The moment I wake up Before I put on my makeup I say a little prayer for you.. - Aretha Franklin
Prayer is the universal spiritual language of all reverential orientation, no respecter of dogma or doctrine, moral persuasion or social status, cultural predisposition or philosophical bias. It is for and in all people, past, present and future. It is the ongoing journey of union with God and with all things, a conscious amalgamation with the transcendent that resides deep within us.
Becoming comfortable with mystery as she reveals her hidden beauty will take us our whole lives. We all feel that life is more than we can see or understand, a layered universe that exposes herself occasionally to unveil an intelligent design and purpose. Our deepest longings are connected to the deep yearnings of all existence creating a kind of inquisitive fascination and desire for the unknown, a plausible influence that energises prayer in us.
We pray because we are desperate for divine intervention in arenas of life that are outside of our ability to change. The need for assurance and assistance becomes the priority of our needy souls, a deep realisation that we cannot cope or do this on our own.
Prayer starts as a regimented discipline, a pocket of time given to a certain posture or practice in order to confirm our sense of connection to otherness.
A first stage naivety sees prayer as a lucky rabbits foot or magic wand that we pull out as a solution guarantee in order to employ the divine to do our bidding and always rescue us from what fate throws at us. Like a child we see it as a toy that is fun to play with and see what it can do, but very quickly we become bored with its functional repetition and predictable nature, often trapped in a format that does not keep us interested. Moving on into our adult years we can start to see it as a tool that produces a set of desired results often driven by unquenchable need for more and more external assurance of divine favour.
As prayer evolves in us we begin to experience a primordial reunification with the original idea of our imago dei (God imaged self), life governed and guided by a divine hum that finds its true rhythm in contemplative practice, a deep oneness and confidence in the divine that resides in everything.
The lean into this deep univocity of being forms a new modality that sees prayer as something you no longer do, but something that you have become. Your life is a prayer, everything you are and do is a prayer, a sub-conscious connection with the divine that reflects and refracts in every facet of your being. No ritual is needed or required, no particular time frame is expected or demanded, it has now become about every practice and every minute of your day.
‘My life is unceasing prayer, a celebration of cheerful thankfulness and confidence in Gods will’ - St Paul