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Saturday, May 15, 2010

What Is Prayer ?

Recently at our Coffee House at St. Michael Hall we were treated to Christian Music and testimony by the band.
During some of the songs several people who were there felt the realism in the words and raised their hands to heaven or rocked back and forth and mouthed the words.
Being raised as a catholic and now being Orthodox I have come to understand that we all receive the word and praise in different fashions.
We as Orthodox tend to be some what reserved and calling out things like "Amen","Praise God" or raising our hands up to heaven can seem different and not clearly understood.
It has never bothered me when people do this and at times I wish I could be free enough to say and do these thing as I am moved.
Today I awoke rather early and not wanting to say the Jesus prayer thought I would try and do a decade of the rosary to which that did not last very long,I think after about 5 Hail Marys I quit.I have never been very good at doing this rosary thing it seems so repetitious and I lose concentration. When ever I start I hear a droning voice in my head and get this non feeling about what I am saying.Like spacing out in my mind.Besides I have always felt uncomfortable asking Mary to pray for me.I mean I have never asked Jesus to pray for me though I have asked for things through his name.
So back I went to the Jesus Prayer "Lord Jesus Christ Son Of God Have Mercy On Me A Sinner".I like this prayer its easy to say and I can concentrate on each word.
Of course the right way to do this prayer is to inhale as you say the first half of the prayer then exhale as you say the second half.Then make a small bow and if you are using a prayer rope or bracelet when you do either ten knots or all of them, then prostrate.This always confuses me as to which prostration to do since there are so many to choose from.
So basically I just say the prayers and cut out all the rest,if I don't then I spend more time worrying about the bowing and prostrating then I do about the prayers.(Once again to much thought and not enough action ).
Prayer is a very personal thing and I was told that the greatest compliment you can give some one is to pray for them,its the best form of caring because it is so personal that's why praying for your enemies is so important.
I know people who go on line to prayer groups and pray for all those in need.I had an Aunt who was a cloistered nun who spent her whole life in prayer.I guess I missed out on those genes.
For me prayer can be music,I love music and have several Cd's that are Christian based.Some very soft and sweet to hear and some very lively and spiritual.Playing these can be very up lifting and before I know it I can begin to feel the words being sung and to me these can be prayer moments.
I guess prayer can be found just about every where and it doesn't matter if its formal or simple if the spirit moves in you and you can acknowledge it then that is praise.

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