This is my sixteenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.
P= Positive Prayer: Prayer in one form or another is part of almost every religions tradition. In my own path, and in my numerous discussions with others regarding prayer, I have found that prayer can be a powerful tool in one’s spiritual path, no matter their religious or spiritual tradition.While some may view prayer as simply a time to seek divine intervention, such as rattling off a wishlist of desires, or seek divine intervention during a crisis (the old saying, “There aren’t any atheists in foxholes”, comes to mind), divine intervention isn’t the sole purpose or use of prayer.
While prayer can certainly be used as a medium to seek divine intervention in our lives, the most powerful and fundamental aspect of prayer is that it allows us to connect with, and spend time with, the divine. Prayer when performed with the right mindset and attention, literally gives us the ability to commune with G*d, as directly as possible, regardless of what name you call him/her/it/they by.
Now then if you believe, as I do, that prayer allows you to literally connect with the divine, the natural questions is what should one do with that time? While asking for divine intervention is certainly a valid use of prayer, prayer can also be used as a time to give thanks to G*d, a time for self-introspection, as well as simply a time to commune with the divine.
Giving thanks in prayer is a powerful tool, because rather than using prayer as a time to rattle off a list of desires, giving thanks in prayer automatically forces you to focus on the many blessings that each of us enjoy in our lives, yet too often fail to recognize. Many of the ritualized prayers such as “The Lord’s Prayer” in Christianity, and “The Du’a” in Islam, first focus on acknowledging and giving thanks to G*d, and then seek the strength and wisdom to act in accordance with God’s will (love). I personally start off each day with a simple prayer of thanks, which allows me to focus on the positive things in my life, rather than my impending to-do list that awaits me once I get to work.