"Telling a river or an open field."
What beautiful words of wisdom, and what a refreshing
perspective on prayer. For centuries, dogmatic
religious types tried to tell people how to pray, where to
pray, when to pray, even which words to use, and I think
that people ended up being just a little frustrated with
their experiences in prayer. After all, prayer is
supposed to be a personal experience, but the
highly-directed forms of prayer were anything but
Most of my best praying comes when I'm out for a walk in
the woods or mountain or on the beach. At such times
I have far fewer distractions and I'm in the presence of
creation--and not just the human side of creation, which
really is a small portion of creation as a whole.
When I'm out for a walk in nature I can feel the immensity
of our world and my smallness in it, but also I can feel
that I belong to it. And my doubts about God fade in
such situations, and I feel a closeness to divinity that I
usually don't feel on a busy day in a place where I have
lots of obligations and responsibilities.
There truly is nothing wrong with asking God for help, and
when you feel God closer is usually the best time to
ask. After all, do we ask our parents or friends for
help more often when they're far away, or when they're
closer? The closer we feel to God, the more likely
that we feel that the effects of the prayer are positive,
and since prayer is almost just as much about ourselves as
it is about God, how we enter prayer and how we feel about
our prayers goes a long way towards determining the
effectiveness of our prayers.
As an omnipresent being, God is with everything and in
everything. It makes sense to speak to a lake when
our intention is to speak to God, for the lake is just as
much a part of creation as anything else, and its beauty
and peacefulness provide a very appropriate backdrop for
the prayers we send forth. Communication consists of
sender, receiver, and medium, and a beautiful part of
nature is a great medium through which to contact God.