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Learning to pray again

Learning to pray again

New York Times

I want to speak in a way that used to be easy for me as a child: silently, intensely, embracing the mysteries. I want to pray. It is a matter of remembering, after so long, just how.


But somewhere along the way, I’d stopped truly praying. Indeed, I wasn’t so sure about God at all. The matter seemed irrelevant. I was too busy.

The biggest fight I ever had with my father was shortly after I turned 21, when, drunk on a bottle of whiskey a friend had given me for my birthday, I proclaimed myself an atheist. He followed me into the backyard, and outraged, pinned me against the fence. His parents had fled Eastern Europe because of their beliefs. Who was I to dismiss them? I expressed my contempt for all that was conventional. His faith, I told him, was a crutch. An opiate. I had heard that somewhere before.

In the decades that followed, awed by time’s extremes – becoming a parent, losing a parent — and feeling my own mortality, I eventually found my way back to believing, but for a long time not with the same fervor.

How do you pray?

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