Prayer can quickly enrich every part of your life, even mundane moments like taking out the garbage or battling traffic.
The Old hymn Sweet Hour of Prayer by W.W. Walford and William Bradbury describes prayer as a retreat from a world of care. Prayer can indeed be sweet for it creates an oasis that feeds not just the spriit, but also the body and mind.
|Asking God for help is just one form of prayer. A few others include gratitude, blessing, affirmations of commitment and meditation.|
|Make your life a prayer by living and working consciously.|
|When prayer becomes a habit, everyday life becomes more meaningful and purposeful. Joy comes alive every day, even in hard challenges.|
|Prayer is paradoxical: In it you become your most authentic and unique self, while at the same time you surrender your will and ego to a greater power.|
Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, Brother David Steindl-Rast
Through prayer we can reopen the doorway to grace and tap its potential for healing distress and grief, and for generating joys we could not previously imagine. Despite the serenity it can bring, we too often neglect to pray, and plead a lack of time as our excuse.
Prayer doesn't require a retreat from ordinary life for an hour or more. Almost anything done consciously, including laughing heartily and working creatively, can become prayer. As we pray while doing such mundane tasks as feeding the cat or putting a new bag in the vacuum cleaner, we can feel the presence of the divine in the here and now.
While it doesn't require a great deal of our time, prayer does demand that we be true to ourselves and that we face our cares with compassion and creativity. When we do so, intuition, instincts and other often-blocked soul languages can come to the forefront and be heard.
A simple way to begin prayer is with gratitude, which can quickly shift consciousness from despair to hope. Maybe the only "thank you" that seems honest in hard times is something like, "I appreciate my mind and senses for informing me of this difficulty." This paves the way for a prayer of affirmation and commitment, like, "I accept this opportunity to learn, to grow and to serve."
When prayer in everyday life becomes habitual, meaning and purpose are found everywhere. And wherever meaning and purpose are found, ordinary life becomes as good as it gets, and joy is sure to follow.
Pat Sullivan is the President, Visionary Resources. She works with individuals and groups to help them discover and live unique spirituality
Photographer: Uschi Hering