Today is being recognized as a National Day of Prayer so I thought I would take a moment to express my thoughts on prayer.
Being brought up in a Christian home, prayer used to mean speaking to God. It meant acknowledging the existence of God, being obedient and asking for his help in making my life better. When my beliefs on God and Christianity began changing my thoughts on the meaning of prayer, and my activity with prayer did also.
Now I consider prayer a time of contemplative thought, meditation and a purging of my detrimental self. It is a means to connect with God as a universal and supreme consciousness but also a time to connect to my super consciousness, that state of awareness where ordinary thoughts and perceptions are transcended and a more acute sense of reality can be achieved. I hold the belief that even if God, however perceived, hears and answers prayers, this answer comes through the super consciousness, and that it is in the state of higher awareness that we hear the voice, whether of God or the higher self, that guides us out of turmoil or into a better state of mind and being.
I have read many negative posts today against prayer, usually because prayer is being associated with its religious context. Some are specifically irritated that someone wants to pray for them. But I consider prayer from another to be a gift. It is basically that person saying to me that I matter to them, and that they are willing to take a moment of their time to show concern for me. In a society that is broadly self-absorbed, I find the act of praying for another to be more an expression of goodwill toward a fellow human being than I find it offensive that a person with particular religious beliefs is praying for me.
So today I will take a moment to not only contemplate the spiritual aspects of my life but to join my thoughts with others who are praying for love, hope, tolerance and goodness in hopes of making a better world.