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December 17, 2009

Prayers

Rev. Graham E. Morbey

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Prayer plays a central role in the Abrahamic faiths. It is human speech addressed to God.

Graham MorbeyPrayer plays a central role in the Abrahamic faiths.   It is human speech addressed to God.

Its content is praise, adoration, thanksgiving, confession, petition, and lament. 

Its order is God speaking and humans responding. 

God’s good Creation is prayer’s presupposition. 

Our responding or addressing God can often take a less that respectful tone and be tied to cursing or used frivolously as punctuation or exclamation in our every day speech.

Prayer is regretfully often used as magic, a way to appease or bargain with God.

A few years back when I was an active university Chaplain it occurred to me that one thing that was never prayed for was the academic research of professors. 

From this thought came the idea for a prayer project that would bring together student and professor.

None of the professors involved in the project had ever heard of such a thing. The

researcher would present and discuss his or her research with students in the hope that a deeper level of learning and understanding would

be initiated. 

The discussion brought out the good results hoped for the research, the problems in doing the research and issues of an ethical nature that might arise from the research’s applications.

With these things in mind, a prayer was written and then prayed by the project members. The professor received a copy.

God’s good Creation was honoured in a surprisingly fresh way. 

The following is one of the actual fruits of the project. The faith stance of the researcher was of much less relevance that the actual research.

Lord of Rats and Rudy’s Research,

Dear God,

We praise your name for your Creation,

for the unexpected resources you supply

that give insight into how humans are put together and

that broaden our understanding of mood and motivation-

its biological, psychological and environmental conditions

and effects.

O Divine irony, that allows the rodent, denizen of garbage

dump and dark slimy passage, bearer of plague and death,

to be a harbinger of human health and healing, of human hope and

welling-being, animal model of human behaviour.

For just that work, O God, we direct this prayer.

For the blessed help that a despised and feared genus rattus

offers Rudy’s research into human addictions, we give you thanks.

We pray for the discovery of the control

systems in rats that  may give further insight into human depression,

and enable suffers of addictions such as anorexia nervosa and

alcoholism to suffer less and be cured.

We pray for continued and

improved resources to carry on such research.

Thank you for gifting Rudy to carry out research experiments

on rats and may such research bring honour and glory to your name.

In the name of God, Our Redeemer and Saviour.

Amen.

Rev. Graham E. Morbey lives in Toronto.

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