A thought. A question actually. Posed by Mark Twain: "But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needs it most?"
I came across this quote not long ago. It hasn't left my mind since.
My favorite prayer is the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. (For all the non-Catholics, there are six Archangels, and they are badass.) Specifically, Michael is recognized for defeating Satan. In the prayer that was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1886, we ask him to "defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil." Considering the tumultuous state our world is in, Saint Michael has probably never been busier.
The evil has a root. His name is Satan. He was once a high ranking angel, named Lucifer, who rebelled against God and was defeated. Ever since he has been reeking havoc on civilization. We pray for strength to resist his temptations. We pray to be protected from his evil works. But, what if we prayed for the cause, instead of the effects? What if we prayed for a change of heart, instead of protection. What if we prayed for Satan? Could there be less evil in the world? Through God, all things are possible.
These thoughts have changed the way I pray. They might be futile attempts, but the thought of "what if" inspires me to have hope. I am not a theological scholar, nor am I an expert on Catholic Church Doctrine. So I could very well be breaking all the rules. Perhaps this is the way it is meant to be, but Twain's thought provoking question rattled me. I realized for the first time that I can fight evil from both sides.
My prayers alone won't change Satan. Real talk: I can barely get God to listen to my simple prayers. A house, a soulmate, a stable bank account. (#twentysomething) So, I am realistic about my expectations here. But often times being proactive produces the best results. I want to be more than a positive force. I want to be proactive. I will try to live in such a way that when my feet hit the floor each morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh shit, she is awake." But I will also pray.
Following the last breath of the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, I now ask God to help the one sinner that needs it most. I ask Him to bring Satan a change of heart. I ask God to bring Satan peace. A simple request, amidst a myriad of others. (I hope God is prioritizing these...) Just another prayer that might go unanswered. But I will ask God anyway. Because, what if.