Not A Stratagem!

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.” ~ Khalil Gibran …

Is prayer a life jacket for you, or a light that you put out for the world to see? How are we to experience the true power of prayer if we hide it away? Prayer is perhaps the most misunderstood force in our lives. Many of us use it solely as a refuge in times of trouble, as if we keep it in reserve for when things go bad. But prayer during the good times can be one of the most important elements of our lives. Think of it in physical terms. When are we the most effective physically… when we are down and out or when we are feeling very good and things are going well? When do we have our peak strength and endurance? When are we most capable to help others? In the same way, prayer can be strongest and most effective when our reserves are full and we are at our peak. Yet that is the precise time when many of us neglect prayer because we think of it as something that is only useful in our times of need.

When we pray in our distress and in our need, it is usually like a life jacket or a parachute–it is intended for us alone and takes on the tone of a desperate plea in our time of need. However, when we pray in our joy and abundance, it often goes quite similar to a pleasant conversation between two friends and radiates unselfish love.

Prayer is much more powerful when it comes from a place of strength. When we pray in the “fullness of our joy and in our days of abundance,” we give our prayers life and meaning; we fill them with our joy, exuberance, compassion, and love. The goodness and the blessings we find in our days of joy can add so much beauty into our prayers–beauty that might build up the positive energy in this world and help others to grow.

Prayer should be a beacon of faith, hope, love, and joy for all to see. It is these prayers that possess the ability to help contribute to the good, positive, uplifting, and encouraging of the world–a contribution that benefits not only us, but also everyone around us.

Make time for daily prayer and meditation.

Questions to consider:

When do you usually pray–in times of distress or in times of joy and abundance? Why?

Why do many individuals only pray in their times of need?

Do you use prayer as a life jacket, or as a light for the world to see? How can you let prayer be a beacon to others in your life?

For further thought:

“Prayer is not a stratagem for occasional use, a refuge to resort to now and then. It is rather like an established residence for the innermost self. All things have a home: the bird has a nest, the fox has a hole, the bee has a hive. A soul without prayer is a soul without a home.” ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

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