Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling / Prayers

I’m Well, Thanks for Asking

By Rev. Rhonda James-Jones

In 2008, everything I had ever known about prayer, what it is, the way it functions, what it yields for the righteous who pray fervently and the hope it affords standing on the promises of God, crumbled as the prayer to allow my mother to live was denied. The offering you are about to experience is an invitation to an expansive notion of prayer that has since emerged from the rubble. 

There are several movements in this offering that acknowledge prayer can take many forms, sometimes requiring words, other times not, yet all times centering an awareness of self and the Divine that invites an embodied conversation. My hope is that as you sit in the green pastures God offers, you are able to embrace the language, soothe your soul and feel the presence of the Divine in a new way, acknowledging the great cloud of witnesses who testify to who, what, when, where and how you can BE in your life of prayer.

I felt the sweat drops and wiped them away, one more patient to see. 
I felt the twinge of pain and matched it with a grin, no one knew but me. 
I felt the contractions bringing me to a screeching halt and pushed past it, one more meeting to attend. 
I felt my head pulsing and failed to take time to rest, because no one dies alone, until… 
Until it’s me. 

I could not stop the sweat drops, the pain, the contractions, the pulsing, and I found myself near dead. 
“I shall live and not die,” the words I spoke over myself. 
But who would nurse me back to health, “Dear God, there is no one here but WE.” 
My Ancestors, The Divine Feminine, and Me. 

No one held my hand when my niece cried, “Aunty, She’s Gone!” 
No one cared to ask, “How is your friend?” as I watched our nephew lying slain in the street. 
No one validated my fears for my son who many nights I wondered, “Is he safe? Did he eat?” 
No one clocked in so I could tag team bearing my people’s pain. 
No one came to rescue me, there’s no one here but WE. 
My Ancestors, The Divine Feminine, and Me. 

Rev. Rhonda James-Jones

“Your silence will not protect you.” Audre, If I tell them they won’t believe me. 
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest.” Ella, If I take a break, they deem me lazy. 
“If I die tonight…”. Zora, they will replace me. 
With my last breath, “Lord, send help for me!” 

You want for nothing, Chile. Lie down in green pastures. Let the still waters restore your parched soul. 
Follow what is right, love me, love your neighbor AS yourself. 
The death shadow in the valley, the evil, fear it not. 
Do you see me, doing this new thing, in your wilderness, in your dry desert places? 
I’m here with you; stop, rest, eat, drink; you are safe with WE. 
Remember WE called you and equipped you for this good work, it begins in you. 
Goodness and mercy are your benediction, forever; I’ll see you through. 

Your Ancestors bear witness, Audre, Ella, Zora, your garden does the same. 
The wind whispers my presence, the sun’s heat rekindles the flame. 
The earth receives your sorrow from toil and grants harvest in its place. 
The tears nourish your soul and life springs forth with grace. 

“How is your prayer?” You ask. 
I chaplained the chaplain, authentically practice what I preach. 
A midwife to my own soul. A compassionate listener to my own pain. 
Drawing from my inner well, living waters flow again. 
No longer on life support. I am breathing on my own. 
All intravenous lines have been removed. My heart beats in sinus rhythm. 
Muscle atrophy reversed. Normal nerve conduction velocity poppin’. 
Toxins flushed from my system. 
Alive and well my prayer is and still learning how to BE. 
Cause I can DO all things because of the ONES who live in Me. 

Rev. Rhonda James-Jones is a CBF-endorsed Chaplain and serves as manager of Spiritual Health at Wellstar Paulding Hospital and Rehabilitation Center and Lead Guide at SpiritWork Development Group LLC, Paulding County, Ga.

This prayer appears in the 2022-2023 edition of Prayers of the People, the annual prayer guide of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, edited by Rev. Meg Lacy Vega. Download the digital version or order free print copies of Prayers of the People at

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