“Work as if you were to live a hundred years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow.”
– Benjamin Franklin
(“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, available from Partridge Publications early 2015)
In today’s high-speed world we all need to find time for inner peace. And prayer is often the way.
A short definition of prayer is that it is a conversation with God / The Higher Order or whatever name you want to bestow on Deity.
The contents of prayer provides us with a window into the spirituality of the person who prays. For some it is a way to say thank you for blessings bestowed. For others it is a way to make commitments to live by. And for yet others it is a way to ask for the strength to cope with challenges, or to accept life as it is. Many-a-time it covers the full spectrum.
Though prayers sometimes seem to be ignored or go unanswered, I believe they are answered in one of three ways i.e. Yes, No, and Not Yet.
Body, mind and soul – all benefit from participating in faith-based activities.
Worshippers attest to it that physical benefits – even healing – are to be found in prayer and attending places of worship. This may be the result of them receiving instructions on how to deal with anxiety and daily stress and/or it may be the result of participating in collective prayers and singing hymns, going through worship routines and socializing post the event.
Most of the major religions involve the act of praying in one form or another and often prescribe the “who, how, when and where” of prayer – such as in groups, at an appointed time and place, whilst others allow prayer at anytime and anywhere.
Personal prayer time for us is in the evenings and mornings, but since for me God is omnipresent, I also pray whenever and wherever I feel the need, be it in the office, in the car or sitting in our garden, though praying in a group undeniably makes one feel integrated into a larger culture.
Prayers may differ in focus and mode.
Mental prayers – also called internal prayers – are mental dialogues, meditation on God’s word, contemplation and silence which is focused on the love of God rather than the thought of God.
Vocal prayers are formed in words or equivalent symbols and often employ set formulas of expression – such as in prescribed written format or prayer books – which concentrate on faith, hope, contrition and charity, whilst attending to the meaning of the words of prayer themselves.
People who suffer from both physical and mental challenges – including depression – often recover holistically from their ailments when their spirituality and religion form an essential and inherent part of their lives and where they believe that God cares about them as individuals.
I have lived through the power of prayer.
Though some may see it as an intellectual challenge, I have witnessed several acts and outcomes – two of which involved my youngest brother and my Mother within a church-going setting – which could only be ascribed to the positive intervention of a God / Higher Order – through just a few spoken words and a short prayer.
For those with a religious grounding it is important to believe that God will empower them to overcome challenges through and in prayer, where they search for strength and inner peace as they go about their daily life in a restless world.
- Body, mind and soul all benefit from participating in faith-based activities.
- Most of the major religions involve the act of praying in one form or another.
- Different places of worship follow different forms of prayer – being it mental or vocal.
- Recovering from ailments is often done within the context and milieu of religion and spirituality.
- I have seen prayer work powerfully.
- For those with a religious grounding it is important to believe that God will empower them to overcome challenges.
- Attend a place of worship to experience a different kind of socializing.
- Pray when and where you feel the need. Do not limit yourself to a place and time.
- Pray to overcome mental challenges.
- Make prayer an essential part of your daily routine.
- Open your mind to miracles.
- Seek strength and inner peace through prayer.