An Acknowledgement of Prayer

I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian church.  Although my parents were broadminded and spiritual, there wasn’t a lot of latitude within their belief system for the ways in which we practiced their chosen faith.  I strayed from that straight and narrow many years ago.

I have explored many beliefs and have formed my unique spiritual path.  And I got religion again when I heard Rainn Wilson on Super Soul Sunday.

I found his discussion of the Baha’i faith fascinating and enlightening.  Yet one precept washed me in such contentment that I can feel my spirit soar with the resonance of it.

Art is prayer.

When we create we are close to God.

Lifting the paintbrush, typing on the keys, moving plants in the garden…I knew it all felt perfect.  Yet had I never thought of it as prayer.

“Talking to God” is trapped in my childhood memories as something very different.

Prayers in church were long and boring and required me to keep my eyes closed and sometimes even to stand up while a long-winded minister or member of the congregation went off on a litany of either thanksgiving or entreaty that meant nothing to me.

Prayers before bed were a ritual of “Please bless…” everyone from my grandparents in Indiana to the orphans in China, which I rattled off by rote.  If I was stumped for enough words I could always please my parents by invoking help in being a better child.

Perhaps I’m telling too much on myself when I say that even prayers before meals were not mindful thoughts of where this food came from, who made it possible, and my good fortune in having it; but more standard recitations of, “Bless this food to our good…”

Gardening is not my new religion, nor is Baha’i.  But I more easily comprehend that the spiritual blessings I receive from my soil are a conversation with my Source.


The Student

This post was originally written for and published on Vision and Verb on June 25, 2012.

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