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The Wise Words of the Grandparents and My Own Thoughts on Prayer

Some moments I believe that God is Goodness and is evident in the good and courageous deeds we humans do. Always I believe God the Creator did an awesome awe inspiring awe-filled job with nature, sunrises, trees, the sky, clouds and the weather on our dear fragile planet Earth.  Even after many years of creative engagement with prayer, I don’t know if God is found in prayer, yet I continue praying. For the reasons why, I return to the wise words of the grandparents and some thoughts of my own.

My Grandpa Henry Fuchs
When my Grandpa Henry was 83, he was interviewed by his step-grandson Harvey Simsohn and Grandpa Henry said:
"My idea of God?  An almighty creator who regulates and controls the growth of everything including plants, including woods and forests, man and animals. I don’t think anything, even a cigarette, could become a cigarette without the aid of God.

“Can people communicate with God?  I don’t see how they can. When they pray, they’re talking to God, but whether He’s listening, that’s something else. If I pray, and I wake up in the morning, in the morning there is another (Jewish) prayer where you thank the Lord for all of life. That’s my idea of what prayer is. Every day that you live you thank, whether you do it consciously or unconsciously, the good Lord for the gift of another day.”

My Grandma Bea Winston Fuchs
Towards the end of her life, my Jewish Grandma Bea prayed to Jesus to be freed from her suffering and pain. When I asked her why she prayed to the Christian God Jesus, she said “You never know. It just might help.”

My brother-in-law Bob Jacobson’s Grandma Tillie Kaplan said:
“You have to believe in God. Otherwise who are you going to pray to when you get sick?”

Any my own thoughts
It helps to get in the habit of praying to God. Otherwise who are you going thank for the gift of each new day?  And who will you cry out to when no one else will listen? And what words will sustain you when you need help?  And how else will you remember always that you must take part in tikkun olam (repair of the world)?

Prayers are not magic. They don’t always help or sustain or inspire. But the habit of prayer puts into place the possibility. And that is enough for me.


Contact Betsy at
To view new prayers, photography, reflections and Betsy's other creative writing experiments, go to

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