During times of tribulation and crisis, one of the most advantageous and meaningful things that a person can do is pray. Prayer provides a sense of meaning and purpose and also helps us to feel as though we are doing something constructive or helpful when there is often nothing else we can do.
When we look at the definitions of pray and prayer, there are many variations and truths. This is because there are many ways to pray and many different acts of prayer. Prayer does not belong to one religion or spirituality and in fact, looks very different depending on who is doing the praying.
La Virgen de Guadalupe Candle
The act of praying can be carried out in different ways. With many religions and spiritual practices all over the world, prayer can look very different. Based on your own life experiences and background, you may have a very specific understanding of prayer and that’s okay. But consider that there are many ways to invoke the Divine and that there is no right or wrong way to pray.
Perhaps one of the most easily understood forms of prayer is the vision that is conjured of what happens inside a church, temple or mosque. Christians and Jews sit, kneel, or stand, with their heads bowed in prayer while Muslims practice salat and prostration, praying five times per day as one of the main pillars of Isalm.
Many Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sihks, and Shinto practitioners will use prayer beads or mala to aid in prayer or assist in recitation or chanting mantras, meditations or reciting the name of a specific deity. Mala beads are traditionally made from rudraksha seeds, tulsi wood, rattan seeds, sandalwood, animal bones and semiprecious gemstones. Catholics will also use the Holy Rosary, a kind of prayer bead necklace, when they recite specific prayers.
Photos from Kate's visit to Ft. Kochin, Kerela, India, offerings to deities such as Ganesha in front of Hindu temple
Indigenous communities all over the world will make and leave offerings that are treated and understood as prayers. Many Native North American tribes will utilize corn as an offering or a prayer, using each and every part to accompany prayers, offerings, rituals and ceremonies. Corn pollen, gathered before the harvest, plays a significant role in the lives of Navajo and Hopi people of the American Southwest. For those tribes, corn pollen is a prayer. Corn pollen is sprinkled in different ways to conjure blessings, wisdom and guidance from the Sacred.
Music is also used as a form of prayer with singing, sacred drumming, dance and other instruments. Making the music is considered to be the act of prayer while the sweet music or vibrations produced by the music or dance is also considered to be prayers themselves, lifted up to the Divine. Sacred music as prayer is found in almost all religions, spiritualities and faiths.
Kate's Magik Sisterhood Retreat, 2019, Sedona, Arizona
The answer to this is simple: Pray to whoever and whatever you find pure and sacred; the God/Goddess of your own understanding. Caroline Myss, noted spiritual author and teacher, reminds "God has no religion, only we have religion.” The universal truth of all religions is love, kindness, forgiveness, peace and cosmic law. It is humankind that taints this truth with notions of power, privilege, punishment, division, ego and entitlement. What we understand as the Divine has many faces, many names and many personalities understood through a multitude of sacred personifications: Goddess, God, Divine Mother and Heavenly Father, Great Spirit, Hashem, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, etc. the list goes on and on.
If you still don’t know who to pray to or don’t have a connection to a Divine entity with a known name, simply return to nature. Raise your prayers to the sky and engage with Mother Nature in a meaningful way. Or consider a prayer to the Universe or to the Highest Good of All.
“....Every part of this earth is sacred ….every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees...we are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man -- all belong to the same family. ” -excerpt from Chief Seattle's 1854 speech
You don’t necessarily have to say anything at all. Sing a song, play a drum or dance with intention, stepping your prayers into the roots of the Earth. A prayer can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be. Ideally, your prayers are an extension of a relationship or a cultivated reverence you might have with whatever you deem as Divine. And if you’re starting from the beginning, your prayers might look like “hello” or “thank you,” and that’s okay too! Prayer is a way for us to seek and find understanding about the things that are happening to us and around the world. To pray is to communicate with the Sacred, the unseen and then be open to the answers or guidance that we receive in return. If it’s easier, you can think of a prayer as a conversation or maybe a letter you might write to someone, articulating what’s going on in your life and where you need help or encouragement.
If you don’t already have an altar or a sacred space where you practice, create one. A sacred space is a place, a room, a corner, or a shelf that you empower with sacred intention. Some people have rooms or altars dedicated to this, but it could also be where you sit under a tree or on your front porch. Bring or arrange sacred objects, light a candle or some incense and pray.
Kate Becker, Kate's Magik, Tucson, Arizona
You might begin a prayer by expressing gratitude for all of your blessings and good fortune. Next, reveal that which is troubling you and what you seek. Lay your worries and your burdens at the foot of the Divine. This is an opportune time to be honest and authentic, so hold nothing back. When you are finished, close your prayer with another expression of gratitude and maintain your intention of being open to receiving the answers or guidance.
“Prayer changes things” is a popular phrase that holds a lot of power and significance. In a way, to pray is to let go. Letting go is a concept that is very difficult for many people but one that ultimately leads to freedom. If there is a part of you that can understand that whatever is happening to you is part of a greater plan or for your Highest Good, you will live a lighter life. Part of this includes prayer. The act of prayer is humbling yourself to a power greater than you, releasing your concerns and trusting that answered or unanswered prayers are still for the Highest Good. There is freedom in this trust and assurance.
Here, we’ve highlighted a few of the many Kate’s Magik products that would be most beneficial during this time of uncertainty. Use these products while you pray and to strengthen your intentions.
Fearlessness & Confidence Anointing Oil was created to help fight fear, insecurity and instill power. Fearlessness & Confidence Anointing Oil provides the motivation and courage needed to conquer challenges in all realms of life. It’s great for interviews, speeches and performances. Jess, the Finance & Operations Manager here at Kate’s Magik says, “Beginning each day during a challenging phase in my life by anointing myself with a palmful of Fearlessness & Confidence Anointing Oil led me to connect with my inner power and confidence. I was able to move through anxieties surrounding unknowns and changes. The Ginger and Vanilla combination is protective while also comforting and warming. Using the blend daily along with affirmations truly helped me stand strong during an otherwise fragile time.” Fearlessness & Confidence Anointing Oil is a blend of luscious, warm Madagascan Vanilla with a kick of courageous, spicy Ginger. Apply to your Solar Plexus and Root chakras for added dimension and help with grounding and truth.
Archangel Michael Sacred Perfume was designed to instill courage and provide protection. Archangel Michael is the great protector and guide of light and love. Considered by Christians, Jews and Muslims to be the greatest of all the angels, Michael is the champion of righteousness, mercy, and warrior of protection and security. Michael defends us in battle and shields us from harm. Beseech Michael for protection, courage and strength to move through your hardships and adversity. Archangel Michael Sacred Perfume is a blend of sacred Frankincense and courageous Ginger to help shield you from the unwanted and instill the trust needed to follow your path.
Meditation & Trance Anointing Oil was created as an aid to meditation and to enhance spirituality. Meditation & Trance Anointing Oil is a highly spiritual, sacred blend that's perfect for meditation, yoga, rituals, ceremonies and prayer. It increases visions and connects us to the Divine while keeping our mind centered and grounded. When you sit down to pray or meditate, pour some Meditation & Trance Anointing Oil into your hands and rub them together. Cover your face with your hands and inhale. While you do this, practice deep breathing and focus on grounding and allow your mind to take you into a sacred space of meditation, introspection and connection with the Divine. Meditation & Trance Anointing Oil is a warm subtle blend of Frankincense and Sandalwood. Apply to your Third Eye and Crown for added dimension and support with your intuition, sight, visualization, connecting to Higher Consciousness and the Divine.
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