirmed that I should write to him, and the rest is history.

1 comment:

  1. I was gifted this by a dear friend who takes the retreat each May down at the Dominican's Motherhouse!! Love it!! Highly recommend it :)