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On Not Getting What We Pray For

One thing we need to pray for--one thing I certainly need to pray for--is the ability to bear not getting my own way. I have prayed so hard for certain people to be healed, which to me would mean they would live a great deal longer, but which seems to mean…. I've never seen someone die without a healing. I've only seen people have profound healing even though it turned out they weren't going to live forever.

I've seen people given time they could have never imagined they would get, [time] to savor and close up shop in a really graceful, rich, nourishing way.

I have also seen people die very suddenly even as they had expected a pretty miserable, long-term death. I've seen people [get the] get out of jail free card without a long, protracted death. 

So I've seen prayers answered. It's just a nightmare for me that we don't get what we pray for. But often, in my experience, if you get what you pray for, you've really short-changed yourself.

- Anne Lamott, interviewed on Beliefnet.com
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