What Is Prayer….Really?

Everyone is familiar with the word “prayer”.

“I’ll pray for you”

“Keep me in your prayers”

“Pray for ………”

We all know the word, yet have we experienced its unending and surprising gifts?   Today we are taking a personal look at prayer…..  (Hang on, this is not your traditional “What is Prayer” sermon!)

While in India, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) reflected upon the idea of prayer. This got me thinking.  I asked several friends to contemplate this simple, yet profound question.  Upon completion, new gifts were unfolded for each of us! I’d like to share with you what we received.

Today’s “leaping” exercise- Part 1:  Before continuing, I invite each of you to spend 15 minutes or so, pondering and writing your thoughts on “What is Prayer”?  Writing your valid and insightful thoughts prior to reading others experiences will gift you with seeing your own unique definition.  By clarifying your thoughts at the beginning, you will be able to clearly bring your wisdom and experience to the conversation.  (This is what each of the contributors did and we found it extremely rewarding!)

What is Prayer – Julie Gledhill

When I was younger my idea of prayer was that of a one sided conversation. A wish list given to an all powerful creator who would decide whether or not to grant those requests whether they be for a new item, the health of a loved one, spiritual understanding or world peace !!  As I have awakened to my own power as a co-creator my view of prayer has changed. I now see prayer as a two way communion, as a way of connecting with the spark of the creator in myself. I know that to connect with this part of me it is best to be in alignment with the energy of that divine spark; that is to be in a space of peace, love, joy, freedom, expansion… a space where inspiration can be felt and insights received. I understand that I play a part in the process of bringing forth those things I am asking for… and that to bring those forth I cannot come from a place of disempowerment and lack (which is where some types prayer are focused), but need to have faith/belief and gratitude for all that I have already co-created. So I believe prayer goes by many names. Meditation, contemplation, visualization just to name a few. All are ways of communing with the Creator who is a part of each and every one of us.

 

What is Prayer – Randall Krause

A silent cry of the heart.  An urgent yearning to feel and connect with the Source of life, of healing, of love.  Whispered wishes into the hoped-for ear of Unknowable Mystery.  When all else fails, a hopeful reaching out, beyond my smallness.  Surrender to what is far greater than me.  Trust; ultimate trust.    My heart’s sweet song for her long-lost Home.

 

What is Prayer – Janet Nestor

I believe we are all one – that you and I are one with each other, and one with our God.  In my life,  prayer is an ongoing dialogue, an exchange, a conversation.  Within my prayer conversations I ask questions, listen for answers, make comments, give gratitude, enjoy the spiritual experience of divine love and the feeling of being enfolded in its embrace, ask for guidance, receive insight, ask what is needed from me and listen for the reply.  The contact is instant.  The conversation loving, inspiring, and often very funny.  I can laugh, cry, and express myself just like I would with any trusted family member or friend.  It seems to me that prayer is meant to be ongoing and as natural as talking and breathing.  The God of Creation would never allow you or me to be born into this hectic, sometimes violent world, without the “internal wiring” to Phone Home.  For me, prayer feels like a phone call home.  Prayer is an act of trust and love between a human soul, God and those spiritual beings appointed to love, teach and guide you and me throughout our lifetime.  Just as I believe that prayer is as natural as breathing, I believe that the spiritual acts and interventions that we call miracles are examples of what is possible when we are fully connected and trusting in Spirit.  Miracles happen when we let go and let God.  The necessary state of mind needed for a miracle often comes about during loving, quiet,  prayerful moments.  In those loving, quiet moments there are no limitations and miracles are possible.

 

What is Prayer – Kathleen Rossi

God is no further than our hearts. Gratitude is a silent prayer of Thanks. We are in a constant state of prayer when we are grateful, happy, kind and loving. Words are used in directing this state of being. Words are used to propel the power of our hearts into a specific direction or to a specific person. Words however are not necessary but being in a state of loving intent and being grateful that our intentions will manifest, is critical.
Read Kathleen’s beautiful reflection in its entirety – Click Here

 

What is Prayer – Wren Myers

….Let’s see. So far, prayer is, for me at least, a specific last ditch request for help in response to a perceived problem. So, it’s like the genie coming out of the bottle to grant me wishes, but only if I’m on the edge of the cliff or facing some other deadly peril. If I’m backed far enough into a corner that regular human responses haven’t worked, I go to the superhuman approach. And, of course, the problem has a full head of steam by then and there s no longer the easy fix.  No real surprise that I feel as if I’ve had no great response from my prayers, is it?  Perhaps it would be better if I changed my approach. Maybe I can make prayer as constant as my breathing, as something to apply to all aspects of my life, as a reflection of thanks for the things already done and received. Perhaps I could live from the result of my prayers before I even ask. Perhaps I could be like those who seem to live in a state of wonder all the time.  Sounds like a great plan.  So why haven’t I?…..

Read Wren’s honest and inspiring reflection in its entirety – Click Here (you’ll want to read the conclusion!)

 

What is Prayer” – Joan Kappes

Prayer, for me has been an evolving gift. My prayer experience originated from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances (I Thess 5:16-18) These 3 have resonated with me for decades.  When I was young, I was puzzled by “pray constantly” – how do you do that?  Clearly, one cannot recite prayers 24/7!  As I grew, I realized that this kind of prayer goes far beyond words.  My prayer has become a relationship with the Divine.  It is breathing with All-That-Is.  It is communing from the heart.  What I’ve also come to powerfully know is that God is Love.  Prayer, for me is now the receiving of this Love.   Prayer is creating a space to receive Love.  My prayer has become 24/7 and takes many forms.  Traditional worship, words, no words, music, nature, movement, stillness, silence, noise, being in relationship with another, working on a project, meditation, church, no church.  My life has become the prayer…

There is much wisdom in this reflection!  Today’s “leaping” exercise” – Part 2: Spend “prayer time” each day reading and re-reading this post.  See what new gifts unfold for you.  Then, please gift all of us by sharing  your experiences of prayer. Use the comment section below.

Special “Thanks” to Elizabeth Gilbert, Julie Gledhill, Janet Nestor, Randall Krause, Kathleen Rossi, Wren Myers and YOU for Coming to “The Edge” Today!

Prayer – it’s unique.  It’s a gift for all – Joan Kappes

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