single word prayers

I love categories, frameworks and layouts.  Wonderful freedom in wise frameworks.  Here’s my latest musings on categories for various types of prayers.  It expands on the very simple (perhaps overly simple, but still useful) acronym, A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

Wow!
Adoration.  The most basic and fitting response to the majesty, power, incomprehensibility of the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  Psalm 8 is a great example.

Sorry.
Confession.  The most basic and fitting response to our selfishness, weakness and indifference which all keep us from doing the good we are able to do in the world.  Psalm 51 is a great example.

Thanks.  
Thanksgiving.  The most basic and fitting response to God’s undeserved gifts to us.  It is the posture of gratitude, and the opposite of entitlement.  Psalm 118 is a great example.

Why?
Lament.  The most basic and fitting response to events and circumstances which seem totally opposite of what we’d expect or hope for.  Psalm 22 is a great example.

Help!
Supplication.  This most basic and fitting response to our awareness of need concerning ourselves, other people, and other situations in the world.  Psalm 86 is a great example.

Now then.  Why is it that Wow, Thanks and Help are common in gathered worship, and Sorry and Why are so rare?

 

helped helpers

I’ve long held that disabled persons have a gift.

Albeit is is a gift that few if anyone want.  But some of the most mature, caring people I’ve known (in my youth work and elsewhere) have been people who have had the privilege (one nobody asks for) of having a sibling or child who is disabled. Disabled people teach us to care.

But in this post, I wanted to record a different thought I had related to disability – and it might have the potential to be a bit controversial.

I’ve noticed that there is much effort to help disabled persons to be as ‘independent’ as possible.  To live in their own place, to get their own groceries, to drive their own car – that sort of thing.

I guess my question is when does the good, humane task of helping someone ‘stand on their own two feet’ (so to speak) become something that ‘helps’ them into a lifestyle that is isolating, individualistic and thus inhumane?

I have a conviction that humans are made to be burdens to one another, and yet it is resisted both by those who fear being the burden, and by those who fear bearing the burden.  This resistance, I’m convinced (and admit to in my own experience and choices), is part of the pressure of living in an individualistic society where ‘freedom’ is defined by how many (often consumer) options one has.

More choices, though, can be an enslaving thing.  I know a disabled person who has (again) been placed in a living situation that isolates them, makes them feel intensely lonely, and contributes to them seeking out friends that encourage behaviour that has got them into legal trouble multiple times.

But this person, like all of us at times, resists the help that they need so much.  I once threw out my back trying to – at the last minute – shift all my possessions between dwelling places.  Help is not easy to ask for – disabled or not.  And help is not easy to give.

So I’m just wondering.  Should we ‘help’ disabled people to become like us?  People who too often don’t know how to ask for help?  Thoughts welcome.