Saturday, January 17, 2009

May We All Enjoy The Gift Of Life

Prayer

Clouds as seen from my balcony-1/14/09

I am thinking a prayer is like voting; I wish a person well, it's my vote.
I hope God counts my votes.

Prayer;
  • the act of communicating with a deity (especially as a petition or in adoration or contrition or thanksgiving); "the priest sank to his knees in ...
  • reverent petition to a deity
  • entreaty: earnest or urgent request; "an entreaty to stop the fighting"; "an appeal for help"; "an appeal to the public to keep calm"
  • a fixed text used in praying
  • someone who prays to God
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

  • Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate with a deity or spirit. Purposes for this may include worshiping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or to express one's thoughts and emotions. ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer
  • A practice of communicating with one's God; The act of praying; The specific words or methods used for praying; A meeting held for the express ...
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/prayer
  • pray - address a deity, a prophet, a saint or an object of worship; say a prayer; "pray to the Lord"
  • pray - beg: call upon in supplication; entreat; "I beg you to stop!"
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

First, I have to believe that God is listening to me.
Why would God listen to me?
Prayer seems pretentious and egoistic.
"I will pray for those who are suffering." Doesn't God already know who is suffering? Does God need me to tell him who needs his help? Since when does God, who created everything, not know who needs help?

Assuming that God listens to, and cares about me, do I have to give him directions?
"Dear God, please make the sun rise on California, tomorrow."

More clouds as seen from my balcony-1/14/09

I know that God created the universe, and our solar system is designed to function automatically for a few more years, so praying that the sun will rise is a wasted petition. But do it in public wearing a costume, and the natives are impressed; "I pray each day that the sun will rise, or we will be doomed to eternal darkness." The next thing you know, I could really put on a show. I could stylize the phrasing and get down on my knees and grovel so that the audience will be impressed by my sincerity. It sounds stupid, but people have been falling for that one a long time, and throwing virgins into the volcano to seal the deal.

Wishing Well

"May the flowers bloom and the air smell sweet at Marian's house for her birthday."
Is this a prayer, or just a nice thought?

If I say, "Amen", does that make it an official prayer?



Quantum Theory

Our thoughts and attitude impact the universe in a physical way.

Clouds behind trees as seen from my balcony-1/14/09

Happy thoughts about the flowers in Marian's yard will affect their performance and help them to bloom joyously. Angry, or negative thoughts will stunt their growth and cause them to wither prematurely, quantum theory asserts.

Superstition

If I forget to say my prayers each night, will I die?
"Now I lay me down to sleep...", scared me. When I was 4 years old, I would stay awake wondering if I would wake up the next day. "If I die before I wake..." What? Die in my sleep? I am just becoming aware of being alive and every night I am re-enforcing the possibility that I won't wake up. I stopped that immediately after I figured out it was a stupid and scary thing to say.

Do I believe in God?

Absolutely. God's wonders fill my life with joy and happiness.
I am a child of God, living in God's universe.


Do I pray?

George Bleich painting as seen in my apartment.
I humbly thank God for his help and love, with every breath I take.
I thank God for pulling me out of the quicksand of helpless depression.
I thank God that I can let God help me enjoy the potential of this life He has given me.

But, do I, "Pray"?
I listen to God speaking through the earth, wind, water, fire, plants, animals, weather, music, art, literature, the cosmos, and in my mind. Sometimes I ask God for help. I find the answers are there if I just listen.

I guess it depends on what my definition of prayer is.

What about religion
and structured prayer?


I think that there is nothing wrong with religion as long as it remains harmless.
I think praying for soldiers to kill the "bad guys", is scary and weird, because the "bad guys", are praying too.

When someone asks me, "Do you believe Jesus is your lord and savior?", I have learned to tell them, "Sure."
When a little kid asks me, "Do you believe in Santa Claus?", I have learned to tell them, "Sure."

Which came first, the bunny or the egg?

I think the Easter Bunny is harmless.
I haven't heard of any wars being waged in the name of the Easter Bunny.
The next time someone asks me,"Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?", I will tell them, "Sure."

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
My Prayer -The Platters

For Goodness Sake

1 comment:

michael said...

excellent. I could not agree more, well written. It's kinda cool to know that we have such an intimate relationship with mine/yours God. We are connected to and of the source and our thoughts do influence the universe " ... As you think so shall ye be"
I love your take on prayer. I think we pray not so much for results ( thats just an ego thing) but rather to keep open our communion with our God and it enriches and deepens our understanding and relationship with Godnice job phil.