Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

I have long believed that prayer is portable. It is too expansive to be uttered only in an edifice such as a church, synagogue, temple, mosque or oak grove. It is not limited to one language or ritual; neither is one religion’s form ‘better’ or more powerful than any other, despite the contention of those who hold fundamentalist beliefs. The only thing that can contain it is the heart of the one who embraces it. Having grown up in the Jewish religion, prayer was a daily occurrence. At bedtime, we always said the shema which is what I call the ‘signature prayer’ in Judaism.  ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echad’, which translates to ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God, The Lord is One.’ I first heard my favorite translation from Rabbi Rami Shapiro when I attended a Reconstructionist synagogue in Florida called Beth Or.  It resonated with my own awareness of the Divine: ‘That which we call God is Oneness Itself.’ Even when my parents went out for the evening, and a babysitter of a different faith stayed with my sister and me, she would tuck us each in and we would recite the prayer. To this day, it is what I say before I close my eyes for the night. It provides familiar comfort.

Having said that, I don’t limit my invocations for night time. I pray all day long and so do you, whether you know it or not. With each thought, we are offering a prayer. With each word of gratitude or grumpiness, we are offering a prayer. Every time we say the words ‘I Am,’ we are offering a prayer. The words that follow call into our lives what we believe we want and also what we don’t want. If we are feeling ill and want to feel better, using the words “I don’t want to be sick,” sends the message of  sickness.  Rather,  we can pray wellness. We can focus on vibrant health. When we connect with Source energy, regardless of the name we speak, we are asking to be used as a vessel or hollow reed to bring it to life.

As we just crossed the threshold into a New Year, many people created resolutions, which in and of themselves are prayers as well. Most are about behavioral change and often, don’t last long, since they are more about critical views we have, rather than seeing ourselves in our highest light. If you were taught that God is harsh and punitive, you may be setting yourself up by praying about change in a self deprecating way, rather than a kind and compassionate manner. What if you could view yourself as an aspect of the Divine,  with the right to joy and fulfillment? Would it be easier to express your intentions as if they are a done deal?

One of my favorite things is to express gratitude for what I desire as if it has already happened. I get myself in receptivity mode and feel, taste, touch, hear and smell their fulfillment. I am not petitioning some external Being sitting on a cloud, at a distance. I am, instead, communing with the God of my understanding, the perception of which may change from one moment to the next.

This year’s prayer is one of appreciation for life and all it contains, for family and friends, for abundance and love in all forms, for being an instrument of healing and peace, for creative flow, for complete and total wellbeing.

And so it is~

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