I was recently given a copy of a speech delivered by Reverend Jim Kinnear, of the Spiritualist Society of Burlington, on the importance of prayer and it has prompted me to share my own thoughts regarding the impact of prayer in my life.
Through out most of my life I was familiar with and used regularly the two forms of prayer known as colloquial and petitionary prayers whereby we beseech God’s help. Of course there were also the ritualistic prayers offered in the church environment and the infamous “now I lay me down to sleep….” prayer invoking God’s help in staying safe until morning.
A few years ago I was introduced to the 5th mode of prayer via one of my favorite authors, Gregg Braden which is also known as the “lost mode of prayer”; a prayer based solely in feeling as if what you are praying for has already occurred. “We are literally invited to feel a clear and powerful feeling as if our prayers have already been answered” (excerpt from: When life becomes a prayer).
Old conditioning is resistant to change and I still have to remind myself to “live my life as a prayer”, to feel as if what I desire has already been answered but I have no problem in offering my prayers of thanks for all the blessings in my life. It is too easy to simply pray for what we wish but it is so important to incorporate prayers of thanks too.
I have always been drawn to Native American prayers and one of my favorites is the following Lakota Prayer:
Great Spirit, Great Mystery;
Teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my Sacred Space and love beyond my fear and thus Walk in Balance with the passing of each glorious Sun.
Prayers such as this one remind me of how to keep serenity in my life, how to live in service to Spirit and to respect the gifts that Spirit has endowed me. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life and lose the peace and grace that comes from sitting quietly for a few moments in contemplation and prayer. My day both starts and ends with a prayer of thanksgiving for all Spirit has given me; lessons and blessings!
Jim’s speech told of how prayer is “an expression who we are ….as well as who we seek to be. A prayer is a special kind of poem addressed to the Infinite, the Divine Source in all of us…….and a prayer, like a poem, often has many layers of meaning”. He summarized his view of the importance of prayer in our lives by stating “Every prayer we express in the silence of our hearts has a purpose and has an appeal to the Great Spirit for direction and guidance. The place of prayer in our lives is not perfunctory. It is not a mere matter of form and rote. It is vital and profound.”*
Prayers are not only relegated to religious ceremonies, they are available to all – all the time. I invite you to welcome the power of prayer into your life and to search out those that speak to your soul.
Give ThanksWhen you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. – Native American Prayer