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May 2024



Pastori Nina

RUKOUS – TYHJÄN HOKEMISTA?


Tänään, toukokuun 2 päivä, on kansallinen rukouspäivä. Mietin taas kerran rukouksen

merkitystä itselleni.

Lapsuudenkotini ei ollut erityisen uskonnollinen. Äiti kuitenkin opetti iltarukouksen, jota

muistan iltaisin hokeneeni ollessani vaihto-oppilaana 17-vuotiaana Yhdysvalloissa

vuoden ajan. Se toi minulle kaiken uuden ja erilaisen keskellä turvallisuuden tunnetta,

että ei ole yksin sekä tuttuutta.

Jeesus sanoo Matteuksen evankeliumissa (Matt 6:7) että “Rukoillessanne älkää hokeko

tyhjää niin kuin pakanat, jotka kuvittelevat tulevansa kuulluiksi, kun vaan latelevat

sanoja.”

Onko lapsena opittu iltarukous tyhjän hokemista? En tiedä. Kuitenkin, jos se tuo

turvallisuuden tunnetta, tunnetta että ei ole yksin, ehkä se ei olekaan tyhjän hokemista.


RUKOUS – SUORITTAMISTA?


Pari vuosikymmentä sitten liityin oman seurakuntani rukouspiiriin. Kokoonnuimme

piiriläisen kotona kerran viikossa. Istuimme ringissä ja rukolimme järjestyksessä, jokainen

vuorollaan. Jännitin oman vuoroni tuloa paljon. Niin paljon, etten juurikaan keskittynyt

itse rukoukseen. Kuuntelin toisten hienosti asettamia sanoja.

‘Osaanko sanoa jotain merkityksellistä? Mitä jos en saa sanaa suustani?’ Oman vuoron

jälkeen tunsin vielä jonkinlaista jälkijännitystä.

Erilaiset lähteet antavat ohjeita siitä, miten pitäisi rukoilla. Pää painuksissa, pää

kohotettuna ylös, kädet ristissä, kämmenet auki ja kohollaan, istuen, polvillaan ja niin

edelleen, ääneen, hiljaisesti.

Lisäksi meille opetetaan, erilaisia rukouslajeja – kiitosrukous, ylistysrukous, pyyntörukous, rukous jonkun puolesta ja niin edelleen.

On erilaisia rukousoppaita, joiden mukaan Jumala vastaa rukouksiin, kun rukoilee tietyllä tavalla. Ohjeiden keskellä voi tulla mieleen että onko rukous suoritus, joka voidaan arvostella? Pastori Nina


PRAYER – CHANTING EMPTY WORDS?


Today, May 2, is the National Day of Prayer. Once again, I think about the meaning of

prayer for myself.

My childhood home was not particularly religious. However, my mother taught me the

evening prayer that I remember saying in the evenings when I was an exchange student

for a year in the United States at the age of 17. In the midst of everything new and

different it brought me of a sense of security and familiarity and a sense that you are not

alone.

Jesus says in Matthew 6:7, "When you pray, do not utter empty words like the Gentiles,

who think they will be heard when they utter words."

Is evening prayer learned as a child an empty chant? I don't know. However, if it brings a

sense of security, a feeling of not being alone, maybe it's not just uttering empty words.


PRAYER – PERFORMING?

A couple of decades ago, I joined my congregation's prayer circle. We met at a prayer

circle member's home once a week. We sat in a circle and prayed in order, each in turn. I

was very nervous about my turn coming. So much so that I hardly focused on the prayer

itself. I listened to the words of others so well said.

'Can I say something meaningful? What if I can't get a word out of my mouth?' After my

turn, I still felt some tension afterwords.

Various sources give instructions on how to pray. Head bowed, head raised, fingers

crossed, palms open and raised, sitting, kneeling, and so on, loudly, quietly.

In addition, we are taught different types of prayer – thanksgiving prayer, praise prayer,

pleading prayer, prayer for someone, and so on.

There are various prayer guides that say God answers prayers when you pray in a certain

way.

In the midst of the instructions, it may come to mind: is prayer an accomplishment that

can be evaluated?


PRAYER – IS ANYBODY LISTENING? DOES GOD LISTEN?


When my child was born 44 years ago, he had to undergo light therapy due to jaundice.

The doctor said that if his bilirubin levels do not improve in the next measurement, he

will be sent to Helsinki for a blood transfusion. I panicked. I prayed that the values

would fall.

There was a feeling that when you talk to God about it, you are not alone with it.

Bilirubin levels had decreased in the next measurement so that he was removed from

light therapy.

Did prayer help with this? I don't know. In any case, it helped me.

Then, when this child of mine was diagnosed with brain cancer, it felt like I was in

constant prayer. I asked friends and strangers to pray. I prayed on his deathbed. Again, I

had the feeling that when you talk and shout to God about it, you are not alone with it.

After the child's death, prayer ceased and ended. There was nothing more to say.

Long-term stress experienced, various great shocks, losses, and crises can cause the

person who praid before to stop praying. There is neither strength nor desire.


PRAYER – BREATHING?


It is said that prayer is breathing. That is a comforting thought for me. God himself

breathes in us. He created us, breathed the spirit into us, and breathes in us. Our

breathing alone is prayer. He is not somewhere far away and only reachable through

prayer properly formulated and performed, but he is present in us through his Spirit.

God knows how I'm doing, what scares me, what makes me angry, why I'm

disappointed.

No need to worry if prayer does not feel like something you want to do. After all, God is

involved in everything. Pastor Nina

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