Not me finding myself entangled in the web of thoughts on prayer. As I thought of embarking on finding words to immortalise these thoughts, I debated with the self asking if it’s good and health to tread on this territory. I think the idea of inking this have won. However, that as it is I think the record is nowhere near the inner troubles that initiated this process. I feel being hit by the inadequacies of language, let alone in its written state to express personal thoughts and emotion.
It is important to share that a few days ago (probably the past two weeks) one of my beautiful uncles tested positive for this joy wrecking plague. After isolated times of text and call correspondence (I’m not good at constant checking of my beloveds’ health and well being. My soul is not at easy when they’re sick. I sometimes feel they need their own self as they heal as they equally need us checking on them) my beloved uncle came to see us fit (at least in our eyes and as confirmed by him. We are happy.) We thank God for healing him (and many others not known to us.) We also pray for inner healing of wounds eyes cannot see for those who have friends and relatives who couldn’t make it. Above all we wish a time will come when smiles will decorate our faces again with less fear of mass departures from this not so pleasant world.
It is this very visit that stirred questions on prayer. I pray a lot sometimes. I pray for my poor and miserable life to be better. I sometimes cry aloud for those dear to me. The most surprising thing about my prayer life are requests. Requests always shake my unbelief. They leave me believing. Many a times I find time to pray for specific requests from friends, relatives and strangers. The requests help me reflect on me. They leave me asking why do people ask me to do such tasks. This is because many a times I don’t hide my paradoxical relationship with belief. I don’t hide my personal belief systems that borders on blasphemy (I am not afraid to question my beliefs: why and how I believe. So many are terrified but many welcome my bizarre ideas.) I’m nonetheless terrified by thoughts of what I think is (un) belief. I believe in prayer a lot, though I doubt in equal measure. This unstable and paradoxical feeling tortured me to the edge today.
What is prayer? (I thought and I’m still thinking.) Once I was convinced prayer is a way of life. It is way beyond the basic definition that premise it as communication with God (my intention here is premised on my intention to broaden my ideas from Christian definition). I don’t want to justify my doubt but is it not true that after speaking with fellow human beings (friend, mother, teacher, father, brother, sister etc) we often doubt the contents of these discussions? I think this often happens with me when I pray sometimes. I continue praying nonetheless.
Today, it occurred to me prayer is more than communication with God. It is a complex amalgamation of many processes that make up our existence. Prayer transcends religious and ritualistic acts such as kneeling down, utterance of words, paying of tithes, deprivation of food and drink, baptisms, denominational registration, attending church on given days and so on (if anything, I thank the moment for helping me cementing my idea on the pitfalls if not shortfalls of denominationalism and religiosity devoid of spirituality.) Prayer also involves how we relate to fellow human beings known and unknown to us. Once prayer transcends communication with a Deity to the service of humanity it becomes a way of life.
Prayer is compassion for humanity. It is the force behind us communicating to God on behalf of those known and unknown to us. Compassion is what makes us cry with those who cry, it is a also the force behind our sharing of the temporal joys of life. Prayer as compassion compels us to visit our not so well friends, share our belongings with those with less.
Sorry I’m no expert of this so I’m out🤪🤪. Thanks