“the most important thing about prayer is not who hears it but who says it.”
says a friend of mine, who could almost be called an atheist. hmmm – atheist prayers?
in following derek miller’s bout with cancer (it looks like he came out of the operation really well!), nancy zimmerman and i were talking about prayer.
can prayer help with such serious health issues? how? what is prayer, anyway? here are some ideas:
prayer is a conversation with yourself or god – whatever your concept of her, him or it might be. (spiritual prozak)
if done long enough, prayer is a sustained, chronic way of thinking. (to this he adds, “what is depression? same thing except in the negative wavelength.” interesting. from confessions of a madman)
prayer is “a true wish sent god-ward.” (jim’s sermons)
the criterion: prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with allah. sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith speak to allah on the chair.
dance, too, can be prayer.
i pray every day. often it’s quite jumbled. and i don’t really know who i pray to. the little girl in me – someone i ignore at my own peril – desperately wants there to be a fatherly god up in the sky. the buddhist in me, probably my strongest spiritual part, believes that such a god, or any god, is an illusion. the pagan in me enjoys talks with hekate or lugh.
interestingly, what i just said, and all of the quotes above, are about prayer as a very private one-on-one interaction with the divine.
where does derek come in, then? derek, who was the first vancouver blogger i paid attention to? or my soul-sister haedy, who is facing end-stage cancer?
i include them in my prayers. include ….. enfold, wrap a blanket around, keep safe and whole. prayers, maybe, a refuge, a safe universe we offer to our fellow creatures, friends, loved ones?
and if enough people build these safe little universes around someone, who knows what can happen.
khalil gibran takes it out of the private sphere: “when you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.”
when i read that, my immediate thought was – just like the internet. even though we both live in vancouver, i might have never met derek except for the internet.
the people on facebook, twitter and skype who were talking about him and sending good wishes his way (praying for him?) – save on the web, we may not have met. and those of us who think of derek, we rise to meet in cyberspace.
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