Wednesday, January 23, 2008

learning to pray

When I was a little girl, I prayed, and my prayers went something like this: please don’t let it rain on my birthday party tomorrow, or please let me pass my history test, or maybe even please let my friend’s mother get well. Somehow in my little-girl mind the presence of God was a place of petition, a place of supplication.

As I grew, so too my prayers, and instead of a place of supplication, my place of prayer became a place of gratitude. In my prayers I gave thanks, thanks for the beauty that surrounds me, for the strength that fills me, for the gifts in my world. I became a place of gratitude.

My prayers, though, continued to change even as my perception of God and the Universe continued to amend. Now instead of supplication or thanks, my prayers were a place of worship, and the presence of God had become for me a place of adoration. I poured out praise, devotion, and honor; I was in a place of great light.

My prayers, ever changing and ever refining, continued to move until now my favorite place to be is a place of meditation…a place without supplication, a place without the giving of thanks, a place without worship or reverence…I am in a place without words and without thoughts, a place of silence with that same Presence I had so often addressed. My favorite place today is a place of simply being with the Quiet, the Empty, the Void (a word spoken, or even thought, is an interruption to our meeting). I am become more fully who I am when I am in this place.

I am not suggesting that I don’t from time to time breathe a prayer for a friend’s healing, that I don’t sometimes offer a prayer of thanks, that I don’t on occasion express love and reverence, but I am to say my greatest place of prayer is a place of complete silence.


I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer

~rumi

art by permission
rassouli

5 comments:

Marc Goldring said...

what I love is the on-going growth and evolution you describe. it's not as though prayer needs to be one thing or another. in fact, for me lately it's been pretty unfocused, more a sense of being in the presence of I'm not sure what and feeling awe. and sometimes I yawn. for me, today, or at least right now, it's about devotion and staying with whatever is there.

thanks for sharing this, dearie!!

Marco

diana christine said...

Hi Marco...you are so right. Prayer is not one thing or another. For me, I love being in a place of gratitude and I love being in a place of worship...I still go to both places often. I find healing there and I find joy there. My greatest discipline, and my greatest peace, though, comes in my time of complete silence and being with the Presence without words, knowing that all is known and I need say nothing.

Thank you for being with me here....

mermaid said...

You are seeing yourself with clear eyes dear Diane, and so your prayers are pure.

Cindy Lee Jones said...

Your thoughts ring so true here with my own feelings about God and spirit. I wish I had your talent to put feelings into words with such style & grace.

diana christine said...

Dear Cindy Lee ~ your heart is more beautiful and more pure than any words I could ever pen. Your art...your photography...these are poetry. You are a luminous gift to my world.

Thank you, so very much, for your words on my own writing.

I send love.