There are many dimensions to consider when defining a characterization of what is involved in being a Christian. Constructs including God, redemption, salvation, sin, miracles, angels, demons, heaven, hell, faith, rebirth, penance, sacraments, resurrection; and prayer. As an understatement, your personal relationship with God is as unique as you are! Accordingly, it follows that how you communicate with God is also unique as well as what you call and how you define Prayer. Likewise, it will be endlessly amazing and special.
“As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is with prayer. Surely, one can open a Webster’s Dictionary to obtain the standard or commonly accepted description of it, however, like our minds, personality and spirit, prayer means something different, amazing and boundless to each of us.”
Intended to provoke thought and introspection, below is a short list of how one could describe or capture the essence of what prayer represents. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but rather, fertilizer of sorts to help you internalize its meaning:
- Ultimate Conversation with God
- Unwritten Contract with God
- Open-Ended Invitation to God to consume our Heart and Mind
- Unsolicited Plea for Help, Healing, Outcome, Redemption, Forgiveness
- Direct Dialogue with God
- Unfocused Expression of Gratitude
- Offering of Repentance
- Manifestation of Spiritual Resonance
- Checklist of Mortal/Physical Needs or Desires
- Intercession of Divine Nature on your or another person’s behalf
- Alignment of Present with Future
- Fusion of Thought, Intent, Desire, Need and Projection
- Introspective Reflection of our Personal Reality and Timeline
- Affirmation of Belief, Faith and Expectation
- Revelation of Self, Sin, Intent and Benevolence
- Transforming Progression in the Process of Spiritual Maturity
- Offering of Contrition
- Targeted Projection of Self and Energy
Without stating the obvious, prayer simply can not be confined to an entry in the dictionary. It is equally and simultaneously, broad and specific in context as it applies or is used by each human being.
“The most essential aspect, however, is that prayer is an awe-inspiring and Powerful construct. To a degree, it defines our individual spirits as our fingerprint defines our bodies, yet it cannot be seen by the eye, but only touched by the heart.”
As Christians, we must acknowledge the power of prayer and leverage it to advocate benevolence in the world, use it to empower healing, to eradicate pain and promote alignment of spirit and our mortal lives. The outcome will be inner peace, harmony and the courage to live your life to its potential. Similarly, prayer shatters the fear of death and prepares one for eternal salvation. I pray for the redemption of every soul on earth, knowing there is no limit to the grace, mercy and healing of God’s presence in everyone’s life. Be well.
This world certainly has its share of distractions, conveniences, technology and opportunities. As an understatement, however, at its core, the world is largely characterized by and graced with solitude, clarity of thought, peace and simplicity.
I had the rare opportunity to experience the latter last evening as a ravenous thunderstorm, packed with high winds, torrential rains and hail, ripped through my northern Wisconsin retreat, knocking out the power for eleven-plus hours.
During that time, I had the privilege to experience the peace of complete silence (after the storm had passed), the sounds of nature, the absence of technology and the effect of “time standing still”. The nearly half-day of biblical heaven served as a time for self-analysis and life review, gratitude and spiritual renewal.
Assuredly, each person is unique in personality, faith and character. For me, I choose to spend time, ideally every day, even if but for five to ten minutes, reflecting on my life, events, direction and goals. It’s a bit of a huddle with myself, strange as it may sound, but has served as absolutely profound time to ground myself as a human being, recognize all I have to be thankful for, and recommit and refocus my efforts to pursue my life goals and “readjust the sails” to stay on course.
It’s my “check the oil” time and it serves to determine that everything is ok, and if not, alerts me to whatever changes I need to make to return to that state of being.
“Without question, we all need that quick check on a regular basis to review where we have come from, where we are, and where we are headed; along with the necessary actions, mindset and change to get us there.”
Dare I say, Prayer Time. I’ll offer a new phrase as a corollary to the “build it and they will come”; for me, it is “See and Listen with your heart and Respect your Conscience”. Here is wishing you that slice of quiet time every day to remember who you are, and most importantly, why. Let me take you there…
- Solitude at the Cabin (reflectionsfromthecabin.wordpress.com)
- WakingTimes – Angela Pritchard – We’re Here In This Reality To Learn About Who We Are – 21 July 2013 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- Space, Solitude and Introverts (willowmariewrites.com)
- Open Your Heart and Mind to Peace… (creatingabetterworld.wordpress.com)
- Six Ideas for Reclaiming Your Calendar (integratedcatholiclife.org)
- Technology Taking The Place of Solitude (chiaradii.wordpress.com)
- Reflections (biancaprentice.wordpress.com)
- Maslow 101 PART 5: It’s Not About Nostalgia; It’s About Life Review (agelessmarketing.typepad.com)
Is it any wonder that references and allusions to “Light” are eternally made when the subject of God arises? (pun intended). For one thing, Light is a construct that is near and dear to our hearts as residents of Planet Earth as it is a physical and constant presence. Indeed, it is an unavoidable attribute of our surrounding environment. Consequently, we are very familiar with it.
What better Way then, to effectively impart understanding and comprehension about God, Who is empirically, an incomprehensible construct for us human beings to understand?
Let’s begin with a contemplation of Love. It is a word that we humans created, yes? It describes the unseen emotions of the heart toward other humans. And because it was created by us humans, it is therefore, real, yes?
There is one essential element of the construct of Love, however, that goes largely unnoticed at first glance. And that is, Love, by definition, is a reciprocal state or condition. Love cannot exist unless it is shared with others.
Love is intended to be a Duality, a Relationship, a Conversation, an Exchange and a Dialogue.
As Darkness is the Absence of Light;
Cold, the Absence of Heat;
Death, the Absence of Life;
Hate, the Absence of Love.
As you can see, Darkness, Cold, Death and Hate ONLY exist when we do not choose to Shine, Live, Share Warmth and Love. It originates with our thoughts, which by the way, emanate from our values.
“Bottom Line, we are responsible for all the Darkness, Cold, Death and Hate in the World, by our Actions, by our Emotions, by our Thoughts and by our Values.”
I have many times referenced the near-genius lyrics of John Denver songs and especially like one in particular to illustrate the simple choices in life, the relationship, patterns and interdependence of nature and human life.
Found on his Rocky Mountain High album, John Denver sings about the Season Suite. In particular, the Fall component of the medley is uniquely enchanting and revealing, not only about Mother Nature, but curiously, about the vibrance of Life itself and how that vibrance is reflected on the water, making it equally vibrant and beautiful. And so it is with Love. It energizes and reflects with whatever it comes into contact. It is pure and fluid, cleansing and comforting like water. How appropriate, yes? How Important!
Simply stated, where there is Love, there is God, because God Is Love. Enjoy the genius of John Denver:
- My Amazing Life is… Not in Vein (cerkas.wordpress.com)
- Compassion – Our Greatest Weapon (theroguehealer.com)
- Omer Reflections: Day 7 (lightwavejourney.wordpress.com)
- Human Capacity to Recognize Beauty (takesjustone.wordpress.com)
- The Light Within You (aliaindrawan.com)
Our lives abound with the callings of Love as we welcome newborn infants into the world; join together to introduce a newly married couple to our community; share our food, goodwill and financial resources with others in times of need… Yet our lives likewise experience darkness and evil as we introduce hate into the world via killing; discrimination, abandonment and apathy.
What are we to learn and take away from this reality? I contend that evil unfortunately serves an important and unique purpose and role in our lives as a constant reminder of the need for good, for positive energy toward others and to enhance our limited awareness of the stark reality of what our lives are like, absent God and Faith.
As peace is contrasted by violence and light unto darkness, the lives we lead must equally reflect that balance. And that balance is necessary as a result of our existence being inextricably melded with sin. I will be the first to offer that I am not a perfect human being, I am a sinner as are we all. Yet, that knowledge does not only prevent me from striving on a daily basis to offset that curse with positive thoughts, but in fact, motivates me to transform my positive thoughts into actions and behaviors of goodwill toward others.
As atoms comprise molecules and molecules form matter, from the infinitely tiny, progressively to large, significant and impactful; each positive thought, behavior and action, from one person to the next, synergistically combine to form a peaceful, calming and equally positive environment for all of us to share and enjoy.
Yet, this eloquent soliloquy cannot be collectively “heard” by others without consistent energy being applied by many in unison. Evil acts, events and momentum have increasingly been witnessed in our world in the past century; blindingly in the past week. For many, the unfortunate fate and future for our world, has already been accepted as inevitable and the will, conviction and resiliency to continue toward peace and Light has been all but squelched into complacency, desensitizing many and creating a numbness of spirit.
I proclaim to you that Now is the time, to recommit to the Truth, to recognize, realize and envision the positive outcome we still hold dear in our hearts, of a world where peace is the norm, where people willingly and regularly extend a helping hand to their neighbors and likewise to those they do not know.
“Evil is as real as the air we breathe and unfortunately, as necessary to remind us of our singular purpose and destiny in life.”
We are all children of God whether or not we care to admit and accept it. And as sure as the sun rises each day, we will be held to account for our lives once that light ceases to permeate our physical being. It is never too late to melt a hardened heart, yet it will not materialize without Love and Compassion, and most importantly, Forgiveness.
So let us each find the courage and energy to identify those areas within our lives where we desperately need to forgive someone of a wronged past, perhaps a hurtful word or failure to support or console us in our time of need. Let us recognize the root of forgiveness is to “give” to others of ourselves, to rid our souls of the blackness that is in truth, an absence of Light, and to replace that dark void with warm feelings of camaraderie, goodwill, peace and Love.
Amazingly, we will find a new wealth that is defined and valued by the warmth it creates and the goodness it resonates. Let us reach out now to mend those broken fences, comfort those that have hurt us or that we have hurt, lift up our hearts to that higher vibration and energy known as Love.
Genuine Peace of the world is within our reach; if indeed, we only in fact, reach out for it. I call it Spiritual Maturity and our world desperately needs it now.
Please, listen and meditate on the lyrics of this Angelic Song emblazoned by the late Great Ray Charles… and then; transform those positive and heartfelt emotions into visible actions and an enduring behavior of goodwill, camaraderie, and Love toward others.
The Power of Forgiveness is REAL; the Truth of Love is each of our responsibilities. When we eliminate the darkness of sin that is characterized by hate and apathy, only Love remains… Be well.
- Forgive (versical.wordpress.com)
- You Forgive Me (dranilj1.wordpress.com)
- Today’s Prayer – Place of Forgiveness (mychristiancoffeeshop.wordpress.com)
- Break Your Heart No Longer (jharnisch.com)
- Peace (sahedgewitchblog.wordpress.com)
- Dealing with Tragedy (briandtaylorplays.wordpress.com)
- The Power to Forgive (learnactshare.com)
- Forgiveness…how good are you at it? (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- The Art of Forgiveness. (positive-thoughts.typepad.com)
Most people have heard more than once the oft-mentioned saying, “Money is the Root of all Evil”. Well, I invite you to spend a few moments of your time with me to stretch your imagination to experience a small diversion in thought. Don’t evaluate or judge my suggestion, but rather, allow yourself and your mind to envision a society, a culture; a world where money as we know it does not exist.
Take a moment, if you will, to imagine a world where you “paid” for things with Prayer. Yes, you read it correctly, I said Prayer. Incredulous, Impossible, Impractical, you say? Perhaps a bit out in left-field, yes, however, could you imagine the sheer volume and context of goodwill that would be generated every second of every hour of every day of the year?
The positive energy resulting from the millions of “transactions” is indeed mind-boggling and staggering to comprehend. In an attempt to legitimize this pious and hypothetically perfect environment, goods and services would be “paid” by bartering as a result of physically and emotionally helping others in the course of our lives as payment for such.
Additionally and perhaps paramount in concept, from an abstract perspective, you cannot steal prayer, lose it or accumulate it. The inherent value of prayer is the outcome it produces and the moral capital it exchanges among human beings. It physically exists only in an intangible dimension, however, the true existence, influence and impact of prayer on people and the world has historically been widely accepted as “reality” by many cultures and societies. Prayer can be a chain or produce a domino effect similar in concept to the practice of “Pay It Forward”.
The resulting world would be truly amazing; no stock market, no banks, no financial investments, no financial distraught, no related crime. Rather, you would witness an eternal continuum of billions of people simply helping each other and offering genuine goodwill for everyone.
The world could really use a heavy dose of positive energy and goodwill about now, yes? When you commit and invest the time for soul-searching, meditation, prayer and well-wishing, amazing things can truly occur, without limit, and not only to others, but within each of us. There is no downside to this approach and the cost; well, you guessed it, is free. It is of our own free will and choosing.
We have everything to gain and nothing to lose with this approach. It is without risk, yet can yield immeasurable rewards. Rewards that enhance the quality of our lives, the relationships of those we love and the outlook for a future world of hope; devoid of hate, violence and despair.
I challenge you to take that next step in your personal lives as I have mine, to examine your soul, your conscience and the depths of your physical existence. And then, most importantly, to implement the resulting mindset and thoughts, transforming them into visible actions and behaviors while interacting with others in your life. I will “wager” that you will find new inner peace, confidence, self-respect and a more positive vision of the world that each of us, individually and collectively as a society, nation and species, have the power, the will and the obligation, to create.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
- Prayer is not just a matter of feelings or imagination. Prayer is a true conversation with God Himself… (beginningtopray.blogspot.com)
- Prayer and Love… (awinsomejourney.wordpress.com)
- My Thoughts On Prayer (okese.wordpress.com)
- Prayer is personal,pertinent & powerful (bqol.org)
- How Do We Use Prayer? (newauthors.wordpress.com)
- The Prayers in Different Religions (beautythroughharmony.wordpress.com)
- The world. Our world. Your world. (ayaime.wordpress.com)
- A Life of Abundance Without Money (shareable.net)
- Paying It Forward (bagsngloss.wordpress.com)
With all the pressures of daily life, the drama, the deadlines, the bills and the uncertainty, it’s all so important to regularly remember and focus upon all that is good in America. The environment that envelopes and holds us captive is, at its core, an unimaginable and breathtaking treasure of peace, solace and beauty.
Take a brief five minutes to remind yourself (again) just how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America.
God Bless America!
Listen to your inner voice as it reminds you how truly lucky you are to be an American.
- Matthew Ward – 7/4/2012 (americankabuki.blogspot.com)
by Michael Cerkas
I live to Love, I live to Be…
For this I Long, for this is Me.
I think of You, I think of All…
How grand is Life, how great the Call.
For others Woe, for others Strain…
I feel the Hurt, I suffer their Pain.
To simply Help, to simply Try…
For this I Live, for this I Die.
To live Forever, to live in Light…
I’ve found my Place, I know it’s Right.
There is all Love, there is all Peace,
My senses Feel, Distractions Cease.
Now perfect Is, now perfect Still…
Behold my Lord, behold His Will.
I am what I Am, for all to See…
My Trumpet Declares, for This is Me.
“The End”… Is the Beginning