Prayer is a love song. It is a meal cooked and a lullaby to a baby sung. We offer ourselves for love to move through us, as we open our hearts and become like vows kissed by God, like hands kissed by love. Essentially, prayer brings us towards more connection, more devotion and more love in life, thereby increasing our wellbeing.
Contrary to what many people might think though, prayer is not only the thing we do when we hold our hands together and say a religious text, nor is there a “right” way to pray. Prayer is a natural state of our being – just like love is.
Prayer is the natural state of our mind, heart, body and soul.
We pray in many subtle ways throughout our days. We pray while cooking, gardening, watering, staying silent, speaking, walking, feeding, thinking, feeling, moving, dancing, singing, drumming, humming, laughing, clapping, storytelling, painting, showering, meditating, observing, writing, lighting a candle, holding another, holding ourselves, reading sacred text, witnessing the tears of another, witnessing our own tears, speaking with kindness, forgiving, touching with care, caring for animals, touching with tenderness, bathing, honoring the elders, helping someone, encouraging someone, supporting someone, and on and on and on.
And though we pray in all these ways, we are rarely aware of it. To live a fulfilled life, you need to live life like a prayer – which means – to live intentionally and consciously. You can read all about that in my article How to Live Life as a Prayer.
The deeper meaning of prayer is that it is a way of relating and connecting. It is a language, a relationship, a reaching towards something greater than us. It is a bridge to God. It is a remembering of true love. Prayer essentially allows us an opportunity for a deepening. It allows growth. It allows us an opening, and allows us to love – to love deeper, to love more and to love in more ways, shapes and forms.
Prayer is a way of surrendering – of going beyond the limitations of ourselves, beyond the rational and sensical, just like love does that too. Think of how love has made you feel and expand in your chest throughout your life. Real love. How through it, through the devotion, trust and surrender that it blessed you with, you opened your heart, minds and soul in a way not much else ever allowed you to.
In both love and in prayer, we open in vulnerability and humility. Relationships, both within and without, grow deeper into trust. Intimacy deepens with that vulnerability also. And our faith deepens through the surrender. We deepen through the opening of our heart. Words are mini Gods, and prayer is a blessing, so when we speak to others, we can bless them also. The humility of this deserves to be treasured, for it holds a responsibility we must all carry with our choice of words.
The Virgin in Prayer, by Sassoferrato, c. 1650
You don’t have to be religious to pray but you need to have the humility to accept that there is a power greater than all of us. Prayer carries really high vibration and there are beautiful psalms in the Bible, but you can of course always use your own words. Prayer should come from the heart, so just let yourself speak what is deepest within you.
The most powerful prayer of all is I love you. When you speak these words you are truth, you are of heart and you are in heart. Because you can’t speak love from a place of judgment, falseness, emptiness, doubt or fear.
Love is a seed of God, which then grows inside of us, and we become a church of skin, a warm shelter for all. The more we love others, the more ourselves; the more we love ourselves, the more we love others. The beloved is a window through which we see all other souls and their immense beauty. So when we are in love with our soul’s beloved, we love everyone.
You are a being blessed, be blessings in turn.
The truth is that we are all blessed to be born, as life is a blessing and a gift. There are far more un-incarnated souls around whose biggest desire to be born in a body and yet they cannot be. So many things came together for you to be born, in a mutual decision all your cells said yes to you, yes to life. And here you are. Blessed to have hands with which to hold the hands of another; lips with which to speak love; ears with which to listen to the laughter of your family; noses with which to smell the freshly baked cake; and feet with which to walk the miracle that life is. To incarnate and to be born are essentially allowing us an opportunity for a deepening – deepening of self through self-knowledge and self-awareness, and deepening of love and soul growth.
You, right now, in this body, are the perfect union between soul and flesh. You were danced of love, sung of love, prayed of love – you are the answered prayer of a heart that longed for you. We are born in the exact body needed to protect us and help us to fulfill our soul’s desire and support us in our health.
Our bodies are intelligent systems that carry us in the way we need them to, and there is nothing out of place. And no matter how much we don’t like them and talk badly about them, they still carry us each day and each night, through all of our tears, hardships and storms outside.
Our bodies comprise of so many different cells, all of which have their own purpose. Some cells are truth seekers while others are calm bringers. Some are the kings of discernment in our times of confusion while others are the queens of comfort and nurturing in our times of crisis. We also have the busy hard workers who are in charge of flushing all no longer needed down the toilets as well as distributing food, information and energetic resources. Other cells are alchemists and magicians; or transformers and catalysts, bringing us from one state of consciousness and beingness into another. Some sit quietly yet alert with sharp instincts so that they will warn us of coming dangers. Some are defenders who keep our immune system strong.
All of our cells are living their purpose just by their being, and accepting their being. And so are we.
This is how we bless ourselves also – by being in gratitude and in appreciation towards life and towards one another.
You can say a gentle prayer to your body each night, thanking it and blessing it. For example:
“My dear body, today you made …….. possible, thank you. My dear body, you are beautiful and strong because ……. My dear body, may I give you the nourishment, care and rest that you need, especially ……. My dear body, whenever I become critical or judgmental on myself, please remind me gently of how you hold me and carry me through the day as best as you can no matter how I’ve felt. My dear body, you are my Blessed body. My Blessed body, I love you, Thank you.”
To bless something means to protect it – and so we need to take care of our bodies each day.
Another prayer that you can use is to infuse more loving awareness into your every day:
“Thank you for this day, dear God, dear life. Thank you for the earth on which my feet walked and for the sun and sky above me. Thank you for the water and food, thank you for the breathing running through me. Thank you for my eyes to see beyond what is veiled, thank you for the clarity and for my heart that knows the right path following with discernment. Thank you for the wisdom of my heart. Thank you for my ears to hear the love spoken to me, and for my hands that open in generosity and in kindness. Thank you to those holding mine and supporting. May I do what I say I will. May I say what is true always. May my actions be done with love and integrity. I am grateful for what is yet to come. Thank you o dear God, dear love, dear life.”
We can use similar prayers for everything in life, and also for each other. When we give more appreciation to our every day and to ourselves, we live a life of more blessings and love.
One of the most important things in relationships and marriages is gratitude and appreciaton. When we get carried away with the struggles of life, we can forget all these little things and we never should. Bickering is a destroyer. Remind yourself of the blessing that you are – and be one for other people. Notice the little things and don’t take them for granted just because we’ve become used at seeing them each day. Appreciate the effort that your loved one made today, because despite how they felt in the morning perhaps they still helped you with something, no matter how small. We all do the best we can. Don’t take each other for granted. There is always something new to explore in someone, and in ourselves, no matter how long we’ve been together. If we look at the familiar too closely, we can always discover something new – a new shade, a new detail, a new angle and a new sparkle. And we can always re-learn the ways in which we need to be held, kissed and supported, not in the way we always were, but in the ways we need to right now.
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