Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Praying attention

Ever get what you pray for? I have twice lately and neither was the answer I had expected, which leads me to believe my prayers may have been answered with much more frequency, it's just that I wasn't p[r]aying attention.

My idea of the answer is never as creative, connecting or magnificent as God's ... that is when I can see it's been answered.

I think my last post about being inspired by a friend's prayer for "fresh vision" made a difference. Maybe the fact I put my prayer out there and, perhaps, you said a prayer for me as you read did, too.

For years, I struggled with the term prayer because it had been too narrowly defined for me. Growing up it was usually a booming man's words in church, at a wedding, funeral or family meal that didn't often speak my heart. Of course, I was grateful for the food, the person's life, the blessed union. But I was probably more concerned with if God loved me, what torment lay ahead at school, if I were a good person, etc. Personal stuff between me and God. DIRECTLY. My words from my heart straight to God. Don't get me wrong, intercessory prayer is wonderful, but I'm speaking of my sacred relationship. One I did not understand I could have until I experienced Quakerism ... although I think I was dabbling in it on my own, in my own manner.

I believe prayer is a very broad term that can be applied to the times I communicate with or open to God. Much of the time, the communication is non verbal and on a plane I can not always explain. As if God can transcend my heart for a heart meld (like Spock's mind mild on Star Trek). The only requirement is I get myself and my daily drama out of the way and listen. Sometimes I speak or I vocalize first, then listen. The real stuff happens in the listening.

So I pray with my body, my heart, my pastels, my pencil and even the internet! Like I used to as a kid, making myself permeable so God can be inside and, together, we can just be.

Prayer is being with God.


• How do I pray?
• What ways are unique to me?
• What's my definition of prayer?
• How has that evolved?
• What can I do to deepen my prayer life?

my skin
was permeable

as if
God lived
inside it
with me

the world

and I forgot

one day
I remembered

that being
with God
had to
BE in my way

no one else's

and yet
can BE
in their
own way,

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