“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned towards heaven; it is a cry of recognition and love; embracing both trial and joy.” – Thérèse de Lisieux
I used to pray for the saving of my soul, but now I pray for the shoring up of my heart; because for me it’s not about being saved. It’s about being human.
Be it prayer to god or to the great unknown, in grief or in gratitude, by rote or from our heart, it is all sacred.
That voice, belted out from our belly at a concert with the same soul as a church choir;
The sacred groans of childbirth. And that first liberated cry of life;
The gut-wrenching wail of grief when we lose (for first time or the nth time) a piece of our heart called our mother, our father, our child, our partner, our friend, our pet.
Thank you is its own prayer, and You’re Welcome is too; a sweet exchange of soul from one god to another.
This embrace is a prayer, the one that makes us feel loved, welcome, human.
And this digging in the dirt, skin to skin with Mother Nature, a simple prayer of presence.
The quiet commune with nature: be it snow or sea or tree. Here is where I find god. Here is where I pray.
Not all prayers have words.
Movement can be prayer. One body-sized, breath-filled amen.
And stillness too. A silent, heart-pumped hallelujah rising from the depths of the soul.
For others or with others, community is its own prayer, full of heart and healing no medicine contains.
I use these words prayer and god. But what if we didn’t call it prayer and we didn’t call it god.
Might then all our hearts surge and merge with primordial consciousness when called; and then, with our hearts twice as large, go about the work of being human.
Wouldn’t that be a prayer answered for mankind, by mankind.
Originally published on The Huffington Post.