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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friend's support in praying pays off


By Chris Mukai-Ogata Nakamatsu

EXPRESS YOURSELF

What are your thoughts on faith? Share your ideas and stories with Advertiser readers as an Expressions of Faith guest columnist. For additional information, contact Maureen O'Connell at 535-2475 or moconnell@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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"Do you pray?" asks the kind voice of my new counselor.

"Yes," I reply. "Do you have someone you can pray with?" he prods.

"Maybe," I say.

"Every morning, as soon as you get up, pray with this person. But here's the key, only positive prayer. You are not allowed to say anything negative. Got it? Only positive prayer."

I leave the counselor's office feeling disappointed that he couldn't just give me some quick pill that would take away my pain and worries. I'm thinking: "I'm a single mom with dogs, mortgage, utility bills, work. How can I do all this? I can't sleep, I can't even sit still long enough to watch a movie."

I'm going through a divorce, but I have been too ashamed to talk about it with my church family. Still, I call a friend from church.

"Emily, I'm sorry to bother you. I know this is a big, big favor, but can you please pray with me every morning?"

She does not hesitate, "Yes, I'll pray with you every morning."

We then start phoning each other at 5:45 a.m. At first, it's very difficult to find positive things to say. After a few days, I start to write down the good things: the great Hawai'i weather, the beautiful Ko'olaus, the blue Pacific Ocean, the chirping green majiros, our healthy children, good teachers and counselors and supportive family members. As the days go by, my prayers seem more heartfelt. After six weeks of positive prayer, I tell Emily, "We don't need to pray together every morning. I'm OK."

My cloud had lifted, and I was ready to live a bigger, fuller more meaningful life full of gratitude, positive energy, praise for God, and thankfulness for my earthly angel, Emily.