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July 25, 2012

To me God is not “out there” or “up there”, but rather is in the reality that I see all around me, as well as in the “me” that is within me, identifying me as a part of all of life. What then is prayer for me? I can no longer think of it as request or petition for someone to fix things, or someone to intervene for me or  to change or to protect me from some natural process.

First of all, prayer to me is awareness – an awareness of that inward “me,” that mystical sense that I am a part of something more than my body or even my thoughts.   An awareness that God is within me.  But it is also an awareness of those around me, recognizing that they also have an inner awareness, that God is within them too.   It is in those relationships that I belong to a community, a community that includes all of life.  I am an integral part of this living planet we call Earth – even a part of the galaxies and stars and  the entire universe . I am made of atoms and molecules that were part of the stars themselves. I am part of something unimaginably grand.  I belong!

With this awareness comes reverence  – reverence for the God within me, reverence for all of life, reverence for the universe itself.  And with  reverence comes feelings – feelings of compassion, feelings of concern, feelings of love.  Prayer still includes the traditional components of adoration and thanksgiving, but not to an external being asking for intervention.  Prayer is a time of contemplation, a time of acceptance, a time of listening.  Prayer is in those moments of awareness of the love and the suffering in the community around me, as well as an awareness of the larger communities of human beings and their sufferings – being aware that we are all related to and dependent on each other.  And I am beginning to realize that shared awareness of God within us can very well have a healing power within us all, a power that can change us.

Prayer is also a time of confession and commitment.  Prayer can give us good feelings, but it should also make us uncomfortable. There is too much suffering in our world, much of which is our own doing, and we human beings are the only ones who can actively respond to that suffering.  Prayer becomes complete only when I am prodded and reminded that it is I who must act, must do, must respond, must wash more feet, must strive to become more fully human.  And those actions themselves become prayer.

I am all too aware of how often I am falling short of these words that I have written.

Loren Bullock
revised August 9, 2013,  September 22, 2016

(I still consider this as a draft, a work in progress)

From → Beliefs, God

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