Heaven is reached, the blessed say,
By prayer and by no other way.
One may kneel down and make a plea
With words from book or breviary,
Or one may enter in an find
A home-made message in the mind.
But true prayer travels further still.
To seek God’s presence and God’s will.
FROM “PRAYER,” BY JESSICA POWERS
When I first became very ill, in 2012, I was in a state of despair. I felt dead inside. In fact, I felt close to death and I didn’t want to go on living. I was going through a dark night of the soul. I lost all faith and I felt alienated from the Divine. The 20 years that I had been meditating seemed to make no difference. I couldn’t meditate and I couldn’t pray. I was so down on myself that all the years of therapy seemed to have made no difference either.
It was the prayers of all my friends and family that saved me. I was guided to the right healers and caregivers and little by little as I began to heal, I found my Faith again and recognized the power of prayer. Books like Emmanuel’s Book, Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata, and Lucinda Vardey’s book The Flowering of the Soul, A Book of Prayers by Women helped me return to prayer. Mother Teresa once said to Lucinda “Prayer feeds the soul. As blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul.”
What is Prayer?
It has been described as “absolute unmixed attention” and focus on the Divine. It can, as Lucinda writes, “take the form of praise, yearning, pleading, seeking, supplication, or listening. Or can be in thought, in words, in feelings, in emptiness, in surrender, in movement. It takes the form of action in our work and duties. Prayer is consciously and attentively giving and receiving love and grace. Prayer guides us to live actively by divine inspiration. Prayer is the anchor of connectedness with all that matters, and a means to eternal existence. Prayer reminds us how small we are. Prayer reminds us of how much help we need, and is our “primary weapon” (Teresa of Avila) Prayer unites us and makes us messengers of the spirit. Prayer is a force that lifts our hearts and infuses them with purity and openneess. Prayer is the interior “conversation that sustains us” (Oriah Mountain Dreamer). Prayer promotes the flowering of the soul.”
The Prayer Circle meets once every two weeks at my home in Bethany, on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 – 9:00. The sessions are ecumenical and will draw on different spiritual traditions.
I do hope you’ll join us. Call me at 705 277 1881.