I pray. Not at an alter, but at my bedside, in my car, in the restaurant restroom, in the employee bathroom. All good places for prayer. The one place I can think of that I don’t pray is underwater in the pool. Prayer is breath for me. To run out of breath as I pray doesn’t appeal to me. I confess, though, as a kid underwater, I use to pray to become a mermaid. I would have full breath underwater.
Prayer to me is like an open envelope. I can fill it with glitter and then seal it. When I need the creative spark of glitter, I can open the envelope, throw it into the air, and marvel at the sight. Of course, I am then responsible for vacuuming the carpet.
Prayer is an action word. Simple prayer, “God please help me.” Then I get up from my knees, and do what God would have me do. How do I know if I’m aligned with God? By how I feel. By the ease with which I participate in the day. I am a crayon coloring between the lines. I am a blank piece of paper allowing colors to splash me awake. I am a little beetle surfing the neighborhood on a green leaf.
The possibilities for prayer are endless. It is best when I pray for someone else; someone who’s ailing, someone who I am upset with, wishing for her to receive all the good things that come from a life well lived. And my favorite prayer is “God please rid me of self.” When offered this, I have vision. I can see the cacti from my bedroom window and know they cannot hurt me as long as I don’t touch them. I can listen to a person in pain and have compassion, with no need to tell her it will get better because both of us know it won’t; different yes, better no. I can smell life; it is buttered toast and a cup of coffee. I can taste life; it is shampoo I use in my hair. Prayers quiet my mind. It is good to put on my glasses.