Wouldn’t it be nice to have a convenient place to deposit prayer requests? Well, after much research, I’ve found that prayer depository, and it’s called your gold bucket, golden box, or whatever you wish to call it. However, the best part is it’s free, requires no space, and is only visible to God. This idea comes from my friend Orysia Earhart, a fiction writer and substitute teacher in the Archdiocese of Seattle. Orysia, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Masters's degree in Theology from Augustine Institute, shared this valuable concept; and I believe you will find her idea complete and easy to use.
1. How did you come up with the mental image of a golden bucket holding your prayers?
OE-- I was having problems trying to remember all the names people gave me to pray for others, themselves, etc. My poor mind couldn’t hold it all in. Then I was watching TV, and someone was talking about things to put into your bucket list to do before you die. Suddenly, it hit me— I don’t need that kind of a bucket list. Instead, I needed a mental golden bucket for prayers. So I asked God to please remember everyone who had asked me to pray for them, plus the holy souls in purgatory who need our prayers, and to put their names into that container. Now every time someone asks me to pray for them, I mentally write their name on a beautiful piece of paper and watch it float into the bucket. Every day, when I say the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet, I ask God to apply both to everyone in my gold bucket. And in this way, when someone asks me to pray for them, I mentally put them into my bucket, and they’re good for a Rosary and Chaplet. Now my poor brain is happy!
2. Do you know if any of your prayers have been answered?
OE-- I don’t know, and I don’t ask. I leave that to God. As I see it, my job is to continue to pray– to be faithful to all who are in the bucket. Even if a prayer has been answered, there will probably be more problems that the person has to deal with and will need more prayers. Do you know what’s interesting? The bucket, holding all those souls, including those in purgatory, has never gotten filled. Amazing.
3. Greatest advantage?
OE-- I let God do the remembering. All I do is add another name. He knows who’s in the bucket, and he knows that my prayers are for all of them. Incredible freedom.
OE-- Use my idea, or come up with your own. Maybe others, who have better memories than I, don’t need a gold bucket for prayers; but I’ve found that I don’t stress any more if I forget to pray for someone. I let God take care of a lot in my life, and I know He’ll give me the strength and ideas to fix my challenges. It is a relief to put my whole life and trust into His hands and not let little things bother me. I love doing God’s will instead of mine.
I learned in my graduate program from Augustine Institute that we come from God, and we have to get back to Him if we are to have perfect happiness. God gave us many tools to help us return–the Church, Sacred Scripture, the Sacraments, and prayer. The Father wants us to live our lives with Christ’s love and joy and do The Father’s Will.
I love and live by Mother Teresa’s precept:
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered, Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
A final thought I find to be very important is “to learn how to get closer to God.” The best way I’ve found to draw nearer is to do a Holy Hour of Adoration every week. Jesus doesn’t ask much of us, but He wants to give us His Divine Life. Still, we have to learn how to be friends with Him, love Him, and express that love. So spending time with Him for one hour a week in Adoration is not asking too much. Wouldn’t you do that for someone you loved? I want to go to Heaven, for that is my real home. And right now, I am trying to do whatever I can to get there because I want to be with God. Nothing else matters.
Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author
The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.