What is prayer?
Is prayer the corpus of statements, learned by rote in my childhood, spoken to a God up in heaven and in the name of Jesus and by the medium of the Holy Spirit?
Is prayer the emptying of my mind, so that I might become the receptacle of wisdoms passed down by sages across time, understood through the lens of my experience and made incarnate in my life through decisions I make and actions I take?
Is prayer sitting in a field on a warm day, soaking up the sun, smelling the blossoming flowers, tracking the flight of a shimmering hummingbird, and perhaps writing an inspired haiku? Or dancing with abandon, or shedding a tear in the theater, or a standing ovation after a grand symphony? How about reading a good book and reflecting on the themes it presents, and their potential impact on my life?
Is prayer being in a living sanctuary, surrounded by the inhale-exhale sing-shout of a community of people seeking to understand, or to be loved, or to make a difference?
Or is prayer the realization that I am not the center of the universe, the acme of space, the pinnacle of time, and that I am one small speck in the stream of all-that-is-was-and-will-be? Is prayer the contemplation of the significance of this reality? The striving to understand my brief role in the grand scheme of the drama of existence?
Is prayer silence? Is it speaking? Is it listening? Is it communication, back and forth? Is it an activity? Is it an experience? Is it a question, an answer, a method, a cause, a result?
Is this a prayer?
2 days ago