Today, I am thankful for prayer.

Last night, I got some upsetting news.  I think the worst part of it was that it was COMPLETELY my fault.  Still, the news was unexpected and upsetting, so I panicked.  There’s very little I can do once a panic starts.  I can head it off before, but once the panic starts, I have one option: ride it out.  Sometimes, that can be a long and involved process.  Especially when you’re on the edge of exhaustion before the panic sets in.

So, several hours later, and now fully past the threshold of exhaustion, I went to my Father in prayer.  I was worried, frustrated, too tired to make sense, and completely at a loss as to what to do.  I explained as best as my tired, wandering mind could do.  I asked for help, non-specifically (which is not my usual mode of prayer–I like to ask and thank for specific things).

Funny thing is, I still got that specific thing I needed: solace.

The definition of solace has two parts.  The first: comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble.  The second: alleviation of distress or discomfort; something that gives comfort, consolation, or relief.  After a panic attack, I am much more likely so seek solace than I am to seek peace.  Peace is quiet and calm.  It’s something I work towards frequently.  It is important to me.  But it is almost impersonal and lifeless when compared to the warmth of solace.

I was distressed.  I was troubled.  I needed to feel comfort, consoled, and relieved.  I needed an alleviation of my troubles, if only for a little while.  It was prayer–that reaching out to someone infinitely more wise, more kind, and more loving than I–that allowed me to have those things.

This is not the first time this has happened to me.  Throughout my life, I have learned time and again that while my religion provides structure and peace in my daily life, while scripture reading provides wisdom and guidance, it is prayer–the small and simple act of talking with the loving Father I have never met–that provides the intimate connection I have with my God.  So long as I am willing to include Him in my life, He will ever be in it.

I am thankful for prayer, for the chance to extend the invitation to Heavenly Father to be a part of my life.  In His mercy, He is always aware and involved.  I know this.  But when I extend the invitation through prayer, I have found I am more aware of His love and care.  In many ways, prayer does not open the door to my omniscient and omnipotent Father, but opens the doors of my sight.  Either way, it provides me a knowledge and comfort beyond that which comes when I am not in communication with Heavenly Father.