Thursday, June 15, 2017

Prayer Problem

Prayer is a problem word for me. Not because I’m threatened by it or because I don’t understand it or I don’t like it or I don’t believe in it. It’s because it’s a church word. It’s a religious word. It drags around big suitcases. Prayer comes with a lot of baggage, in other words.

The word "prayer" may be a problem, but prayer itself—the state of prayer, of praying, of being prayed—is a persistent, widespread human activity. It arises out of human experiences, especially the hard ones.

When things get really bad, even people who don’t believe in a Divine will create one just so they’ll have something to rail against.

At other moments, life itself becomes so astonishing or so bewildering or so beautiful that we’re overwhelmed by the experience. In those moments, we create a Creator just by saying "thank you" for the experience of being alive.

No matter what we call it, though, it's a profound thing, prayer. I've learned this mostly the hard way.


Galen Pearl said...

So true that some profound and lovely words or concepts have become burdened by religious baggage. Prayer is one example.

I love the Biblical encouragement to pray without ceasing. A Buddhist teacher was once asked about his meditation schedule. He answered "I am never not meditating." I think about prayer like this, like an attitude or way of being, a constant and open connection to a Divine, as you say.

We "create a Creator just by saying...." Loved this. We separate out of Oneness to have a dialogue, to have relationship. Manifesting and returning.

HK Stewart said...


I agree all the way around.

Manifesting and returning. Just riding the currents of the Tao.

I loved the idea of separating one from One to have a dialogue. It works the other way, too -- One from one.

H. K.