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Pray December 12, 2013

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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Increasingly, this word falls into the category of words I’m afraid to use. Sometimes I’m afraid to use a word because I’m not completely sure of what it means. Other times, I’m afraid that the person hearing the word will not understand what I mean.

Pray is fraught with peril.

No doubt I’m more aware of this because of Facebook: so many people asking for prayers, so many people openly announcing that they are praying for other people. This is heavily true farther south, in my mid-Atlantic region of origin. My high school BFF and I look at each other in wonder: When did these people [typical drug-using, horny teenagers] become so religious?

I am not against supporting others in their time of need. With friends who understand, I will note my “prayer equivalents”—to the more religious, I may use a phrase like positive energy or good vibes. I don’t love these alternatives.

Occasionally, I’ll cave and use pray (and accept that some people may jump to a false conclusion).

The other day I checked out Webster’s to determine how accepted nonreligious usage of the word is. The first definition, of course, is “to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something.” No surprise there. But then we have “to hope or wish very much for something to happen,” followed by “to seriously ask (someone) to do something.” I am so down with the second one. Maybe that’s enough justification for me to use it.

The thing is, I practice the first definition too, just not to God. More to the gods. I give thanks nearly daily to the gods of my various body parts and systems. When they work, I need to be grateful. I try to remember to thank the gods for the roof over my head, the food on my table, and the fuel in my oil tank this winter. I pray to the gods to take care of my friends who are going through a hard time—job woes, financial issues, illnesses, and often, lately, their parents and friends dying. I would also call what I do a way of sending focused, positive energy into the universe, sometimes asking the universe for an outcome or, more accurately, hoping that my bit of energy will help to produce that outcome—because I wouldn’t say I’m actually expecting the universe to “answer.”

The gods of all my friends are real, of course. Any energy or belief system you create becomes its own reality as you respond to its existence. If you’re Christian and that belief system includes God and Jesus, then God and Jesus are real, because look! Their existence is making you act a certain way. (I have particular ideas about how Christians should act, of course, and the few I know about who read this blog get my completely unnecessary-not-trying-to-be-patronizing stamp of approval. There are, however, other Christians, etc., with gods/beliefs/actions who piss me right off.)

My apologies for boring you with these ramblings. I imagine these thoughts have been building not so much in light of the Christian aspect of the season, but more out of concern for those whose light is fading and the people who are tending to them. Maybe here I can say that I am praying for those people, and you will know what I mean.

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Comments»

1. Daniel Williams - December 12, 2013

Katie child, indigob, I gonna pray for you and yours tonight. LMFAO.

2. Lynda Corbett - December 12, 2013

So well said. This is a tricky subject and you have offered some wonderful insight. Thank you! And I’m sure I don’t speak only for myself when I say that I am happy you’ve been so verbally prolific lately! xoxo

3. Dona - December 12, 2013

Wonderful thoughts, IB. I understand exactly — I have such a hard time with the word “pray”.

4. Bridgett - December 12, 2013

I would also call what I do a way of sending focused, positive energy into the universe, sometimes asking the universe for an outcome or, more accurately, hoping that my bit of energy will help to produce that outcome—because I wouldn’t say I’m actually expecting the universe to “answer.”

This is so what I do. And I’m pretty much a dyed in the wool Catholic. But I’m not the sort who thinks that God waves a wand and makes something happen just because *I* am praying for it. I pray to focus energy. To focus my mind. To make doors open in my unconscious that maybe just maybe will be the spark of an idea that will help someone out of a situation. For those with my intractable problems (cancer, for instance), I simply make sure I think about them during my day. That’s my prayer. Because maybe if it all works out the way I sort of have a hunch maybe it might, then they will one day know that I thought of them back when they were hurting so badly and this will comfort them, too. Or make them think of me.

Lots of people pray for me and mine these days; I LOVE this. No matter what they mean by it. So I try to do the same.

indigobunting - December 13, 2013

And this is why, when I read about your life, I think things like “If everyone was religious the way that Bridgett is religious, things would be OK.” Thanks! (And as you know, I find you a beautiful inspiration grounded in realities.)


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