One of the reasons I struggle with the word prayer is the association with asking, beseeching, or begging some entity to change things for me. I don’t jive well with practices that underscore or reinforce helplessness. I don’t ask. I tell. I do.
For instance, I don’t ask for strength. I summon strength or build strength. I don’t ask for help to understand. I learn how to understand. I don’t beg to be delivered from my circumstances. I change them or remove myself from them. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still like to communicate with the divine essence of the Universe, or what others might call God. The difference is that I don’t ask. I tell. I don’t beg an All-Mighty to grant me powers I already have. I don’t pretend I don’t have power as a gesture of respect or reverence. It feels just the opposite — disrespectful and irreverent — to pretend I’m powerless when I’m clearly not.
And if it needs to be explained to you that yesterday’s post which included the phrase “Dear God” was used facetiously, I will tell, not ask, God to present you with a blog that serves your needs better than this one.
So when I say my prayers or write prayers or sing prayers, I’m not asking for shit. I’m not seeking favor. I’m not humbling myself for acceptance. I’m not assuming a stance of powerlessness, helplessness, or subjugation. I’m telling All Who Hear me the way it’s going to be, what I’m going to do, and how it’s going to work. This is my version of prayer but I haven’t invented a better word for it yet so I still use prayer. I wrote one that I like to recite or sing in the car while I’m driving to work every morning. One particular line includes the affirmation:
May my heart flourish forth in gratitude and may I thrive with ease.
You’ll notice it’s not please make me grateful. You’ll notice it’s not please allow me to thrive. I am already capable of gratitude. I already have that power. I can do it on my own. I don’t have to ask Someone Else to make me grateful. I practice gratitude until I’m grateful. Same with thriving; I am already capable of that too. I don’t beg a Source outside myself to help me thrive. I choose it for myself and practice it myself. So my “prayer” is directing myself to do it daily.
Another line in the prayer is:
I am strong and kind.
Not please make me strong. Not please make me kind. I was already made with powers of strength and kindness. My creation included both of these faculties. I am designed, programmed, empowered with strength and kindness. It is already within me to be both strong and kind. Why would I beg for them as if I don’t have them? I remind myself every morning that I do and that I am. So this morning’s frag feels like the Universe/God/Spirit (whatever you want to call it) praying back to me.
Yes. I am flourishing. I flourish. I make sure of it.