This was one of those days when I kept receiving information about the struggles others are going through.
When I feel concern or compassion for someone, I tend to pray.
By "pray" I don't mean that I am trying to get the gods to notice someone they had previously overlooked, nor do I mean that I am trying to persuade a cosmic dictator to show kindness that he/it/she otherwise would not be inclined to show.
Prayer for me is more of an artistic practice, a way of expressing hope and concern, of allowing myself to feel united with the person for whom I pray, and a way of releasing my own sense of helplessness by doing "something."
Such prayer might be lengthy, flowery prose.
Or, it could be short one line affirmations or declarations of compassion and care.
Or, it could be a moment of silence, just holding a person (or persons) in mind, letting the silence wash over me and imagining it extending to them as a blanket of comfort.
Or, it could be an active imagining, a visualization of the person being cared for, safe, content, and renewed.
Whatever the form of the prayer, what I am really saying, to myself, to the universe, and to the human family is that I realize we are all somehow connected, and I want to inject optimism or compassion or goodwill into the lifestream we all share.
These moments of prayer almost always bring some sense of comfort to me.
I hope that comfort reaches the ones for whom I pray as well.
And sometimes, it actually seems as if such prayers contribute to some form of healing, growth, recovery, reconciliation, strength, learning, or breakthrough.
So, tonight as I come to the end of my day, I remember those whose needs were brought to my attention.
I remember one whose pet companion died.
I remember one who lost her father after a brief illness.
I remember one who lost his father after a lengthy illness.
I remember one who is struggling to become sober.
I remember one who is having medical tests.
I remember one who is living with a difficult secret.
I remember one who has been without work for a while now.
I remember one who has struggled with physical pain, loss, financial difficulty, and depression for many, many years.
I remember one who is summoning the courage to come out of a self-imposed isolation.
I remember one who is recovering from an illness.
I'm honored that so many people dare to share their burdens so that they might be lightened.
I'm honored to be one who can remember, who can care.
And so I do remember these who expressed need, concern, or sorrow today.
I wish each one health, happiness, security, fulfillment, and peace.
These are my prayers. I release them to the perfection of divine right action.