The Art of Prayer

Lately prayer has been on my mind, as I share my perspective please consider sharing your own in the comments below.

Prayer is focusing all of your intentions, hopes, desires, gratitudes, and longings on the Omnipresent.  Prayer is spirit calling out through your very pores for harmony, patience, peace.  Prayer is offering harmony, patience, and peace.  Prayer is watching a newborn babe, in all his or her glory, sleep.  Prayer is riding a bicycle for the first time, the fiftieth time, the last time.  Prayer is photographing a moment of beauty that would otherwise go unnoticed.  Prayer is singing a song at the top of your lungs, or under your breath, just because it makes you happy.  Prayer is smiling at a stranger, your mother, yourself.  Prayer is uncovering the infinite depths of your nobility.  Prayer is climbing a tree, climbing a mountain, jumping off a cliff, and standing in a prairie.  Prayer is breathing.  Prayer is life.  Prayer is living your life in a state of humble gratitude and awe.  Prayer is living your life with love and compassion.  Prayer is upholding justice.  Prayer is being.

Every thought we think is a prayer.  Every word we utter is a prayer.  Every action we take is a prayer.  Whether we know it our not, the Unknowable Essence is ALWAYS present.  It’s really on us to recognize that our thoughts, words, deeds, and energy are perpetually in motion, headed Home.  If acknowledged, maybe we’d pray a little differently.  Maybe we’d live a little differently.  Maybe we’d live our lives with greater authenticity―for the more authentic we are, the more potent our prayer.

An authentic life is the most personal form of worship. Everyday life has become my prayer.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Authentic living is equivalent to potent prayers.  Why?  How?  Prayer is a deeply personal expression of truth.  In the privacy of your own internal sacred space prayer is an unveiling of your innermost secrets, desires, wishes, dreams, gratitudes, and longings to yourself, as well as to your Creator.  Therefore, Truthfulness = Authenticity.  The more earnestly and honestly we share with our Healer, the more clearly we will see and understand ourselves.   This internal honesty is crucial to our growth.  For as we walk up our own personal mountain path, we will never be able to forge ahead if we do not acknowledge the boulder blocking the way.  Once we are honest with ourselves and our Maker about our boulders we will have perspective, tools, and capacity to move beyond them.

Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become acquired.
― ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Additionally, once we express to our Guide where we are at―once we acknowledge what state we exist in at the present moment―we offer up our load, unburden our souls, and allow ourselves to be clear channels.  This experience is remarkably transformative.  Yet most people close their prayer thinking the prayer has ended…yet the Divine is ever present; we continue to offer energy that will always be received.

However, if we continue to remain open, humble, and honest, live with authenticity, and exude an attitude of gratitude, our conscious intention allows us to embrace that all of life is a prayer. On a moment to moment basis we are interacting with each other, living our own prayer and respecting each others prayer.  With this level of authentic awareness our lives are lived as potent prayers, focused and directed at honoring the Divine in all we see, do, speak, think, feel and experience.

Action is the normal completion of the act of will which begins as prayer. That action is not always external, but it is always some kind of effective energy.
Dean Inge

As more and more people come to live their lives as a prayer, more and more people will arise, transformed into healers.  We will recognize that a smile has the capacity to heal a broken heart.  We will recognize that a kind word, an open heart, an attentive ear, mends and transforms sorrow into joy.  We will understand that every action, even the actions that go unnoticed, are a part of the prayer that is life.

Prayer is not…idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.
Mahatma Gandhi

For as we live authentic lives, allowing our souls to be open to the promptings of the spirit, pursuing our calling, and ever mindful of what is God’s, we begin to see the art of prayer in creating a new and beautiful reality.  So come pray with me…won’t you?

The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity.
― ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

 

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© 2012-2013 Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle
All rights reserved.

Previously posted on The Devo

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