One of the posts that I saw from BlogHer (link at the end of this post), talked about prayer and meditation. Here's a short meme I thought I'd fill out, since prayer helps get me back on track and I have to admit to being very stressed/nervous. I think reflection on spiritual practice is a good way to center my mind on what's really important for me.
1. Do you pray/meditate? Which? How often?
I pray. It's hard to quantify how much, because prayer for me is a conversation. I pray while doing homework, walking to class, eating a meal or just getting ready for the day or going to bed. It's not something I do for an hour and I'm done. That always felt forced to me. This method works better for me.
2. Why is it that you pray and/or meditate?
Two thoughts that immediately come to mind? Because I'm supposed to, and because I find it gives me comfort. Being able to look at situations in new ways gives me inspiration. And when I am powerless to change something, there's comfort and joy in knowing that I'm giving it to someone more powerful than any of us.
3. Is there a place/setting/time in which you are more likely to pray and/or meditate?
Not really. as I said, I pray anywhere, any time. That said, there's a special hill at a camp I once attended that holds special value to me. I always find that my prayers are deeper there. Maybe that's the next post on prayer? Ah, never mind, I'll just write it here.
I attended a camp called TYL or "Today's Youth as Leaders". It's a christian camp for youth as the name might suggest. It's held at a beautiful camp in a rural area. There's a hill with three crossses which have had nails pounded into them. Smoothe shiny pretty wooden crosses they are not. I loved going up there to pray. I went up there with a friend at a confirmation camp, and fell in love with the spot. The first year at TYL camp, I went up with a friend at sun rise on the last day. we prayed and sang. That experience brought me peace as after that morning, my parents and I and a friend headed home, then my family went straight to the hospital where my grandpa died two days later. That memory brought great strength.
The next year, after my grandma died, I went to camp. I'd been hiding from my feelings, and at that point was not handling things well. That year, I went up on the hill and released the emotions to God. I was honest with God about my feelings. That's where God took the burdens. Describing that doesn't do it justice, but I still feel a powerful connection to that place.
4. Do you use any physical objects to assist your prayer/meditation?
Sort of. I was given a prayer shawl this year, and that helps me remember that I am connected to others when I pray. I find that it is a great comfort. I also use my BrailleNote to keep track of prayer lists, and/or read the Bible to aid me in my prayers.
5. Are you most likely to use established prayers/meditations, or to create your own style?
Mostly,, it's just my own style. But there is great comfort in things like the serenity prayer etc...
6. Are you more likely to pray/meditate alone or in a group?
I do both. I pray alone, but when I'm at home, I'm part of an intercessory prayer team.
7. Have you ever asked anyone to pray/meditate on your behalf? If yes, and you are comfortable sharing that experience, please do.
I do that frequently even on this blog. For me, i appreciate knowing that I'm not alone. I am often forgetful. I don't pray as much as I want to. I do believe that God answers prayers. It is very difficult to describe the great comfort and support I gain when I humble myself and admit "I need help." Praying for others feels right. Not a deed done out of duty, but a real chance to talk to God about that person or situation. A chance to show my support for someone. That said, I try to avoid being showy about my faith. I prefer a quiet assurance of "I'll pray for you" over some loud showy production. The fact that I pray should not make people feel that I look down on others. It's not a good deed, rather a practice, something as life-sustaining as drinking water. My faith should be that way, not something put on for others.
8. If asked to describe your religious affiliation/practice/ belief, how would you do that?
I'm a Christian. I'm a Christ follower, to be more specific. I don't do things because some pastor I don't even know wants me to do them. I pray, and try to act out my faith in ways I feel express my love for Christ. I find that the guidance of a friend, or pastor who knows me is much more valuable than the words of someone who's a noted thelogian. I believe theologians have great wisdom to share, but if it does not reflect my love for Christ, then I will struggle to accept it.
9. What would you like to say about prayer/meditation that has not been asked here?
One thing I used to struggle with was using relaxation techniques. I felt that using them might make me less of a Christian. For me, relaxation is one more way of taking care of the body God gave me. It is not a form of putting something before God in my life.
If you want to do the meme, go
To the original questionnaire.