Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Lesson on Prayer

                 Sometimes we just need to feel life, to community, to the ancestors, to the dreams we once had but let slip away...we need to reconnect to our high aspirations, our good desires, our noble goals, our worthy intentions. In other words, we need to pray.
Especially in moments of sorrow, despair, grief, fear, or decision, its seems almost a natural impulse to pray. How can one out grow the religion of the past and still practice meaningful prayer?
I suggest intentional silence...quieting the discursive thoughts in our heads and just connecting to breath and the fullness of the present moment can be a powerful, even "divine" experience.
I also suggest visualization...just imagine possibilities, and notice how good you feel when you are in that "place" where amazing things are within reach.
Of course, gratitude is a powerful way to pray...noticing and expressing gratitude for all blessings, large and small, not only feels good but it seems to attract even more blessings (or maybe it just helps us notice more).
Generosity is a good form of prayer...supporting what you believe to be worthwhile is a way of saying, "I want this to prosper," and that prayer is even more powerful because behind the wish you added your own resources.
Showing kindness is a good way to pray. What better way to say, "I wish you well" than to personally offer someone a kind word or gesture?
And finally, verbal prayers also serve a purpose. The words we choose direct our thoughts and the thoughts we consistently think create our feelings and our feelings determine many of our actions and much of how we interpret the experiences of our lives. So, when we "say" a prayer, we are actually directing our thoughts which are generating our feelings which, in some ways, are actually creating our experience of life. And so positive prayers are said for the purpose of directing the energy of our own thoughts/attitudes/feelings and this can be very powerful.
If you believe in a Higher Power, you probably believe it is omnipresent and doesn't need to be beckoned or begged. So, affirmations/positive prayers are a way of trusting the Power and letting it work through you; if you don't believe in such a Power, then affirmations still direct the energy of your own thoughts and feelings and that can be very useful.
Here are 12 prayers for you. Choose one, or use them all. Say the prayers you choose throughout the day. They may just help you feel more "connected"...and that is no small thing:
1. I choose to believe in, live into, and express my innate goodness today.
2. I pray for strength and high resolve; the energy of prayer sustains me.
3. I believe in, depend on, and call upon the goodness of life right now.
4. Hope, wisdom, strength and courage are always available to me.
5. I am not my mistakes; I give thanks for new beginnings.
6. May I be happy and healthy, peaceful and serene.
7. I am thankful that I have the support I need.
8. I forgive myself and others; I am free.
9. I am thankful for infinite possibilities.
10. I deserve hope, peace, love and joy.
11. I will make the most of this day.
12. I choose life.

- Durrell Watkins

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