For something that most of us raised in a Christian tradition have done since we were small children, prayer sure can get interesting the older we get. At least it has for me. As a child, I prayed for my family, both on the earth as well as the ones that had crossed over. Prayed for safety and happiness.
I never thought that God hadn’t heard my prayers when something like a death happened. Never thought my prayers hadn’t worked. I didn’t really connect my prayers to the events that played out in my life. Then again for many years, my faith really hadn’t been a deeply connected component in the way I saw my world.
I believe now, I was working through the “religion” that had been passed to me. I was doing that with my spirituality as well as everything else that my forefathers had passed down. It was all passed down with love. It was all passed down in good conscious. There has been much I have held onto but there also has been much that I have shaped in different ways, as I see the world through a different lens than they did. They used their own lens as they viewed their lives differently from the generation before them. Once I granted myself that freedom to pursue my life and seek my own views of my Creator, I believe my life opened up significantly to the endless faces of God.
So, back to prayer. I moved through my stages of life to a form of prayer which now consists mostly of thankfulness. Thankfulness for another day on the earth, to see creation with all of its colors; all of its smells and tastes. To live in the moment. To be present with each breath. I admit that when it really hits the fan though, I pray out for certain things to happen. For certain outcomes.
But it doesn’t entwine with my beliefs of not seeing God as a puppeteer. I don’t think he chooses the Giants over the Cowboys. I don’t believe he chooses one person over another in a car wreck. I don’t think he does any kind of “1,2. 3, you’re it” kind of thing. I think all of that stuff is the product of free will and we are to look for God in everything. Even in sadness. Easy to say, not so easy to do, and as I face bigger life challenges, I know I will point a finger or two.
That’s just the way I see it, here at 50 years old. Ask me tomorrow and I’m sure it will shape out differently. I hope so, as I hope my relationship with my Creator continues to shape and grow.
How do you see prayer? There is no right or wrong, only your journey and how it speaks to you. I hope you feel free enough to seek the Creator in your own way. If God is in everything, if he is the alpha and the omega, then he is in the eyes of the old. The touch of a child, and the hawk that floats on the currents high above. God is in the Palestinian, Buddhist monk, Catholic priest, Lakota elder. In the sunsets and on the wind. God is right there in every embrace and the wag of my dogs tail.
Where are you on your journey? We are all in this together. I’d love to hear about your experiences, and how you’ve felt that presence of pure love.
Wanted to add this. I’d posted this and then the first thing I saw on Facebook was a friend in Florida that is dealing with some type of tragedy with her child. To see all of the people sending her prayers was extremely powerful. And we are all praying for a certain outcome, for something good to happen. So like she said, go hug your children. Hug your family, heck, go hug the world as we are all in need of love and prayers. Pray Pray Pray in your own and honest way………………….