What is Prayer really about?

men-praying-handsIn times of tragedy, people often suggest that we pray. When people are suffering, how does that help?

When the subject of religions comes up, I say that I’m not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person. I believe in the Universe and life-force concepts like The Force, Gaia or Eywa. But what does that really mean? What DO I believe in?

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I recently had an epiphany about this. I started by asking what it means to believe in the Universe, versus believing in a god. There are similarities, both involve believing in something bigger than yourself. Fair enough, but believing in a god means giving over your destiny to an omnipotent conscience being, making decisions for all of humanity. I can understand why people surrender to a god. They are no longer responsible for their fate. “It’s in God’s hands”. That may work for some folks, but I prefer to be responsible for myself.

So what does it mean to believe in the Universe? That got me wondering about the power of thinking good thoughts. Research has shown that thinking positively makes you healthy. I’m currently reading Mind Over Medicine written by my former encaustic instructor, Dr. Lissa Rankin. As a medical doctor, she challenged herself to find evidence of the human brain’s healing powers, and she did.

meditaionBut how can thinking good thoughts help others or the Universe? Is it all just hippy voodoo? I personally have strong connections with those close to me. I am particularly empathetic and can feel their emotions. I hurt when they hurt and am happy when they are. I know others have strong connections with each other.

Have you ever entered a room of people and felt a vibe? It can be a good vibe or a bad vibe that makes you nauseated. I know that when I’m in a bad mood, spending time with someone who’s in a good mood, can alter the way I feel. Other times when I’m having a run of bad luck, then good things start to happen and I always give the Universe credit. It think it’s the karma bank.

How does the the Universe affect humanity? The Universe is a self-organized network of systems, gasses, galaxies, suns and planets that cluster together through mutual attraction. They work together, they are connected to each other.

How does that relate to the spirituality of humans? I believe our spirits and souls live in our brains, it’s who we are. A brain is a self-organized network of cells, systems, connectors, recievers and transmitters. Hmm…

So if my brain is me, I am connected to others and we can affect each other…  it seems that humanity is also a network. We are attracted to each other, we respond to each other, we need each other. When we gather together, our bond is stronger and we create a particular vibe. 

universegrowsDeepak Chopra believes that Your Brain is the Universe.  “What if there is physical evidence that the brain is a quantum device, and that its design reflects the cosmos in an uncanny way that cannot be by chance?” Chopra’s work demonstrates that there is much more to this concept.

prayer-flags-in-sky-2.jpgBack to my original question… what is prayer really about? I think sending good thoughts out to the Universe or the god of your choice, is humanity’s way of staying connected. I’ve always loved the idea of Prayer Flags sending those good vibes out into the world. I think prayer and sending good thoughts is the same thing.

That being said,  just praying of thinking positively is not enough to bring about change or help others, but it’s a step in the right direction. Positivity is contagious and inspirational. I know when I am feeling hopeful and empathetic with others, I feel compelled to do something for the others, perhaps even inspiring others.

So go ahead, pray, think good thoughts, send out light and happiness… then go out and do something good. The Universe is listening.