Prayer. What do I mean by prayer? Not contemplation. Not meditation. Not sitting quietly. Not praying in a liturgyQ/LR. But private, individualQ/UR, UL prayer.
“God, if you’re up there…” “God, I want…” “God, help me…” “God, who are you?” “God, are you out there…”
Prayer as a conversation… Avoiding?
Topic. Prayer. Conversation. What do I know about prayer and conversations?
I remember an old friend, an evangelical Christian who always seemed so certain about God and Christ. But we got to know each other really well, and then we told me, “sometimes I talk to Jesus and…” (as if he were revealing a deep dark secret) “I don’t know if it’s real or not.”
“Maybe I’m making it all up,” he said.
Prayer and conversation. How do you have a prayer with someone who may or may NOT be there? Do you have to “believe in God” to pray?
What strikes me tonight is that prayer and conversation require and presuppose the existence of the other party. I want to bracket questions of metaphysics for a while.
Prayer is speaking aloud to The Universe, the Higher Power, Spirit. And allowing Spirit to find its intersubjective context within and beyond you. Prayer is talking to Jesus, yes, but Jesus is Spirit. And Spirit is within and beyond you. Jesus is the ground from which you have all conversations….
Avoiding? Ground. What do I know about prayer and grounding?
When my feet are planted on the ground, I feel more secure. I feel in balance. At one with myself and the world in the plain, ordinary sense that I’m not dizzy and floating and unable to gain a perspective. I get a perspective. Grounding means taking a perspective.
Taking a perspective and prayer. In prayer, we ground ourselves by making Spirit an object to our (limited sense of) self. This establishes an explicit intersubjective contextQ/LL. Then, within that intersubjective context, we find Spirit and become grounded in it.
What better way to ground one’s self in Spirit than actually speaking aloud to Spirit. Talk to God. Listen to Jesus. Be in the spirit of the living Christ.