#89 – About Prayer

I really just wanted to be a nun because of the cool outfits.

My question for today is number 89:  Do you pray?  Who do you pray to and do you think

they listen? What do you say when you pray?  Have your prayers been answered?  It’s a long one.

I used to pray.  I was Catholic until I was ten and I loved being Catholic.  I loved the pomp and circumstance; the rituals; the rosary and the incense.  I went to a great big church in London, England that had wonderful stained glass and nuns with huge headdresses that looked like a big bird was trying to pick them off and take them home for dinner.  I remember in school we would all gather in the main area and sing ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ and my heart would just swell.

Then, when I was ten, and living in Canada, my dad started ‘studying the bible’ with Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I put ‘studying the bible’ in quotations because we didn’t really study the bible, we studied the publications of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.  I didn’t want to; after all, I was going to be a nun.

So every Monday evening when Ann Mazur arrived for the bible study, I would take a handful of pennies from my dad’s penny jar, race out the back door and down Annette Street to the new-fangled round church down the road.  There I would light all the candles in front of Mary and pray, pray, pray that my dad would stop studying and I could stay Catholic.

Now I must detour here to explain my understanding of money at the time.  I was only recently over from England and in England a penny was a mighty thing.  I had a penny every day and with that penny, I could pay my friend Mary a hapenny to eat the disgusting mess they served us for dinner and we both had enough money to stop at the shops on our way back to school and buy sweets.  It also cost one penny to light the candles in the church.  Of course this was in the late 50’s so things have probably changed since then.

One day during my marathon praying session, sweating from the heat given off by my rack of burning candles, the priest came out and confronted me.  He asked, “How much did you pay for these candles?”  He was obviously really mad so I whispered, “A penny each father.”  He shrieked, “You wicked girl.  You thief.  They are ten cents each!” And he blew them all out and told me to get out.

I did and I never went back.  I was no longer Catholic.  So instead of spending Sunday mornings relaxing in the cloud of incense and daydreaming about when I could wear those cool birdhats, I sat through five long boring meetings a week, looking up scripture after scripture.  No chanted prayers.  No big cathedrals.  Just one long freelance prayer at the beginning and one at the end.

I still prayed but it wasn’t the same.

Then, after a lifetime of boring meetings as a JW, I realized that I just plain didn’t believe that stuff anymore.  I moved on.  I became a Wiccan and learned spells.  Then a pagan and learned new rituals.  I took a five week meditation program with a Buddhist Monk and I learn to really connect with the Universe.

They say that prayer is talking to God—meditation is listening to God’s response.

So now, I talk with the Universe by expressing my thoughts, feelings, intentions and desires.  And then I listen to the response by meditating, tuning into my intuitive self and paying attention to my thoughts, gut feelings and ideas that come to me.  Now I feel like I am in a conversation with the Universe rather than talking, talking, talking.

It makes sense to me.  It feels right.

So are my prayers answered?  Obviously the one about saving me from the JWs wasn’t because I ended up staying a Witness for many decades.  But there’s something wrong at a deeper level with a prayer that has to be paid for.  Kind of like sex, I think.

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15 thoughts on “#89 – About Prayer

  1. A lovely post! I gave up on revealed religion horse puckey a long time ago. I was raised in the Anglican Communion and never really thought it was a legitimate way to worship God, considering it was created just so Henry VIII could get a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

    The older I got, the more drawn toward Deism I became. It made more sense to me than any other religion. I like how it embraces nature, and the world, and teaches that you should thank God daily, rather than praying for this, that, and what have you.

  2. I feel bad for you… The Catholic church is a beautiful place to be. You do not pay for prayers to be answered. Now that you are an adult, studying on your own of what it really means to be Catholic I think would bring the spark back to you. Thank you for letting your feelings out.

    • Oh please don’t feel bad for me. I have absolutely no desire to be part of any organized religion. I don’t think god is part of any organized religion. I have plenty of spark and I am absolutely at peace with my beliefs.

  3. Ahh really now you must be suspicious of ALL religion. It is all man’s interpretation of what he or she feels about the invisible man in the sky. “revealed” knowledge is no knowledge at all. It is at best guess work based upon emotion. “I knelt, I prayed and a rainbow appeared!” or I knelt, I prayed and I felt better”….

    I meditate. I digest all the real knowledge I have taken in that day or that week and I think about it. I consume it. And I digest it and it leads me to the next question. No, I nor you will live long enough to have all these questions answered. But “prayer” has never answered any of the question to begin with. Investigation has. Scientific investigation has brought about all the knowledge we enjoy today. We now know that we are made up of the very same particles we find throughout the universe. So it can be said that we are part of the universe in a very real way and the universe is part of us. Does that mean that a prayer thrown out to the universe is going to supply an answer to the problem we are seeking to resolve at this moment? NO! It means that as we investigate the universe we find, for example, that Venus is the perfect example of what a green house effect can have on a planet. At 900 degree F something bad happened on Venus. And we can look at Mars and see that something happened there too. We see indication that there was once water in abundance on that planet. But now it is a barren planet of dry river beds. So investigating those planets may be able to lead us to the answers we need to resolve the things we see taking place on earth. Prayer will not. Prayer did not resolve the issues that Newton’s research solved for us. Prayer did not bring you the internet and the device you are using to connect and communicate around the globe. Prayer did not save the man with the bad heart or lung. Investigation did. Investigation brought all this knowledge that improved the quality of your life. Ford did not pray for an answer on how to start a production line and build a car. he investigated and created from the knowledge he gained from his investigation. Indeed no prayer started this blog. It was the thoughtful investigation of futurepull,, who started investigation via asking others for questions. And once others proposed question futurepull’s mind was prompted to think and her thoughts led her to other areas of discussion and ideas for future blogs. She pulled from her knowledge base and experiences in life to lay out her proposal about prayers, religion and gods.

    And for that we are all both entertained and prompted to think, tying in her thoughts with our own knowledge and experiences.

    Sorry for the lengthy post- but I had a few moments and spent them with all of you.

    You are welcome!!! LOL

    • Wow this is a very long response. You could have said a whole rosary in the time it took you to write this. Thank you for the effort. And thank you for your appreciation of my thoughts in this blog.
      I just do want to say that as a part of the universe, I do believe that by putting out my prayers (or in my case, my intentions), I can influence the energy and matter. That’s what the Law of Attraction is all about, which is more related to my other blog, Future Pull. So I do believe that when I intend I am putting a thought out there, or a question or whatever, and that as a result, I influence things and events. Or I receive answers in the form of thoughts and events. So I guess I am calling my communication with the universe, prayer and I guess I am saying that I believe my prayers are answered.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. I will respond only by saying that my beliefs are that the Law of Attraction works only because you are feeding your mind- training your mind, like a computer, you only get out of you mind what you put into it- sooo if you tell yourself that something is NOT going to work or that you will be broke in 5 years instead of telling yourself that you will have money in 5 years you are programming your mind to look for ways to be broke or to have money. Positive thoughts lead to positive results. Nothing paranormal about that nor un scientific about it.

  5. I don’t pray. I try to make my life my prayer. I mean, even Mother Teresa said that work is love made visible 🙂 I don’t aspire to be saint-like, however. I just do my best to live simply and be of service to others. So, if service is prayer, then, I do pray. 🙂

  6. Thank you for your post. Very engagingly written. I’m not a churchgoer, but I pray and meditate every day and never give a second thought as to whether it “works” – those things are just part of the mechanism of my life and not to do them would be as unthinkable as not cleaning my teeth. Personally, I don’t think it matters what you call these activities or whether one’s higher power is God, the Universe or Nature. It’s more to do with how we live our lives, what we focus on and what we do with our energy. Thank you for sparking these thoughts.

    • Thanks Harriet. You bring up a good point. I also believe that prayer, or meditation or whatever you choose to call it contributes to a life better lived. One that is focused, mindful and grateful for the present moment, because meditation, or prayer, keeps us in that present moment. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  7. That’s an interesting topic. While I spent my youth in a very different religion–Church of LDS, or Mormons–a similar incident moved me from organized religion. My mom was the LDS believer/church-goer; my dad (step-dad, actually) was a “fallen” Catholic. I say fallen because he no longer attended church as this was his 2nd marriage, and his church didn’t really believe in divorce, so therefore didn’t truly recognize his union with my mom. Anyway, he didn’t go to church, and eventually, my mom also stopped going, so my sister and I also drifted away. Then, one day out of the blue, I received a letter from our chapter requesting a tithing. Mind you, the letter did not say “we’ve missed seeing you”, or “how’s your life going?”, just “send money”. It was concluded with the statement that if I did not start tithing by X date, my name would be removed from the church rolls, with a strong intimation that I’d be eternally doomed. I sent back a reply telling them not to bother waiting– just go ahead and scratch me off immediately. Ridiculous, really, that the idea that faith and salvation must be bought and paid for at the going rate.

    I still consider myself a faithful person, and I pray every day, but I have no desire to ever find myself part of organized religion again.

    • Thanks for sharing that. My mum and my sister became LDS members for a while–they may still be for all I know. I have to admit the Mormon sure do have appealing commercials. I often think, if I was inclined to ever join a religion again, I might consider LDS. But……nah, maybe not.

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