It’s  funny, I find my heart beating a bit harder than usual now as I start this post.  Kind of like I was coming out in some way.  When I was a child I certainly said my prayers.  Remember Christopher Robin kneeling at the foot of his bed in A. A. Milne ‘s poem Vespers?  It is still one of my faves.  I love the ordinariness of what Christopher notices and remembers: the blue bathrobe, the hot and cold water in the bath; the way he gets distracted; how he knows there are other important parts he’s forgotten, remembers them, and then also remembers to include himself.  All pretty familiar!

My prayers were like that, ordinary, distracted.  But then, after my beliefs and notions about God, god, the Mystery, religion, spirituality shifted and evolved, I stopped praying in the usual, daily way.  I did other practices, but the point here is that a while ago I started saying prayers again, and my heart is glad.  I feel a bit like a child again as well — not understanding, not in charge, experiencing a combination of trust and doubt, but going ahead anyway.

Once when I was in great despair about what people do to each other and the planet, and knowing that the place of hate and anger — good guys and bad guys, blame, recrimination — is absolutely not where to hang out, I got an answer to my question of what then?  No big surprise:  Love.  The idea is to love what I am concerned about, the coral reefs, the wild cats, the folks on the receiving end, or the giving end, of injustices, the trees, clean water and air…  The list is not what’s important.  The Loving is.  And that flowed seamlessly into prayer.

And I love saying my prayers.  I have ritual prayers, like Christopher Robin, mine are for all Living Beings.  And then I go on to include people I know and love who are experiencing challenging times, and whatever else.  I feel my heart open, I soften.  I feel part of something larger.  I surrender, give myself over, in a good way.

Many studies show that prayers help, make a difference, even when people do not know they are being prayed for.  (Other studies claim to show the opposite.  Take your pick!)  What we do know with increasing certitude is that everything is interconnected…(Google that phase and be awed at all the info mounting in support of its premise!)  Everything is part of a continuous energy field.

So I came to realize that what I want to be sending out from my location was loving kindness and loving prayer.  Not just in the morning and at night, but throughout the day — when I check in, when I take a few quiet moments…

Of course this is not always my contribution to the continuous energy field!!   Just yesterday I was feeling gray, and sad, and blah, and powerless, and angry… and wondering what I would write for the Spring Equinox post!  Then last night I decided to write about prayer (my heart beat faster then too!), and as I am writing now I find I am overflowing… with love and appreciation for people and the planet, and for friends.  Prayer is transformative, there is no doubt about that.

A dear high-school friend of mine, with whom I have recently reconnected, wrote this:  Dear God, Please help us honor our promises to pray for those we love, and those we meet along the way.   I love that, because I can’t always remember the people I want very much to include in my prayer!

The other night we were having dinner with two couples with whom we share fabulous meals every few months, and the host read this Prayer Among Friends. I leave you with its poignant offerings — and invite you to create prayers of your own, and offer them to, and in, the continuous energy field which we inhabit together.

Prayer Among Friends   (by John Daniel)

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive
with one another, we walk here
in the light of this unlikely world
that isn’t ours for long.
May we spend generously
the time we are given.
May we enact our responsibilities
as thoroughly as we enjoy
our pleasures. May we see with clarity,
may we seek a vision
that serves all beings, may we honor
the mystery surpassing our sight,
and may we hold in our hands
the gift of good work
and bear it forth whole, as we
were borne forth by a power we praise
to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love. 

About this poem, David Lose writes:  “I don’t understand prayer, I still do it. And this poem, John Daniel’s “A Prayer among Friends,” gets at part of the reason why: the very act of prayer calls things to mind that we might not otherwise notice.”   

As we come up to Spring Equinox, may we honor the Mystery in our own ways, may we live a vision which serves the greater good, may we enjoy our pleasures deeply and spend our time generously.





Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)





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