My Art of Prayer

MOON

MOON (Photo credit: Nick. K.)

As an initial matter, I want to point out that in this post, I refer to God. That is my preference, but I understand that for others it may be Source, Divine Mother, Universe or what have you. Please feel free to substitute the term that feels right for you.

“At the end of a crazy-moon night
the love of God arose.
I said, “It’s me, Lalla.” ~ Lal Ded (Lalla), a 14th century mystic from Kasmir

Earlier, I was reading this blog and her post led me to ponder the act of prayer. For me, praying is as natural as breathing. I grew up in the very Catholic New Orleans and I spent 12 years in Catholic schools where we attended church regularly. The act of prayer was bred into us. As a child and teen, I prayed about things which as an adult are quite laughable. I prayed that I’d receive certain things for Christmas, I prayed that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself in a PE softball game, I prayed that I could attend a sleep over, and as I grew older, I prayed that a certain boy would notice me, and that I could attend the party of the century, nothing was too trivial to bring before God. At that time, prayer involved getting down on my knees in sublimation, bowing my head with reverence and making an impassioned plea for my request.

As an adult, prayer became less of this rigid, formal affair and more of a way of forming a deep relationship with God and more importantly, a way of communicating with him. In addition to requests and gratitude, I began to, among other things, share my thoughts and feelings, and seek guidance or advice, usually in the form of journaling. For reasons that I cannot recall, at some point, I became concerned about whether I was doing enough and whether I was praying correctly. I was in a quandary because if I was ‘doing it wrong,’ perhaps God wasn’t hearing my prayers.

It was during this period of rumination that I first stumbled upon the above poem. It was so simple and brief that at first glance, I passed it up. Yet, it spoke to me in a very profound and real way, and I returned to it to figure out the reason. I understand that, as with any poem, others may espouse different interpretations to it, but this is my interpretation.

In it, I read that there is no strict formal way that we must pray to be heard. In my mind, the phrase “It’s me Lalla,” implies both a close relationship in which God knows exactly who we are, as well as an approachable God. For me, prayer is akin to talking to a close, special friend that we trust more than anyone in the world. With that said, think of your relationships and particularly those in which you feel a kinship with the person with whom you are talking and perhaps, sharing your heart. Especially in the case of significant or important discussions there is an implied level of familiarity and trust with the person. In the end, we speak to God in a way that allows us to be most open and honest. The poem allayed my fears and concerns.

In my case, prayer became a freer more open-ended exchange. Of course, my adult concerns make those of my youth pale in comparison, but I value my “talks” with God, as an integral part of who I am. Ours is a two-way conversation in which I can rant, rave, question, explain, express gratitude and be exactly who I am, with no doubt that I am understood and loved. I finally realize that as unique human beings, it is little wonder that our methods of prayer, communication and relationship with God differs, and that is as it should be.

Blessings, Lydia

A Thought For The Day

Daydreams in Cold Weather

Daydreams in Cold Weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Overnight, a cold front arrived and it is a cool, gray, windy day.  For Austin, the high of 61 is down right cold.  Personally, this is when I take out my hats and gloves. I know, I know, I am weird, and I wear my weirdness proudly, but I’ve never been a cold weather girl.  I grew up in New Orleans, where the weather is predictable–it’s always hot and balmy, except for those rare instances when it actually gets cold. I remember one winter when it actually snowed in New Orleans. Snow in New Orleans is as rare as a $2 dollar bill. I must have been about six years old and my mother gathered me and my two sisters together, dressed us in winter coats, hats and gloves, and sent us outside to play, assuming that each of us wanted to experience the snow.  Well, her assumption was correct for my sisters, but not for me.  Within 15 minutes, I was pounding at the door for her to let me back into the house. She finally realized that I was serious and let me in. I happily sat at the window where I could watch my sisters playing in the snow, all the while relishing in the warmth of the house.  As an adult, I’d chose a 100 degree day over a 60 degree day each and every time.

Anyway, today is one of those days that you put on something warm and comfortable, make your self a cup of something warm, and climb back in bed and either watch DVD’s, one after another, or read a good book. You pick. Wherever you are, I hope that you are doing exactly what you want. Have a glorious weekend. Blessings, Lydia