“Please God. Please. I can’t do this without you. I’ve never been able to do this without you. Only by your grace and mercy is this possible, anything possible.”
“This” being my survival in prison. “This” being my grip on sanity and the will to carry on through the next day and the next no matter how hard and hopeless it seems. I beg God to give me strength to fight through despair, to not be overcome with hatred and meanness and envy or cruelty. I breathe and listen to the emptiness and as fear squeezes my chest – I pray.
“Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, forgive me. I am the worst of sinners. Help me to be a better man. A smarter, wiser man who makes better decisions. A caring man who loves and is loved.”
Sometimes I will see beyond the image in the mirror and catch sight of myself, my soul. I’ll see ME and all of the time that has passed, the eroded and cracked edges of my spirit and wonder: Does God hear me anymore?
So I pray the Lord’s Prayer out of comfort and for those times maybe God doesn’t want to hear what I have to say and he’ll listen to His Son.