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Prayer

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by randomsomeone, Dec 18, 2009.

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  1. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    This isn't about one religion or faith system but about a more common practice of centering and connection. Simple or complex, how do you pursue this action? How does it work for you

    I grew up in a tradition that had more than it's fair share of written prayers...which over time I came to see were simply tools and introduction to deeper expressions...that or prayers for common or community action.

    I used to be really challenged by spending a certain amount of time in prayer, more as a discipline, but as I did this I'd get started in a prayer-time and just have this enfolding sense of "being known"...fully. All my hopes, all my aspirations, my dreams, my faults...all were known. I had little to say....maybe "help me" but little else. This sense of being known was very comforting.

    I thought something was amiss in this until I decided to throw myself into the silence....eventually I found out there is a vast tradition of deep silent prayer. Over may years, I have come to cherish the silence. Something happens there. I have found that part of this silence remains in me at all times now...it is very, very close.

    I have heard that silence initially freaks some people out...I could see that happening. But for me, over time, its been like drinking from deep, pure waters.
     
  2. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    I'm not sure I exactly know what you mean by silence. I do however know what you mean about being known.

    I find my prayers more of giving thanks and appreciation, then help me. When I am praying it gives me perspective of how very small I truly am and although my problems may seem overwhelming to me, I have so much to be grateful for. And it kind of helps me step back and look at the big picture. It is very personal, and relaxing.

    When I pray for others, I hope for them, think of them, and believe for them. Maybe it is quite unorthodox, or doesn't follow particular religious rules, but in my heart I believe it. So yes, I pray and meditate daily.

    That isn't to say I'm never down, or that I don't question everything. I am having a rough time of things right now in fact. But in it all I still remember to be thankful for what I do have and think of others as much as I can. *shrug*
     
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  3. soulseeker

    soulseeker Permanent Fixture

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    Of all the things I do in life, my favorite is praying. i find it very comforting.
    it's like i want to spend the rest of my life in the adoration chapel. because when I pray, i feel loved despite my flaws, understood despite not even understanding myself, forgiven despite all my sins and i feel comfortable.

    before i pray, i enter into silence to find the proper disposition after i get the proper disposition, i thank God for everything he gives me then I pray for my family, my wishes (dreams) then other people. then i open up my problems and ask for help and guidance then i ask for strength.

    but then i can stay in the adoration chapel forever in silence.

    i love staying in the adoration chapel and i even feel more at home there than in my house.
     
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    #3 soulseeker, Dec 18, 2009
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  4. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Prayer is that thing when you control you thoughts, become in that state where your mind have no thoughts for anything, completely silent and then anything you ask or desire from god, it will be allowed from GOD. Guarantee, such prayer will never return with blank.

    If you can't focus, then do one thing, just think about one thing, don't allow other thoughts in your mind, chant it whatever you are saying, asking or desiring to your GOD. Just let flow your words from very depth of your heart.
     
  5. Wyst

    Wyst Are you there?

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    For me, prayer is a constant line of communication. Sometimes it's intentional where I'll conciously 'think' something like, "Dear God, please help ____, they really need strength right now". Other times, it's just thinking up to or 'at' God. "I don't understand why things are the way they are. Why, God... why!!"

    Prayer helps me realign my selfish desires with what are God's desires for my life (his will - not mine).

    I believe God is completely, asolutely, unquestionably sovereign over all things. Good things and bad things. People have asked me before, if God is sovereign and will do whatever he wants and no one can question him, why bother praying - it's not like you can change his mind.

    I always say to them, "It's because God is sovereign that I can pray. If God isn't sovereign and can't control what's happening in the world and in my life. If he's impotent and unable to help me in my distress, why would I pray to him."

    It's because God is sovereign that I pray.
     
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  6. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Short meaning of prayer, LOVE for GOD. :D
     
  7. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    My concept of God is unlike any religion out there. I can't really put it to words without it being misunderstood.

    I don't seek to burden God with my trivial problems in life. Yet, I feel like god has a strong ear and a warm shoulder. As I go through more in my life, I feel more inclined to share my thoughts and feelings with God rather than simply wait for someone to come along with infinite patience.

    If God is listening to me, that is enough. I don't expect any changes in my life besides what I make happen. I don't regularly pray for things to happen that benefit me, I did when I was younger. I pray for strength when it is needed and I pray for others to be strong as well. Strength is enough, we make our own destiny.

    I fell out of prayer for a long time, and in fact I still question the concept of God and the afterlife. How I think of God influences the way I pray significantly. Sometimes I feel retarded because what If I am just talking in my head without anything actually listening? It doesn't really matter one way or the other I suppose. Talking it out in my head helps me to get through my problems. The idea of someone always there to listen is a big plus.
     
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  8. WellNoWonder

    WellNoWonder Peace Through Action

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    Not retarded.

    I'm under the impression that any type of energy goes Somewhere.
     
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  9. Morpheus

    Morpheus Community Member

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    I don't pray, at least not in the regular sense of the word. I don't believe in a personal god, and even if there was one, I very much doubt there'd be any need to communicate with it (for if something is omnipresent and omniscient you are, if not a part of it, at least completely known to it anyways).

    However, I do, well, maybe you'd call it meditation, or perhaps contemplation. The words aren't important. I seek for connection with myself and with things around me. It's quite possible this has nothing to do with praying. Perhaps it does.
     
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  10. OP
    randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Yes, I think all these words do apply...it is a spiritual process but, of course, it is in large part a psychological process as well.
     
  11. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    TMI, but here it is, all laid out for y'all...

    Prayer is very important to me, but I know I want to pray more often. I know God is real and that He hears prayers from those who diligently seek Him - and I've had my prayers answered more than once. When I'm not regularly praying I feel a major disconnect in my own life, and I know something's wrong. Part of ME is missing when I don't pray.

    I engage in two types of praying: silent prayers (meditation, if you will) that just force me to be silent before God and thinking on Him and what He means to me, and also vocal prayers. Sometimes I pray out loud for things and people - sometimes I pray for people on this forum, sometimes for people in my life, or world situations. It's constant for me. I feel comforted when I pray and I feel as if I'm being heard.
     
  12. sookie

    On Holiday

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    I am having an experience with this now. My Aunt is a nun and I am Buddhist. I often ask her to put me on the prayer bulletin board when I struggle. Today, she asked me to put the name of someone on my alter. We help each other out :)

    I cant speak for her. But I respect her relationship with God immensely. All I can say is that her relationship with God has been over the past 60 years (she converted). I know that it has saved her life. This was a blessing for me because when my father was acting crazy. She kept calling and encouraging my mother and I to stay strong with the restraining orders. I owe her more than I can say.

    I converted to Buddhism officially in 2000. 1 and 1/2 years after I got my father out.

    I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I was not going to put this experience on the boards, not yet. I saw this thread and though well you need to post this.

    I chant I get realizations, peace and benefit. My most recent was yesterday. My sister was in the ER at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was in the ER for 24 hours without a bed. She has pneumonia in 2 lobes. I had to stay home for the internet person to come and repair the internet and hook up the new computer. My sister was stuck in the ER.

    I chanted about 45 minutes and then called her she was still stuck in the ER. She said that she probably not going to get a bed. I told her "You ARE going to get a bed." I went back to chant another 1/2 hour. She called at the end and told me she got a bed!!! (wait it gets even better)

    Then a friend in faith came and I chanted about 1 and 1/2 with that person. I went into the hospital with my mother. We went in to see my sister. I went in and found my sister was staying at the Phillips House. This is located on the 21st and 22nd floor.

    The door to the Phillips house is locked. I thought she was in psychiatric ward. It turns out that she was on the floor reserved for politicians and celebrities. It costs $3000 dollars a night. There are hard wood floors, a flat screen TV, a couch and an amazing view of Boston skyline.

    My sister (who does not chant) was clapping and laughing. Then she had to have a nebulizer treatment. My mother, once she realized that my sister was feeling better, was running around taking pictures with her phone. Both dont chant and both realized this was a benefit from chanting.

    Now I have another obstacle. My knee is still bothering me. I think it is from tenditous. I am still chanting and I know that I will overcome this problem. It is an obstacle for me to overcome and strengthen my life.

    I know others who have stuggled and overcome similar problems even life threatening
    conditions.

    This is my experience with chanting.
     
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  13. OP
    randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    It is a very interesting dynamic when you think about it.

    I have had many ups and down over the years. Since I accept the basic understanding that God is a Creator (on some level), I find I actually experience this over time and in difficult moments. If we understand God as a Creator it's as if because of this God cannot not create...in this very presence/nature is the essence of creative energy at all times. So connecting to this brings about this kind of creative energy in me, in my circumstances. Even in hardship, something can be created from the ashes. It's not always me doing anything...it is as if that connection alone allows me to more readily see creative options I might otherwise miss, overlook, or be too buried to decipher. In light of this we might think of prayer as a connection to a Divine Unity or Ultimate Reality...and out of that connection flows this creative energy, infusing the present in a glow ever-present hope. When you think how crazy life can be sometimes, that is quite a gift!!!
     
  14. OP
    randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I have found that even though many of us come from very different traditions with very different external structures, when it comes to these kinds of inner dynamics, we all have much in common and much to talk about.

    Prayers and best wishes for your sister and your poor knee!!
     
  15. christmas

    christmas is such a boss bitch.
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    I'm at a point in my life where the prayer works a little too well, and it scares me. I'm really comfortable around atheists.
     
  16. sookie

    On Holiday

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    Thank you so much randomsomeone!!! I greatly appreciate your prayers!!
     
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  17. OP
    randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    The Desert Fathers (3rd Century Egypt) used to make baskets in silence to earn their sustainance...they were called "prayer baskets." Quite a charming application of meditation/reflection to a manual task. Such a thing might be welcome in the crazy, noisy hubub of today's world. I have some friends who do this as they work in their garden!!
     
  18. sookie

    On Holiday

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    The sisters at the monastary make rosary beads using Jobs Tears. These are beautiful seeds(I am not sure if they are seeds or nuts).

    They hollow them out and link them together. They are beautiful. I know that one of the hallmarks of the monastary is to work in silence.
    They also make beautiful quilts and amazing ceramics.

    I have gone behind the walls and walked on the inside of the convent over the years. It is beautiful and in someways like going back in time. I know many of the sisters enjoy the life they live.
     
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  19. OP
    randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I think one can extract some very useful insights and practices from these places...and rework them to apply to the everyday world we live in. In the end, there are balances we all do well with if they are in place.
     
  20. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    I don't pray, but me and and the big guy up stairs become best friends when ever I think something bad is happening/about to happen.

    I do take time out of my day to reflect on all of the people I'm thankful for having in my life, and to think about those who are going through hard times, but I dont direct my thoughts towards any deity/god.
     
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