Prayer: Connecting with Possibility

My friends and I have been told by a couple of our wives and
girlfriends that we are a unique group of men. It is ironic that we
don’t really understand why, but we are all extremely open, vulnerable
and nurturing in our relationships with each other, as well as with
other people in our lives. I don’t know why, perhaps it comes with time
and the fact that we’ve all worked in some form of transformational
training for most of our careers.

Whenever
we ‘Souls’ get together, we follow a simple format: each one of us
shares what’s going on in our life and what’s bothering us, and then
the rest of us say whatever we have to say. Sometimes, we coach each
other (if we’re requested to do so). We laugh a lot. And we cry a lot
too, because there is always at least one of us who is going through a
rough spot. This time, one of our guys is dealing with a very scary
carcinoma and he shared the exploration he’s doing with a variety of
spiritual practices—including yoga, acupuncture, meditation,
attitudinal healing and diet—that an M.D. has recently proved have
either preventive or healing impact on patients and people at risk.
These were shown to have a positive impact on immunity, energy and what
he called ‘hope’ (what I would call ‘possibility’).

What was
missing from the list was prayer. Our group has never talked about
this. We all have different viewpoints and experiences of God or
‘Spirit’. A few of us are either very philosophical or, in one or two
cases, atheistic. But what was very interesting is that all of us
prayed—even the individuals who professed not to believe (their
‘prayer’ took the form of a ‘conversation’ with the Universe).

Prayer
is, I think, basic to life and human existence and our general
wellbeing. I say this because I think that, regardless of one’s
beliefs, we all live in a relationship with the world in which we are
either ‘in our head’ or somehow able to ‘get outside ourselves’ for
some period of time. Prayer is a practice that connects us with
whatever we can acknowledge is ‘not us’—a Higher Power. It doesn’t
matter whether the Higher Power is a philosophical abstraction, a
deity, Nature, ‘the Force’ from Star Wars or maybe just a fellowship of
other people.

In a very real sense, prayer is one way we
connect with possibility—with everything that isn’t ‘real’. When we are
connected to this ‘space’, we are in touch with our intention, our
creative nature, our power and our vulnerability. Prayer naturally
evokes humility, gratitude and acceptance. It acknowledges the mystery
of life and all that is unthinkable. When things occur in our life that
we can’t explain, we may call it “God’s Will” or a miracle. Sometimes
we thank our Higher Power. I don’t think God is an actor causing things
to happen, making decisions about what will or won’t happen in my life,
but I do think there is some correlation between my state of being in
the world and the results I experience.

When I pray, I am
‘being’ in touch with something approximating the truth of my
relationship with the greater Universe. I trust the process of life. I
trust that the Universe is unfolding as it should, and that whatever is
occurring is neither good nor bad—it is just what is. I can relax and
accept that I don’t have control over people, places or things and
experience some serenity and peace of mind.

Most of all, prayer
gives me the possibility of choice. Without some form of Higher Power,
something larger than ‘myself’, I’d be forever trapped within the
limits of my own mind, condemned to a self-referential relationship
with life. I’d be limited to a world of my own thinking without any
possibilities for magic, miracles and love.  

And so I pray.

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