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What kind of prayers?

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  • Katsbrain
    replied
    I take a rather different approach to prayer than what has been mentioned in this thread. I see the whole of existence as being sacred and profound, and there is no separation between matter and the Divine, so I suppose that does make me a pantheist. Part of my pantheism, though, is that not only is all matter sacred, but so is the whole of human (and non-human) thought, culture, creativity and history, even the not-so-good stuff. I see the totality as sacred and worthy of reverence because it is all interconnected, and without it, none of us would be where we are now, and none of us would be who we are now. HOWEVER, I do study the mythologies of the old gods from my personal cultural background (Greek, Irish, and Scandanavian, so it would be the "Big Three" pantheons of Greek, Celtic, and Norse) as literary representations of elements of reality, and also a part of reality as a whole. Just because the nature of their existence manifests from human creativity or thought, that doesn't make them nonexistent. The very thought of gods has had a tremendous impact on human culture and development, so in that sense, yes, they are very real.

    Anyways, back to my point. When the story or attribute of a particular deity is relevant to my current situation, I will meditate on it, contemplate what lessons I can draw from the stories, and usually compose a written "prayer" honoring that deity and asking for the positive attributes she/he represents to come into me and my life. Do I believe there is actually someone listening to me? Not really, but it doesn't matter. It is in the studying and writing itself that I find peace, comfort, and a connection to all that is and to those that came before me. Most of these written prayers (for lack of a better word) end up in my own personal little "grimoire" (again, for lack of a better term) along with all the notes and observations I make while studying the pantheons.

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  • MrsLynch
    replied
    What an awesome thread! I haven't considered prayer in quite awhile. When I first dabbled in Paganism (I was a teenager) my boyfriend at the time said "I don't need your pagan prayers" and it really tore me a part. I've rarely prayed since, even when I tried my spirit in Christianity again. I guess this thread has opened my mind to the possibility of prayer again. Thanks all!

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  • Novembers River
    replied
    Interesting thread.

    As others have stated, it goes back to what your personal definition of prayer is. I do not pray. There is no sentient being there to hear me, answer my requests, or accept my thankfulness.

    Now conscious contact, I like that. Typically I think of it as paying reverence and staying connected to the energy of existence, of the Universe.

    I suppose my "good evening"s to the moon and whispers to my plants could be considered prayers. I just don't view it that way.

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  • Randi_phx
    replied
    I pray.
    Again as the theme of this thread seems to go is its more consciouscontact than postulating.
    I light a candle in the morning before I head out the door. I thank the powers for the day and ask them to walk with me thru the day to help me learn and grow every day. Before I lay down at night I thank the powers for being with me thru the day and whatever lessons I learned that day. I thank the animals and plants that gave me my food before I eat. Both times I also ask the powers to watch over my kids and my family and help keep them protected when I am away.

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  • Heliotrope
    replied
    Originally posted by airmist View Post
    For me "prayer", and I prefer the term conscious contact, is my intentional, conversational reaching out to the totality of which I'm a part. I generally don't use the word prayer and I certainly don't believe in any creator. (I suppose I could use the term to refer to, again, the totality which certainly created or called into existence the part of itself which is me, but the term just has too much baggage for me to use at all.)

    So what I ask for is about the same as others here: peace, strength to deal with life's challenges or my fear, concern for others rather than myself, freedom from some of my less than admirable traits. I don't ask for specific "things" for myself or others.

    I'm not a philosopher or theologian and don't have time to be one either. I don't know how the divine in the totality of existance "listens" but I know the only way I can communicate is with my brain and I want to reach out, so I do.

    Nice thread. It's a good topic to hear others on.

    I absolutely agree! "Conscious contact" is a very apt and fitting term. I think I'll be using it from now on! Thank you.

    I do have a few specific prayers I have collected because I like to recite them--but I have a habit of calling things that are not prayers, prayers, because I think everyone deserves a bit of poetry. I pray T.S. Eliot's Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock as a sort of love-song to the Universe. I say, "May the eternal mother bless all peoples and bring them to the flowering of their fulfillment. May she nourish and protect them, who are all, unknowing, her children". I say, "Namo guan shi yen pusa", "she who hears the cries of the world" (a prayer to the Bodhisattva of Compassion), and I say, "I love you, thank you" every day to the Universe. At least I try to.

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  • airmist
    replied
    For me "prayer", and I prefer the term conscious contact, is my intentional, conversational reaching out to the totality of which I'm a part. I generally don't use the word prayer and I certainly don't believe in any creator. (I suppose I could use the term to refer to, again, the totality which certainly created or called into existence the part of itself which is me, but the term just has too much baggage for me to use at all.)

    So what I ask for is about the same as others here: peace, strength to deal with life's challenges or my fear, concern for others rather than myself, freedom from some of my less than admirable traits. I don't ask for specific "things" for myself or others.

    I'm not a philosopher or theologian and don't have time to be one either. I don't know how the divine in the totality of existance "listens" but I know the only way I can communicate is with my brain and I want to reach out, so I do.

    Nice thread. It's a good topic to hear others on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herumetem
    replied
    Originally posted by omar View Post
    I disagree. WE are only co - creators, not creators. We need the other half of the Energy or Light mixed with our own for advancment, majick/prayer.
    I don't understand what you've said, sorry ^_^;
    And can I ask what majick is?

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  • omar
    replied
    I disagree. WE are only co - creators, not creators. We need the other half of the Energy or Light mixed with our own for advancment, majick/prayer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herumetem
    replied
    Originally posted by Windsmith View Post
    Now that I think about it, I rarely pray for anything, because my own beliefs dictate that anything I could either ask for is either 1) completely within my own control, and therefore pointless to ask any outside entity for, or 2) completely out of my control, and therefore pointless to ask any outside entity for. Huh.
    Exaaaaactly! Anything I can't get for myself it's because it's already got a place in the world, I think. A deity knows how things should be better than I. How things are now (or within our ability to change slightly) are how they will likely be staying.

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  • Windsmith
    replied
    Originally posted by Herumetem View Post
    ...Therefore I can't justify praying for material things. I can just work for them or hope for generosity from others.

    Instead, I pray for strength, or inner peace, or in thanks.

    Do you guys find the same thing applies to you?
    Now that I think about it, I rarely pray for anything, because my own beliefs dictate that anything I could either ask for is either 1) completely within my own control, and therefore pointless to ask any outside entity for, or 2) completely out of my control, and therefore pointless to ask any outside entity for. Huh.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wildhope
    replied
    I purposefully pray several times a day. I definitely agree with everything that has been said!

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  • Herumetem
    replied
    I totally agree that converstaion is prayer. Therefore drawings, dance, mealtime grace...they can all be prayer.

    I also want to say that (just for me) the nature of Pantheist prayer seems different than for other deity concepts. To me, it seems that the Earth and the Creator have already provided everything I need to live, but I am no more valuable in the scheme of things than anyone else. Therefore I can't justify praying for material things. I can just work for them or hope for generosity from others.

    Instead, I pray for strength, or inner peace, or in thanks.

    Do you guys find the same thing applies to you?

    Leave a comment:


  • Windsmith
    replied
    Originally posted by Windsmith View Post
    If prayer is a conversation, as Abram suggests--and that definition resonates strongly with me--then all of my life is a prayer, because all of my life is a conversation with the world I inhabit and that inhabits me.
    Upon rereading, I also want to stress that "conversation" in this sense is not exclusively a verbal activity. Every dance, every touch of skin to bark or fur, every breath taken with mindfulness and intention, is a conversation.

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  • Xentor
    replied
    Originally posted by Windsmith View Post
    I recently read David Abram's new book, Becoming Animal. In it, he says that prayer is the act of talking to someone or something, instead of about it.

    I pray all the time. When I wake up in the morning, I greet myself, my neighborhood, the planet, the Cosmos. If a bird lands on the bush outside my window, I tell it hello and that I hope it enjoys its visit. If the full Moon glows with a particularly compelling beauty, I sing it a song. Before meals, I say a grace that acknowledges the (unwilling) sacrifice of the plants and animals whose lives were taken to feed my body and honors the work of the farmers and foodmakers who made the meal possible to me.

    If prayer is a conversation, as Abram suggests--and that definition resonates strongly with me--then all of my life is a prayer, because all of my life is a conversation with the world I inhabit and that inhabits me.
    Qft. Same here.

    Leave a comment:


  • Windsmith
    replied
    I recently read David Abram's new book, Becoming Animal. In it, he says that prayer is the act of talking to someone or something, instead of about it.

    I pray all the time. When I wake up in the morning, I greet myself, my neighborhood, the planet, the Cosmos. If a bird lands on the bush outside my window, I tell it hello and that I hope it enjoys its visit. If the full Moon glows with a particularly compelling beauty, I sing it a song. Before meals, I say a grace that acknowledges the (unwilling) sacrifice of the plants and animals whose lives were taken to feed my body and honors the work of the farmers and foodmakers who made the meal possible to me.

    If prayer is a conversation, as Abram suggests--and that definition resonates strongly with me--then all of my life is a prayer, because all of my life is a conversation with the world I inhabit and that inhabits me.

    Leave a comment:

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