Prayer, it's almost an embarrassing thing to admit nowadays, that I pray. I don't know why. I mean there are many forms of prayer; many motivations behind a prayer.
My earliest recollection of a prayer was this one taught to many a tiny, innocent child.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to take
This prayer scared the shit outta me. I'm sure it was responsible for my life long neck issues (explained here) and probably scarred me for life. The whole idea that God was some kind of creep out there cruising for someone to pluck up in the night didn't endear me to him (I was sure God must be a him). It didn't make me want to jump into bed any more than a lobster would willingly jump into a boiling pot. So, I guess that's why the whole damn Thacker clan are night people; because of this damn prayer.
Like most of us, I have been known to use prayer as a bargaining tool, for example:
"Please, please, please let me just get through this test that I didn't study for and I promise, cross my heart, that I'll study for days in advance from now on. I promise!" Miraculously passing the test has the power to wipe away any memory of promises made.
We pray for what we want to happen. We want our friends and family to be safe, happy, prosperous and healthy. When something bad happens to a loved one we pour our hearts out to God to make them better, to heal them, to watch over them and for a self-prescribed outcome that would make everything right once more, not only for them but, for our breaking heart.
The devastation in Japan and the horror experienced by the Japanese people has elicited a strong response in all of us to help in any way we can, through monetary donations, gestures of support, expressions of empathy and all forms of prayer.
Friends have been circulating this JAPANESE NUCLEAR REACTOR VISUALIZATION video by Adam Dreamhealer via e-mail in hopes that if enough people focus on the power of positive intention and visualization, that the situation will be brought under control with minimal damage to lives and the environment. Engaging in this visualization, people come together to raise the vibration and effect a change in our consensus reality. Behind this belief system is the reality that we are merely organized thought forms and thought has the power to affect what only seems to be a solid, material world.
The Foundation for Shamanic Studies issued this e-mail release to its members to enlist the power of helping spirits to assist in the healing for Japan with the reminder that the Japanese spiritual traditions (90% of the population is Buddhist or Shinto) regarding life, death and healing must be fully respected.
People are lighting candles, praying in churches or at their personal altars, smudging, chanting, reciting mantras, and "flying" to assist the healing process in Japan. NOTE: FLYING FOR JAPAN - SAT MAR 19TH 6 - 7:30pm at HOT YOGA WELLNESS CONCORD, 1750 Steeles Ave W in Toronto.
At the end of every Yoga Centre of Victoria satsang, recitation of Swami Radha's Divine Light Invocation was performed in which loved ones, those in need of healing, and projects needing assistance were seen whole, healthy and successful as they were"put into the light". The visualization progressed as our little collection of light brightened and expanded outwards join with other centres of light to include and offer healing energy to the earth and ultimately the universe.
And of course the forgiveness of Ho'oponopono is another way to offer a prayer for healing in whatever form it may take. The power of forgiveness extends as we forgive others who have transgressed against us and also ask for their forgiveness for our own ill-conceived actions. When we forgive ourselves for our own failings, the power behind this intention is amplified.
As I've observed, prayers of indigenous peoples not only display acceptance of the wisdom in "thy will be done" but also give thanks in advance for the healing that has taken place. Rather than pray for "something to happen" gratitude is expressed for the opportunity that exists in every day, for what has been received and an honouring of those spirits in their many forms who have made it so.
Some believe that the universe has its own plan and its own wisdom that is inconceivable to us mere humans. What good will come out of this suffering? Will the world become a more compassionate place? Will advances in safer technology result? Will individuals and the human race shift our priorities? Will our world view change?
Time will tell if the shift of the earth's plates below the ocean on that fateful day was the beginning of a shift in consciousness for us all.