Prayer from a posture of nonduality, such as in contemplative prayer, does not negate or reduce the value of varied ways of prayer. Yet, when viewing prayer from oneness, one comes to see prayer differently than when prior understanding prayer from duality. Yet, recall, nonduality does not negate duality, the One does not annul the many, but includes it. And, likewise, varied forms of worship can easily been seen as the playfulness of Grace, a way Life relates to persons living in duality through duality itself. So, even for persons who may feel beyond common forms of prayer, the person need not feel that one who engages in these ways of prayer is less spiritual or less evolved than he or she. As Life manifests in many forms of nature, such as diverse trees and flowers and grasses and birds and cloud formations and human faces, so Life manifests in many forms of prayer, as all true prayer arises from Life Itself. Beyond this, prayer is a mystery, and whatever we say of it is not it, for it is always more. And, prayer being always more, one need not see herself or himself as spiritual or religious to engage in prayer, for prayer is free of all that one can identify as religious or spiritual, even as love is.
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persons often think of prayer as
being sent somewhere
to get a reply back from somewhere
prayer can be, rather,
wholly happening here, now
the reply one with the prayer itself, here, now
in this appreciation of prayer as more subtle
we realize prayer is another way
Love loves through our giving and receiving Love
the giving and receiving
a single act
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Today, I asked for something that even surprised me. I received something that surprised me. Prayer.
I met with a hospital chaplain, and we talked a while. This was a first time meeting this dear one. We had had lunch with an interfaith group of clergypersons in the hospital café. Before leaving the chaplain, I said, "Would you pray with me?" I changed this, immediately, to, "Would you pray for me?" I had not been with anyone and requested intercessory prayer in many years. This appeared so much unlike what I would do now, but much like the religion of my younger years, where it was common to make such requests of persons or groups in gathering.
The chaplain and I reached out hands and held hands. He offered a prayer of intercession. When he ended the prayer, we looked eye-to-eye and spoke blessing for the other.
* * *
Leaving, I reflected on this surprising experience. I do not know why I asked for prayer. The request simply arose spontaneously. And I recognized what was most important is what such prayer can be. That is, rather than a transaction, wherein one prays for assistance from outside the one praying and the one prayed for, the prayer can be a means of love. What one is praying to, the one praying, and the one prayed for, in communion are together, not apart. In this communion is no distance, no time; even to speak of praying to is understandable, but finally misleading ~ praying in, or with, would be more accurate. Regardless, also, of the outcome to the prayer, in terms of, say, "Did the prayer result in an answer?," is that the prayer itself is an answer. Indeed, the communion occurring is Love happening, and an answer can only be spoken of as intimate within the whole experience.
I, likewise, trusted this man to hold my hands and offer this intercession, for I had discerned his spirit. Spirit had communed with spirit, then spontaneous trust and request for prayer arose naturally. I believe if anyone requests prayer from another, one needs to do that with discernment. To request prayer is a sacred offer, and to do so carelessly is unwise.
So, to say, "Will you pray for me?," is to say, "Will you love me?" And my request was a gift to this chaplain, for to request such prayer mindfully, means the request is, also, a means to love. So, love meets love, in sacred communion.
Grace and Peace to All
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.
*(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019