Prayer and our existence

The outside world is hushed. The phone is put aside. I sit still in the middle of an empty study lounge. All the tables and chairs have been cleared out, leaving me to sit on the ground and listen to the cars faintly race by on the highway below and the occasional rattle of the air ducts. As I grow stiller and the subtle noises become clearer, I begin to let my mind focus on each one until I rearrange them to be in harmony together. I sit and let all my thoughts race by, not reaching at them. Canceled classes, friends gone away, experiences never had, all go by as I begin to think about what I did get while I was in this building. By not grabbing at these thoughts, I do not allow anger to consume my moments of peace. Instead I reflect on the many joys I have had here at school. As we reign in our surroundings and person to what we have, are, and exist as, we better know ourselves.  During this exercise you envision yourself in your memories and see your ups and downs, successes and follies. You see your cracks and flaws in your words and actions, yet you are still special.
Prayer with intention can build and direct our lives in a way that no other outside force can help. It is centering and helps understand one’s purpose. There are worldly and outward callings, and there is the inner one. Prayer connects us to ourselves. Our busy and connected world can engage us in life but it cannot help us engage in ourself. By praying we are listening, not only to the world but to the intuitions, guidance, and callings that subtly exist in life. The kind of subtlety that can drowned out easily in a busy schedule or washed out by the constant noises of life. Prayer reminds us who we are. It is the connection to our roots, a reminder that we are not built out of our environment, but a part of it. Prayer gives our actions intention and reminds us of a certain purpose that each of us are called to. Prayer is a reminder that we are in this world to do some good and not of the world and its temporary existence. Prayer also keeps us in community. It serves as a tool that constantly reminds us that we have more in common with each other than we do apart. When we pray together, whether it is impromptu or sharing the same words that have been prayed on for centuries, we are brought into community with our fellow human family. The greatest function we have to survive is our community and family, which prayer can bind together whether in thought, word, or deed. In our communities, wherever they may be, home, family, neighborhood, work, church, school, city, they remind us how we serve a unique role and are able to be in community together. Prayer keeps this alive because it keeps each person alive.

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