I think I take my blog in my hands when I write about prayer, because it sounds so weird in this part of the world to talk about that, there is no sex appeal in it, the NYT blog would never link to it, and frankly causes all of our brilliant sexy atheists to run for the hills. But it's a little too late for me to go back now!
While people may pray for a certain result, the act of prayer itself brings peace and a retreat from constant manipulations that we feel we must exact upon worldly matters, over which I feel I have little control. But that's not really what I want to talk about now. It's just how the other day my first grader was sick and asked me to pray for her, and I said I would, but I didn't. Later she asked me if I had and I told her I didn't, but I wanted to, and she said it was ok, that when it comes to prayer wanting to was the same as doing it. I think there's some truth in that, although I believe she lets me off too easy, although maybe I was too busy praying with my deeds as I cleaned up the mess and gave her what she needed.
It sounds kind of like she's been reading Eckhart. I have the impression that for him, an intention of that nature is as good as the deed. It is compelling to know that he was persecuted by Franciscans, but even before Francis met his end, he knew what abuses of power would find their way into the order. Because ultimately orders are human.