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Monday, November 7, 2011

Prayer Builds Faith

Monday, November 7, 2011
Spirituality is inherent in children, they recognize the wonder of Deity and see it in so many things. Yet as we age we tend to lose this connection, especially since so many modern religions focus on faith rather then fostering that connection to the Divine. We don’t need to feel that God exists, rather we should just simple believe. I don’t know how many times I have heard that line. And I always disagree, in Paganism our belief in an immanent and ever present Deity is what sets us apart from other religions. It is in fact what led me to find Wicca.

So how can we as Pagans rediscover that feeling of the immanence of Deity? This answer, at least, is very simple. Prayer. I can almost hear the questions now. Prayer? Isn't that something that the other religion does?

Many Pagans I have met don’t pray. They have fled so far from their Christian roots that they have shed any thing that vaguely resembles Christianity. But there is really no better way to foster and strengthen that connection to Deity, other than ritual. And we can’t always do a ritual every day. Some of us still have to work. There is another benefit to prayer, creating Family mind. Like the old cliche I used for the title of this chapter, A Family that prays together . . . stays together.

Now of course using a Christian prayer may not work real well, so you will have to spend some time working something out that works for your family. To help here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Take a moment to ground everyone. You can have everyone visualize themselves as a tree. With their roots deep in the Earth and their arms and branches stretching far up into the sky. They can visualize the negativity and stress going down into the Earth and good, positive energy coming in through their branches, like sunlight on the leaves.
  • Turn everyone’s focus on their breath. Remember bad out on the exhale and goodness in on the inhale.
  • When you stary to speak remember to keep it simple. There are no extra points for being the most eloquent or long-winded. State your intent and your message clearly.
  • Keep the ages of your children in mind. The younger they are the less they will be able and wiling to sit through.
  • Make sure that you are not just saying the words. Mean what you are saying. Feel the Gods come to listen, just like when you do an invocation in Ritual.
  • Give everyone a chance to both lead and add input if they so desire.
  • This should be a two way street. Just like you can talk, they can also talk back. So make sure that you give yourself time to listen. Unless you are just saying thanks for the bounties that you have
  • received.
  • And remember don't just pray when you need help. This is about having a conversation. The Gods should be like an extended part of our families. Not so extended that we never talk to them, but more like best friends that are like brothers and/or sisters.
  • But most importantly is to just do it. Pray and pray often. The more you do it the easier it gets.

You can also think of this kind of prayer as an extended form of meditation. My prayer oftentimes can be described as prayerful meditation. I meditate on the wonders and mysteries of the Goddess and the God and along the way we start a conversation.

Here are a couple example of prayers that my family use

Simple Prayer for saying Grace

Lord and Lady, watch over us,
and bless us as we eat.
Bless this food, this bounty of earth,
we thank you, so mote it be.

Bedtime Prayer (written by my lovely wife)

Great Mother Great Father,
I pray to thee
Take care of my family
Day or Night
Give us the blessings
Of Love and Light

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