Prayer - Asking or Celebrating

How should we pray - Asking or Celebrating?

If we look back to the beginnings of religion, people prayed for good fortune from a mix of fear and desire, this was a calling to the gods for protection or bounty which has continued into this day.

People of all religious beliefs pray for salvation from suffering and good fortune, and even those who consider themselves as atheists set aside a degree of hope and faith that the world around them will be supportive.

What is Prayer?

The most limited form of prayer is the asking God, the asking of the universe for some freedom or blessing. In that sense prayer is an acknowledgement that an individual is not in control of their own life and their life is governed by fear and unfulfilled desires. These fears and desires are simply an indicator that one is not in control of one's own life and that one is lacking. This form of prayer is akin to begging.

A truer form of prayer is simply to be in life, to be single-minded and responsive to nature. This is about moving harmlessly through life and getting to know one's own body-mind. This is the basis from which to enrich one's life and if one is inspired by any of the great spiritual teachers, practice being grateful to them and the universe from which we are created.

The highest form of prayer is to be completely dedicated to life knowing that one is intrinsically part of it. Movement through life becomes totally selfless and every action is devotional. Devotion and celebration merge into a single action in which perception expands and one begins to see the true nature of creation.

Cover image: Bengali woman by Haren Das


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