Prayer is a known topic all around the world. Even if you believe or not, at least you know something about prayer. But what does prayer means to me? And maybe with this question, I invite you to ask what prayer means to you.
I have written a previous article, What Prayer Means? which you can also read.
Moreover, I have checked several books to write these articles:
- Gregg Braden, The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy
- Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God
- Fr. Thomas Dubay, Fire Within
- Myles Munroe, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer
- Ceisiwr Serith, The Big Book of Pagan Prayer and Ritual
- Paramahansa Yogananda, Metaphysical Meditations: Universal Prayers, Affirmations, and Visualizations
So let’s jump in to discover the spiritual meaning of prayer and, finally, what prayer means to me.
What is the spiritual meaning of prayer?
To answer this question of the spiritual meaning of prayer, maybe we can get help with the question of how to pray.
Gregg Braden gives us different concepts about how to pray in his book The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy.
1. First, he talks about the combination of emotion-thoughts and feelings and the union of these 3 to create the prayer and be the prayer itself. In this universe where everything is energy and vibrates, so do our emotions, thoughts, and feelings, and we consciously and unconsciously pray continuously.
2. He is emphasizing the lost information about the crucial way to pray. In prayer, there is an essential part of having faith and knowing that a “miracle” has already happened and our prayers have been answered.
Whenever I ask for an answer in my dream, before I sleep, there is a shamanic ritual that I do, which works perfectly.
After I relax and let it go, I imagine I am asking my question to a person, to energy whatever I feel like. I imagine myself with the feeling and state just after receiving the answer to my question.
I do not know my answer, but I can feel how I would feel when I receive this guidance. So imagining this moment is the critical part of this ritual of asking for guidance in your dream, which is a kind of prayer.
3. Having this faith requires loving this new state you are praying for. He says that part of praying is entering and starting to live to that image.
4. So at the end of the day, praying is being a co-creator in this universe, and prayer itself is giving thanks for this, more than asking for something to happen.
There is a beautiful quote from Aramaic text in his book:
“You will be given everything you ask straightly, directly … from inside my name. So far, you have not done this. Ask without a hidden motive and be surrounded by your answer. Be enveloped by what you desire, that your gladness be full.”
This reminds me of the prayer of Peace be with you. To have Peace in my life, I need to surround myself and be enveloped by Peace. I am One with the Divine. I am here to co-create.
What a responsibility the prayer is, and what a gift!
The meaning of praying
In this book of Gregg Braden, there is a part that I want to share with you where it summarizes beautifully all these concepts that we were talking about.
The writer tells about a journey of him with his friend called David. They are going to nature, in the middle of nowhere, to pray for rain and there his friend David shared the secrets of prayer that he learned from his ancestors:
“I would ‘pray rain,'” he replied. “If I had prayed for rain, it could never happen.”
“When I was young,” he had said, “our elders passed on to me the secret of prayer. The secret is acknowledging what we do not have when we ask for something. Continuing to ask only gives power to what has never come to pass.”
“The path between man and the forces of this world begins in our hearts. It is here that our feeling world is married to our thinking world. So, in my prayer, I started with the feeling of gratitude for all that is and all that has come to pass. I gave thanks for the desert wind, the heat, and the drought, for that is the way of it until now. It is not good. It is not bad. It has been our medicine.”
“Then I chose a new medicine. I began to have the feeling of what rain felt like. I felt the feeling of rain upon my body. Standing in the stone circle, I imagined I was in the plaza of our village, barefoot in the rain. I felt the feeling of wet earth oozing between my naked toes. I smelled the smell of rain on the straw-and-mud walls of our village after the storms. I felt what it feels like to walk through fields of corn growing up to my chest because the rains have been so plentiful.”
“The old ones remind us that this is how we choose our path in this world. We must first have feelings about what we wish to experience. This is how we plant the seeds of a new way. From that point forward,” David continued, “our prayer becomes a prayer of thanks.”
“Thanks? Do you mean thanks for what we have created?”
“No, not for what we may have created,” David replied. “Creation is already complete. So our prayer becomes a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to choose which creation we experience. Through our thanks, we honor all possibilities and bring the ones we choose into this world.”
“Our prayer, then, originates from a very different perspective. Rather than asking that the outcome of our prayer come to pass, we acknowledge our role as an active part of creation and give thanks for what we are confident we have created. Whether we see immediate results or not, our thanks acknowledge that our prayer already has concepts somewhere in creation.”
Gregg Braden, The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy
What prayer means to me?
In light of all these sharing in this blog post and the previous one, let me try to reflect and elaborate on what prayer means for me.
Let’s start with a commonality that occurred to me while getting prepared for this blog post.
In ancient wisdom, knowledge and language play an essential role. The similarity of different words is a signal for something.
As we are all connected, so our language and our prayers. We are part of One.
In light of this concept, a joyful possibility of prayer synonym came to me: PLAY/PRAY.
I invite you to imagine for a second the possibility of praying as a continuous game we play with the Divine. A game that lets us participate in the creation, giving us the role of being co-creators, an incredible gift, power, and responsibility.
What are the rules of this prayer game?
From my understanding, praying is not working just by repeating words. We are talking about the union of the three.
The union of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
Prayer is about feeling. A feeling that is guided by love-rooted emotions and thoughts.
Praying is about being aware of our co-creation power and having humility and gratitude for it.
Once we are consciously aware that we are continuously praying and co-creating our reality, we find ourselves in a deeper relationship with the One.
Then in those moments where the separation of the different realms is thinner and the moment is more spacious, we realize that our prayer is never only ours.
When we pray, we feel on behalf of all beings everywhere. We are all connected.
This is important because it lets us have acceptance and faith and let go of our expectations and urges to control.
Then prayer becomes a feeling of gratitude for having this gift of co-creation.
With this gratitude, the feeling of freedom arises.
We are each expression of our reality. We are invited to live the intent of our prayer in our lives.
We sense, perceive, and express ourselves throughout our day with words, movements, songs, and dances – we are in constant prayer.
What to pray?
In my understanding of prayer, this question of what to pray has a significant effect.
It is an invitation to a spiritual journey to contemplate.
Praying is a journey to the inner self and self-discovery.
As Timothy Keller, in his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, says beautifully;
“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our loves.
Prayer is how God gives us so many unimaginable things he has for us.
Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire.
It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God.
Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life. We must learn to pray. We have to.”
Praying is about knowing both ourselves and the One. It is about deep listening, being honest and vulnerable, it is about caring, being aware, present, seeing the signals, and taking extra care for coincidences. It is about creating a deeper relationship with the Divine.
How to start praying, then?
Starting human way and slowly being guided in a divine way. A prayer journal sounds like a great idea to me, and after writing this article, I set my intention to add praying to my morning journals.
Maybe adding more times in a day can also be a good idea. Not just once a day, reflecting on and contemplating, so praying several times a day.
Prayer is the most magical game that we are invited to play each moment. Better to play it consciously. Take good care of your emotions, thoughts, and feelings, and feel free to surround yourselves with your prayers.
Be aware of your power and responsibilities of praying.
Enjoy and feel gratitude for this gift of prayer.
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