“I have prayed so much that I myself turned into prayer — / Everyone who sees me begs a prayer from me.”-Rumi
Prayer is one of my favorite life practices. It is a constant companion from the moment I awaken until my head sinks into the pillow and my eyes flutter shut. Likely I pray in my sleep. For me, prayer need not be formal, from a sacred text or done in a rote manner. It is a connection to the God of my understanding, a link with all life. I was weaned on the Shema (the Hebrew prayer that acknowledges our Oneness with the Divine.) I still recite it in my mind every night. Throughout the day, I express gratitude for the multitudinous blessings that swirl about; for the dear people in my life…and there are many. I extend energy in the form of healing thoughts to those in need. I surround myself with ideas of abundance. As an interfaith minister, I glean rituals from various traditions. Sometimes the words are accompanied by melody, oftentimes movement. Stillness and silence are prayers in and of themselves. Being in nature, praying WITH God as co-creator of wonder, going on a miracle walk and noticing the glint of sunshine on an upturned leaf or the smile on an upturned face. Those too are potent prayers.
There was a time when I thought of my home as prayer central, since people would ask daily for assistance with illness, challenging circumstances, for a positive outcome to whatever was on their mind at the time. I often felt like Jim Carrey’s character in the film Bruce Almighty, when he was sitting at his computer with post-it notes that had scribbled prayer requests on them. He got so tired of considering petitions one at a time, that he responded with a sweeping YES! to the petitioners. If you recall, all manner of chaos broke loose. At that point, he couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle.
Whenever I am asked to pray for others, my mantra is “This or something better, for the Highest Good of all concerned.” As I do that, I let go of attachment to outcome. I have found that although they may not be answered in the way I would like, prayer is ALWAYS answered. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no and sometimes it is “Patience, my love.” When I allow myself to trust that all is in Divine Order, I can relax with whatever may arise and become a living, breathing prayer~
Thank you, Oriah Mountain Dreamer for posting the Rumi quote on your page yesterday, so I could scoop it up, like a handful of refreshing water to quench my spiritual thirst~
Photo Credit: Stefan/Everystock Photo