We come to your favourite implement, P for Pencil. The walls of our modest home bear ample testimony to your handiwork, El Niño. As for you, La Niña, I recall with fondness how, as a four-year-old, you used to scribble on a sheet of paper with a pencil. You would read your squiggles out loud, "Mamma, I love you. What you cook is the best. Please make banana milkshake and red soupie for me. " That pencilled writing of yours, part paean of praise, part petition, reminds me of a very valuable P, Prayer.
If there is any one teaching I would most like to share with you, it would be my faith in God and my unshakeable belief that no prayer goes unanswered. The answer may not always be a Yes. Sometimes it might be a No, a Maybe, or even a Not Right Now. And very often there might be long silences that appear most harsh to your unhappy ears. When you begin to pray, it might seem that you are asking for impossibles and miracles. But don't let that deter you. Ask, freely and without hesitation, the way you used to ask me to make your favourite soupie. Ask not merely for yourself, but for those you love. Occasionally surprise yourself by asking on behalf of strangers and people you don't quite like.
There is much to be gained by praying. Pray for health, strength, courage, peace of mind, so that you may be fit to do the tasks you have been called upon to do.
Pray not just when you hunger but also when you are full. Pray in silence when your heart is too heavy to speak. Pray in scrawls and squiggles when you are too hurt to pray in full sentences.
When you are done praying, leave your prayer behind and set out to do the chores that need to be done.
And if you are fortunate, you will be chosen to answer another's prayer.
My wish for you is that you may make prayer a way of life. That you may let Thank You be the Amen to every prayer you make.
My prayers are always with you.
We'll meet again tomorrow. Come early. There might be a Q.