Let Us Pray
For many people the idea of praying is strongly linked to religion, church, worship, and the picture of someone kneeling with hands held together in supplication comes easily to mind. Or, perhaps you have been a passenger on an aircraft, and the experience suddenly takes on frightening qualities as the plane is buffeted by immense air pockets, and winds, and you have whispered a desperate plea to ‘God’ that you will mend your ways and do anything if only the turbulence will stop!
It seems for many of us, the world of spiritual contemplation, and meditation is something to keep separately to your daily life; even those of us who practice a religion, we often forget about the niceties of church etiquette during the week, only putting on our religious face each Sunday, or whichever day your version of faith dictates. The nature of prayer is actually much more practical and earthly than this, and each moment we are living can become a prayer if we shift how we think.
Really, prayer is just communication with the world of spirit, I don’t mean to offend anyone with this definition, I realise that people have their own thoughts and ideas concerning this, and for some religious faiths praying has strict rules and techniques which must be observed, if this is the case for you then perhaps this article is not really for you.
I am speaking with the many people of the modern world who may not have a very clearly defined religious discipline, or even a belief in God, as this is defined in religion; many people tend to have an awareness of ‘otherness’, we are cognisant of a spiritual presence in the universe, but we do not follow any particular ‘man made’ code of belief, I think there are a lot of such people in today’s society.
For people such as ourselves, as I have just described, the act of prayer can sometimes seem like a ‘wish list’, a somewhat immature appeal to a paternal authority, I think we need to move on from this idea, and look at prayer in a much more pragmatic, and realistic way!
When we pray, we are in fact focusing our thoughts, we are clarifying many ideas we might have, and we are seeking a way to funnel these clear ideas into our mind’s eye; this is very much like practical thinking, more like a scientist would pray, and I think this is a useful way to look at it: rather than ask for gifts, we are reaching conclusions and making out a clear path.
Through the process of objectifying our problems, and identifying the obstacles we might be faced with we can often arrive at a much greater level of detail, and it is at this point that we can gain insight and possible answers to our questions!
‘Sleep on it’, we are all familiar with this expression, the idea that our unconscious mind can process ideas in the background, without our trying to reach conclusions with our waking minds, many people have dreamt of solutions and have experienced gaining hints and symbolic representations of problems which were troubling them; the language of dreams is highly metaphorical!
There is a famous story about the discovery of the structure of benzine, August Kekule a famous chemist, was thinking about this one day, and fell into a dream state, a kind of ‘day dream’ where he saw a snake forming a ring and eating its own tail, Ourobos is an ancient symbol which depicts just this, and thus the molecule was defined!
This is a form of prayer, if we can be vigilant, and take the opportunity to gather information from all parts of our lives we can often discover new solutions and ways to progress.
If there is one overarching benefit we have discovered in our modern world, this would be that solutions can be found in many different ways, we love the idea of having options, choice, and prayer is no different to this idea, today we can pray with all aspects of our lives, we don’t have to kneel and put our hands together, we can be praying as we go about our work, as we watch Netflix, as we talk with our families; think about this and give your life the richness of prayer, who knows what could be possible?