Catchy title, eh? First, a disclaimer. I have been neither an active nor believing member of the Lutheran Church for many years. I could be an Atheist in the strictest of sense, in that I worship no god. I do not self identify with that, however. I believe in the abstract term “all” and that I am not it. I will often say I believe in something more than myself, which is absolutely true, and, in fact, I believe I am a tiny little speck in a great and vast cosmos that is almost incomprehensible. And if you are going to say, “Well, that’s God, All, everything, the Universe…” and at the same time start telling me about dogma, and the gender of it, I will tell you that if All is God, and it has a gender, then the only gender we know of that harbors other life inside of it is a woman, and if you tell me that God is All, then God is a woman. You are walking and talking proof, you are life harbored inside of All, and that makes you a fetus in the physical plane. Chew on that awhile.
That being said, I was not always unaffiliated, and was raised Lutheran by my mother. I do still keep a little Reformationist in my heart, as the personal nature of the divine, and the individual’s journey in pursuing it through study and life is something I respect, and try to uphold, failing in that oftentimes, sometimes minorly, and sometimes quite epicly. I have prayed. Before I was old and educated enough to know anything else (one of my biggest problems with religions is their insistence on capturing children and telling them everything else is a lie), I prayed to a jewish god, and the salvation promised me. I no longer do this, I have recited a couple versions of the lord’s prayer when I was younger, and I will just say that there are some other sects and orders that I have my own issues with, especially regarding some supposedly “magic” things.
Now, onto the main part of this post, as the disclaimer is likely longer than the post itself. I was speaking with a friend not too long ago, discussing abortion, and the emotional insecurity and ambiguity around it, religiously speaking. I am not religious, but since the subject was about religious beliefs, and their relation to events, and not directly about my personal beliefs, or what is true, I granted the premise. That premise being this: If a woman/girl is going in to have an abortion, what should she pray to her god for?
I was interested, as to me it seems a little obvious, but understanding that not only do I have no monopoly on personal beliefs, they’re like assholes, everybody has one. I do prefer provable beliefs, they usually have the cute little distinction of being TRUE, but that is another post entirely. You see, this intrigued me. To not have an idea of what to ask God for may very well prevent a woman from exercising good judgement, simply out of exasperation. Or lacking good guidance, either from family, friends, the baby’s daddy, or a host of other things, and not knowing what to ask her god for, could very well prevent her from gaining an answer. This bothered me, and still does. In a world of excess information, “Big Data” and an internet of all things, true and decidedly untrue, being able to ask the right question is a life skill that will become more and more important for all of technological society. So I told her a prayer, and I will post it here, for all to read, and maybe, even give someone hope or strength to ask the right question during a difficult time. There is a little bit of setting the premise, but after that is just a prayer, and hopefully it will adapt to many different sects of Judeo-Christianity.
Starting off, a couple of things, as a raised Reformationist, I assume that all who pray are asking god, in Jesus’ name, and are praying internally, in their own voice, not at confessional. I also assume that forgiveness for mistakes is part of the reasoning, I do NOT, however, assume that all believe that ensoulment begins at conception, and I, in fact, put purposely indistinct wording regarding the ensoulment timing because of that lack of assumption. What I do assume is that you will substitute any of the vague language regarding that part, with some that more distinctly represents your personal beliefs. I will enquote the prayer for clarity.
“Dear God, I <your name here>, your humble servant on Earth, ask you for your help. Through your grace, you gave the ability to make choices, and through your mercy you gave your son so that I do not have to perish if I am wrong in those choices, so I ask you for help in this decision. If you have put a divine soul within me, I am not ready. I am using your grace to know this, and I accept it. I am not prepared for this child, and I am giving it back to you Lord, to your mercy, to your grace, to your love. The only thing I ask in return is not for myself, but for the soul you may have given; give it a better passage. I do not ask this for me, ask it for the child. There are many who wish for your blessing in this, give it to them. Your Grace allows me this choice, I beg of your mercy to make it right. Forgive me for returning this gift, but I am not ready, and this is not the time. Please graciously grant me this gift when I am more ready, and grant this child another passage, one of happiness and abundance, of love and compassion, a journey with others. I ask that You grant any soul you may have presented to me another path, give it the passage I could not. I beg this of your eternal and unending mercy, your grace and faith, My faith in you, and your enduring faith in me. Through your mercy and forgiveness I ask this, and with the gifts you have given me, I shall continue on the path you have laid before me. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
May any who read this and need it, use it.
from a spiritual Atheist. May it all work in mysterious ways
your Spiritual Dose of Andrew. Beware the side effects…