August 28


Today's Quotation:

The minds of people are so cluttered up with everyday living these days that they don’t, or won’t, take time out for a little prayer–- for mental cleansing, just as they take a bath for a physical, outer cleaning.  Both are necessary.

Jo Ann Carlson

Today's Meditation:

Somehow or another, prayer becomes some sort of a chore as we grow up.  It's something that our parents make us do, and because it's usually highly formalized, it has little appeal to young people who instinctively know better, I think-- they know that the more we formalize anything, the less personal and valuable it becomes.

But prayer is our opportunity to connect with the higher aspects of life-- our higher power, our God, our own spirits.  And prayer helps us to keep in mind that our worlds and our being aren't limited to what we see around us in our limited perspective of this world.

If we can look at prayer for what it is-- connection with a higher power-- it loses much of its unpleasant side.  It becomes something that we do for ourselves, and whatever we do to make our own lives better and richer ends up helping all of the people with whom we share our lives.  Prayer helps us put to rest things that need to be put to rest, such as resentment and anger, and it helps us to make other parts of ourselves, such as peace and compassion, much stronger.

Prayer doesn't have to be formalized.  It doesn't have to be done on our knees in a darkened room-- some of my best prayers have happened on long walks at night, under beautiful star-filled skies, or on long drives with the music off and the windows wide open.  My prayers tend to be more like conversations, and I try very hard to listen for answers, too-- there's no law saying that all prayers are one-sided, and it's a shame that we've come so far from God that we feel that he never tries to tell us anything.

If you want to do something nice for yourself today, try a little prayer.  A sincere little prayer in which you talk about the things that really matter to you, and about which you won't have any preconceived notions of what should happen.  The more you talk things over with God, the less those things will bug you as you go through your life trying to become the person you're meant to be.

Questions to ponder:

1.  How has it come to be that most people see prayer as very formal and rigid?

2.  In which areas of our lives are we most in need of prayer?

3.  How do you personally define prayer?

For further thought:

Prayer is believing in something bigger than yourself, or anything you've ever touched or known.  It's telling a river or an open field that you need a little help.

Ashley Rice

more thoughts and ideas on prayer



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