How I Prayed with My Apa

One of my favorite kinds of gifts is pretty journaling books, pero I especially enjoy the little pocket size ones that fit in my purse, they always come in handy. Pues, gracias a Dios que mi hermana Marina has given me a few of those little books.

Recently as I’ve been getting reorganized and refocused on my “apa stories” I came across some pages from one of those notebooks. They were entries of prayer lists that I prayed together with my apa. Imaginate, Reading that list took me back to those mornings when I was “trying to find a place” for my apa in my morning prayer time. Asi es, I found myself embarrassed to pray during those early days. It’s not that I was ashamed, it was more because of the way I pray.  I’m Pentecostal, y pues, sometimes I can get loud when I pray. God has never been offended by my loud voice or my emotion, but my apa might be. So I came up with a plan to “ease” him into my prayer closet.

I started having conversations with my apa about prayer. Asking him if he wanted to pray, and he wasn’t sure what I was asking him to do.

Apa: Quieres rezar?

Me: Que si quiere orar?

My apa didn’t understand the difference, so I explained the difference between the two forms of praying.Orar means to pray, as in bringing devout petitions to God or object of worship. A spiritual communion with God as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration or confession. Rezar means to recite a prayer. I didn’t have a memorized prayer, I told my apa that we could bring our needs to God and he would hear us.

Me: Apa what do you need from God?

Apa: (a chuckle) I need a lot of things.

Me: Like what?

Apa: “I can’t figure out in my head all the necesidades, porque son muchas.”

He said honestly that he didn’t really know how to form a prayer but that if I would help him, con mucho gusto he would do it. From that day on as much as I was able to I wrote down his petitions. Nunca me imagine that those simple prayer notes would be such a treasure to me today. 

My apas prayer requests were to the point and honest. We would talk about his needs and the needs of his family and I would jot them down. We would talk about his desires and the hopes he still had, often included in the list was a prayer that he would have strength to walk again. He also often hoped for a call from his boys, so I wrote that down. I chuckled when I read that petition again, “recuerdales que tienen a su padre que esta bien” He sarcastically wanted God to remind his sons that they had their father who was alive and well”  He was good about remembering each of his sons by name, that was important to me. I worried that he would forget us. He talked about his frustrations and difficulties to understand this very difficult stage of life, he just couldn’t believe that he was so old and weary, onto the list went his need for patience. He often remembered at prayer time to ask God to help him with his memory because he said his mente wasn’t working very well anymore. We talked about my needs, I wanted him to pray for me, I wanted him to feel my need for his prayer for me. Throughout our “prayer” conversation I filled him in on family news and he would react and add certain needs to the list. He wondered about his siblings, if they were still alive and we asked God for their protection. He prayed for my youngest brother “Give strength to Chicha so he could lift himself up” as he was battling cancer. Siempre,  he was grateful to God for the blessings in his life. 

Then we would pray. To be honest, since I was “the experienced” praying person, la que sabia orar, I prayed and he listened with his eyes closed and he said amen in agreement. Eventually we both got comfortable with praying together. Luego I would dive into my prayers and he listened to my emotional petitions and supplications, somehow my booming voice lulled him to sleep.

En Conclusíon 

Prayer is a wonderful time with God, If you don’t practice it, te animo, do it, you’ll be glad. Gracias a Dios for my prayer time with my apa, have you ever prayed with your father? Have you ever asked him for his blessing? If you are able to, hijole! Don’t hesitate to ask him to pray with you or for you. You’ll be so glad you did. 


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