Prayer: Your Conversation with the Universe

January 22, 2008

On 9/11/2001 the World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorists. As I sat in a small circle of men and women, I felt not just sorrow, not just compassion, not just a consciousness of the immense hatred behind what happened, but also a sense of the petty hatred inside myself. The only thing I could do was to root out my own hatred. Since that day, I have begun a daily prayer: “Great Spirit, may I live this day without hatred.”

I had considered not discussing prayer in this blog. Countless books have been written on prayer. There’s little that I can add. But upon reflecting, I felt that I should share my practice.

I try to follow the teachings of Jesus: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do; for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking…. for your Father knowth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.” It appears that Jesus, while knowing that prayer was important, taught that it should not be given undue emphasis.

My own prayer has evolved and changed, never exactly the same – but in general something like this.

Great Spirit, may I live today without hatred; without fear; without envy, jealousy or covetousness; without causing any person to love himself less (including myself), and without needing another person’s approval to know my own self worth. May I live today in gratitude. Father, show me what I can do to help bring peace on earth – peace with social, economic and environmental justice.

In future postings, I’ll indicate where prayer is a part of another spiritual practice. Often the focus of such prayer will be accessing inner wisdom, which is a spiritual explorer’s primary source of guidance.

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