Lately, I have been thinking about and practicing prayer a little more than usual. This increase is due to friends with illnesses and, I guess, my aging turns my introspection a little more toward the spiritual.

When I was younger, I thought worry, prayer, and manifesting were the same thing: thought focused on creating a future outcome. In the last year or so, my thinking has decided they are separate and not-equal, although they have the similar quality of focused thought.

Prayer, I realized, is an act of letting go to better face a truth. Or an act of handing over to a god, a mystery, or a higher power. Prayer lightens your daily burden.

Worry is an act of holding on. Worry weighs you down. It lets a possible outcome or an inevitable outcome consume your time or emotional strength, thus weakening the body. Worry can be self-fulfilling.

Manifesting is an act of intentional change, effort. It might be liberating to manifest one of my own goals through effort. My goal may be self-centered. Or community centered, thus putting effort outside myself. Manifesting may increase or decrease my spirit based on its goal. Does the manifesting remove self-placed chains or add more on?

When it comes to worry and prayer, I believe there are those people who co-mingle them regularly. Like the person who earnestly kneels at church, with hands pressed together, who tells god their prayer, concern, problem, but never really hands the weight over and so their issue consumes them all day long, diminishing them.

Prayer does not require a place of worship, like a church. It requires a mental attitude and may be done where ever. I find for myself, it works best in nature, especially among trees on mountain sides.

Prayer, true handing over to the mysteries or God, is a skill. It takes practice. Whenever life requires me to learn a new skill, I wish to learn it too fast. I forget what going from a baby who crawls to a toddler took—a lot of failure, while growing stronger and more practiced with each effort until the skill was mastered.

The other day, I was anxious and a little sad. Dianne and I were on a walk in the foothills. I brought up the subject because the anxiety was growing and I feared it would interfere with our lives. We talked for a while about various things that might be the cause. Then Dianne asked me about a friend who has an illness. I told her I recently received bad news that the treatment is not going well at the moment. That scans indicate the disease spreads. I was in a state of worry about my friend, even though I had prayed for her health and healing. It was not until I spoke with Dianne that the prayer completed itself and I let go the burden to the mysteries, the universe, God. So I believe prayer may be part of an honest conversation—intimate talk, like one of the definitions of communion.

My prayer to all of you: may you find that balance of holding on to self and letting go to the mysteries (God, if that is your name for it) that optimizes your appreciation of life and the experiences you go through.

Love & Light



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