Why do we pray?
Consider what Neo-Pagan Ceiswr Serith has to say:
“When we pray, we talk to divine beings. They are our spiritual friends, our parents, and/or our cousins…they have to be invited into our lives. Go on, give them a call and tell them how much you’ve missed them, tell them how wonderful you think they are; and, while you’re at it, maybe ask for a favor or thank them for favors done. You might find you like talking to them.” – Ceisiwr Serith, A Book of Pagan Prayer
We pray because we are social creatures. We talk to each other. We talk to our pets. It’s natural to converse with Deity, as well. I talk with my mother God, with my brother Christ and with my sister Spirit. I talk with those who have gone before. Sometimes I even talk with Ganesha. (He understands that my path belongs to another, but he listens anyway. 🙂 )
Sometimes I ‘feel’ it. Often I don’t. I don’t always ‘feel’ it when I exercise, either, but I have faith that’s it’s making my body healthier. It’s the same with prayer. I chatter at Deity even when it feels like a one-way conversation, because I have faith it’s making my soul stronger. Besides, like exercise, it’s good discipline and I feel better afterward.
Mantras are a wonderful aid to prayer and meditation. They help us to focus and to transcend. I use the word mantra loosely to mean any memorized, repetitive prayer.
For Christians, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed are often used meditatively. The meaning of the prayers are lovely, but I had a push-back reaction to the wording. Finally, I sat down and rewrote them, using language that pulled me into the beauty of the message. Others have asked for copies of the prayers, so I offer them here:
Christ’s PrayerOur Creator who dwells in all, even your name brings blessing. Your vision come your desires be done Here and everywhere. Provide today for all our needs and forgive us our error as we forgive those who err against us. Save us in our times of trial and deliver us from injury for yours is the Vision and the true Strength and all Beauty now and forever. Awen. Prayer of the Apostles I believe in the Divine –
Father, Mother, Architect of the Universe. I believe in Jesus Christ, our brother, true child,
conceived in holy Spirit and born of young Mary,
who suffered under worldly authority,
was executed and buried with soul unfettered.
On the third day he returned,
wholly inhabiting both physical and spiritual realms,
fully united with the Divine. I believe in holy Spirit,
in humans united with inspired accord,
in the communion of all life,
the forgiveness of error,
the resurrection of creation
and in life unending.