What is Prayer

Adam Cleaveland, a progressive Chrisitan blogger who I’ve been reading lately, posted a question about “What is Prayer.” The initial definitions were very standard Christian definitions. It defined a religionous world-view that is more passive and sits back and just waits for God to do something. As a follower of a more embodied religious world-view, needless to say that doesn’t work for me really well.

At the end of his post, he defined prayer as:

Prayer is any activity that allows humanity to enter into a sacred space; a space where Spirit can speak, Christ can heal and God can transform.

This is a definition that I could use. I’d remove the name Christ, because that’s not part of my theology, but other than that – it’s spot on. The form of prayer I often practice is often challenged by people and they ask me why I use the word magick, if it’s prayer. But this is what it’s all about. It’s a form of prayer that allows me to create a space where things can be transformed by the Divine. The difference is that it’s an intentionally co-creative act, where I am acting as a channel for the Divine energy that infuses everything towards a particular end. I use the word magick to differentiate it from the more passive form of prayer. Magick isn’t just about opening your heart – it’s about showing that you are not only willing to ask for what you want, but also willing to work for it. That’s a big difference in world-view from many people.

I don’t believe it’s enough to pray. I don’t believe it’s enough to open your heart. What are you willing to do? The Divine works through human hands so often. That’s what our sacred scriptures teach us. The story of Exodus shows that the Divine worked through the hands of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to free the Hebrews from Slavery. It shows that the Divine worked through Bezalel to build the tabernacle. It shows that the Divine worked through all the people to gather supplies.

Belief isn’t enough. Love isn’t enough. Action is required. Magick is prayer in action, but even it isn’t enough. Magick is a beginning, which needs to be followed up by more action.

[tags]what is prayer, prayer, magick, belief, action, world-view[/tags]

8 Comments

  1. Great post!!

  2. Beautifully said. I agree wholeheartedly.

  3. Ofer /

    Well, and what about all the "God knows whats good for me, so that's o.k. when I don't get what I want"?
    That's a view most Rabbis preach. Is it wrong?
    If not, then what I think you're really saying is that we need to start praying wholeheartedly and not in such a passive way.
    While true, these days a lot of people (and books about the subject) claim that the difference between magic and prayer is that prayer ask a higher force to decide for you, while in magic you are the one who is making a change, and not only asking it.
    Are they wrong?

  4. Carly (Chava Chai - /

    Ofer,

    You are looking for simple answers where there are none. And we are talking about two very different world views and experiences of the Divine.

    Are they wrong? For me, yes.

    I don't believe there is any one answer when it comes to the Divine, magick, or anything of the spirit world.

  5. I find this to be the core difference between my view of the world and how spirituality or religion interweave through it and those who relentlessly press for a specific, absolute answer. And I'm beginning to wonder if it is not the answers that are of most importance, but rather the questions and the sense of exploration and discovery.

  6. I believe God, (in one aspect), is a verb and we are the process.

    As a Jew by birth I gradually found myself embracing a rich tapestry of indigenous spiritual beliefs, healing arts, and expressions. Hence I am increasingly inspired to write about the nature of Divinity and spirituality, and our role in the manifestation.

    Love your insights. Thank you for sharing the yummy fruits of your labor as you peel your pomegranate. You are not just 'here,' you are present.

    B'brachot l'shalom ul'olam tov yoter

  7. Carly (Chava Chai - /

    "RTC"

    Thanks so much for your comments and making this connection with me. I can't wait to explore your site.

    "God is a verb and we are the process"

    That's a stunning turn of phrase. Have you ever read "The Parable of the Sower"? I'm on my second read of the novel now and it plays with this idea of what God is.

  8. No, I haven't read that book. Thanxx for telling me about it. I'll look for it on Amazon. Book recommendations are always welcome!

    Keep on peeling and revealing those lovely seeds within. 🙂

    Look forward to seeing you at my little corner of the web.