I love this. When I read it, I said, "Yes, yes, yes!" I have felt this often in my prayers. For me, a prayer sometimes feels like pulling a silk down duvet over me and burrowing in safe and warm. It's a good feeling.
"Would it be all right--I mean, would you mind if I prayed for her?"
Although I did not want his assistance--had not asked for his assistance--this one time, I was willing to put aside how I felt about God, because Claire could use all the help she could get. Almost imperceptibly, I nodded.
Beside me, Father Michael's voice began to move over the hills and valleys of the simplest prayers: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Before I realized what I was doing, my own mouth had started to form the words, a muscle memory. And to my surprise, instead of feeling false or forced, it made me relieved, as if I had just passed the baton to someone else.
"Give us this day our daily bread and lead us not into temptation. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
It felt like putting on flannel pajamas on a snowy night; like turning on your blinker for the exit you know will take you home.
I looked at Father Michael, and together we said, "Amen."
Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart. New York: Atria, 2008, p. 256