Written by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion
in honor of Madeliene Sue Martin
If you want to connect with The Holy, what do you do? Get quiet and try to listen? Or, do you start speaking? Maybe you find it easiest to sense Truth’s presence when you are with others. Or, perhaps you are most able to be with The Sacred in significant ways when alone. Do you wake up spiritually if you can move? Or, will meaningful experiences with The Holy come most naturally if you are totally still? Do you write or read to discover Love’s presence? If you want to pray, what helps?
It is a wonderful experience to ask others, “Was there a prayer that meant a lot when you were growing up?” The answers are varied, the content sometimes disturbing, but often there is an emotional recollection that is very tender and strong. For many, it is easy and enjoyable to return through memory to a time when prayer was simple, helpful and maybe even fun. We can reclaim the joy of praying easily!
“Intentional connection with the Sacred,” is the most useful working definition of prayer I know. Many of us pray all the time. We aren’t aware of it because we define prayer in ways that limit, rather than open, our awareness of The Divine.
Prayer is connection—intentional connection. Singing can be just singing; singing as a way to express love for our Creator is praying. Walking a labyrinth can just be strolling on a pattern; walking a labyrinth with faithful trust is praying. Reciting a creed can be just mouthing words; saying it as a way of affirming an important connection with The Holy is praying.
If the thought of a friend in need and Sacred Love flow through your mind in close proximity, you are praying. If you, as a person of faith, join with others in writing out your deepest desires for the world community, you are praying. Gazing at a candle, seeing Light before you, are praying. Demonstrating for a cause based on your beliefs is praying. Sitting silently, focusing on your breath and a Divine name, is praying.
Praying is acting in faith; whether the action is breathing in, emailing your senator or participating in a religious ritual.
Becoming aware of all the ways we have been praying without even knowing it brings great joy. There are countless ways to connect with The Divine; may you enjoy many more of them!