Prayers aren’t only when you need something

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”Kahlil Gibran

Though I’m not a religious person, I readily admit to saying a nightly prayer with great regularity.

It’s something I started over 20 years ago after reading an article about “praying” to a higher power – whomever you might deem appropriate. Truthfully? I’m pretty surprised I’ve stuck with it all these years based on two main reasons.

One: I was brought up in the Catholic faith, but gave up on them a long time ago. Their form of organized religion is laced with rules I don’t agree with and hypocrisies I certainly will never support.

Two: My life has certainly seen its share of personal and professional tribulations, which might make some wonder why bother praying for anything at all.

Praying, even on my darkest days, has become a reminder that my life has seen more than its share of good fortunes then bad. That for every challenge and struggle I’ve been faced with, in its place I’ve been left with strength and gratitude.

And while some days it’s challenging to remember how blessed I am, I now find my prayers drifting away from my own needs and desires, and focusing more on those who truly find themselves battling the adversities, illness and poverty so many of us ignore.

I’m not 100% sure who it is I’m “praying” to each night. But the few minutes I take before I drift off to dream land help me to stay focused and grounded. Does it always work? Absolutely not – nothing in life is perfect. But for a majority of the time, I feel as though it connects me with something greater than myself. And while things don’t always work out as expected, much of the time I have a great deal to be thankful for.

I close with this wonderful quote by Anne Lamott from her book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.

“Help” is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn’t matter how you pray–with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, “Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.” 


2 thoughts on “Prayers aren’t only when you need something

  1. I think feeling good when you go to sleep about how many people you helped that day is the best religion…. and not really a religion. It’s selfish in that my religion is helping others and getting the great inside feeling about it. AND you all need to be careful about worshipping daddys… there are many out there that abused their daughters. oh but we don’t mention that

  2. Hi Craig,

    being able to pray I think is a great comfort, it is a very personal thing. I agree Craig life throws up many tribulations some can bring us to our knees, we must always be grateful even for the dark days they shape our being. I love the quote by Kahlil Gibran something we should practise.

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