Here we are, on the other side of the world, unable to do anything in real terms for a person we care about and a situation with is a grave injustice. And this is bringing up a question for me, do you believe in prayer? Whatever “prayer” means to you?
For me, I believe in prayer because I believe in what it does for the person praying, not necessarily the person being prayed for. I believe that the process of focusing your thoughts on a particular situation and lifting them up to the sky does help your feelings for the situation, even if it doesn’t help what is happening necessarily. It’s not the same as meditating on a problem, it’s a sort of mental emotional lift and let go. That, to me, is prayer. When you feel all the things, when you let it all bubble up within you, and then hand it off to something else.
When my prayers have been answered, that is, when I have lifted up my problems to a higher power and asked for help and then that help has come, I take it as a sign that someone is hearing me. When they are not answered, when the bad thing still happens, I take it as a sign that someone heard me but still couldn’t help for reasons beyond my understanding. I feel gratitude, but not anger, does that make sense? If I felt anger, I would stop praying. Once prayer becomes a demand, becomes something that instills resentment instead of peace, it has no more purpose.
Right now I am praying hard for Shahrukh Khan and Aryan Khan, every minute of the day. I am trying to take this big thing that is beyond me, that I have no control over, and hand it off, let it go. Anything else is too damaging for me, does that make sense? I can’t just do NOTHING, but I also can’t really do something. That is what prayer is for, that moment when there is nothing for you to do and yet you can’t truly do nothing and stay sane.
My definition of prayer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be theistic to pray, you have to have a clear defined idea of the high power you are praying too. I believe someone can pray to nature, to the sun, to the joined power of humanity, to the concept of Love, to the concept of Justice. Anything that is greater than yourself, anything that is greater than a single individual alone. You just have to know that there is something, anything, that is greater than one person and you can hand off your problems to that thing.
For myself, my concept of a Higher Power has always been a sort of warm mushy feeling of love and logic and peace. There is something up there that goes “Hey Margaret, I know you, I love you”. And all I have to do is close my eyes and think of that mushy warm feeling and say “I’m having a really hard time today, this bad thing is happening, I need you to take responsibility for fixing it because I can’t fix it on my own”.
I am curious, among the DCIB people, how do you think of prayer? Do you have a formal practice, is it something that doesn’t resonate for you at all, or is it closer to my idea of just sort of lifting things up and letting them go?