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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Do We Pray?

By Caroline Martin

When I was a little girl I prayed for a fairy. I got right down on my skinny, scuffed up knees, squeezing my eyes shut, clasping my hands, and I would plead "Dear God, please, please may I have a fairy?" I had the feeling, at the beginning of each day, of something wonderful about to happen.

I rose very early, before the rest of my family, and after my fairy prayer, sometimes still in my nightgown, I would walk through the woods behind my house, or around the block, hoping to find a small creature who might need me. I had many invisible animals called "those animals" who followed me everywhere. I prayed for them to become real, I prayed to find lost or lonely toads, or birds, or rabbits, so that I could care for and companion with them. My prayers came straight from my child heart, as sincere as can be, filled with expectation.

As I have grown and matured my prayers have taken many shapes and forms. Venturing from spiritual path to path, searching scripture and metaphysical literature,practicing energy work, delving into the study of angels, I have gradually moved to a place of peace, and still hold a childlike sense of wonder, with God, Spirit closer to me than my breathing. How did I do this? Where am I now?

What I have found is that prayer, for me, is not about asking. It is about listening.Through a consistent practice of reflection, contemplation, and meditation I have changed completely my method of prayer. I consciously listen for the "still small voice"within my own being. And oh, the response! The songs I write come from this listening, the joy I feel, the smile in my whole being! There is a tangible presence, a leading, a loving that permeates me and, as long a I come back to it over and over,stays with me through my days.

Certainly I know what it is to struggle, to have deep sorrows, disappointments and loss.Who of us in this world does not experience these in a degree? But I know, now, there is a way through what appears to be a dark and stormy time. These words from a song I wrote reflect how I navigate the waves..

"Teach me how to love,
Show me which way to go,
Help me learn to listen,
So Thy thoughts are all that I know."

I open my heart with the same sincerity I had as a child on my knees, and I wait with the same expectation. The difference is that I am not asking for something outside of me to come into my experience. I am waiting to behold what will be revealed from the quiet of my soul. It may come as a whisper, a feeling, a nudge, a song.

"Oh sweet Soul, awaken me,
Let me know myself as Thee,
Shining bright in all I see,
Singing through eternity."

I study, diligently, writings from The Infinite Way, by Joel Goldsmith. It has become my way home. And I listen and listen some more. Even in the midst of my busiest day I step aside to listen. I still rise early, and venture into the woods near my home to wait with wonder what will unfold. And that little girl in me skips ahead and sings, grabs fistfuls of wildflowers and watches all the fairies smiling...

My newest song is "I Am Here". It came straight from God. You may listen to it, and others on my website http://dustydogcreations.com

"I Am Here" is on the stargirls cards page.
And I'd love to hear how you pray.
In our waking and listening, Caroline

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