Not Church Not Prayer – Anna Zimmerman, January 15, 2012

Prayer is another one of those words, one of those ideas that sort of put me off traditional religious ways, like God being vengeful and our needing to ask Jesus to save us. The idea that we have to beg and beseech some guy to give us what we want stops me in my tracks.

So what I do, rather than praying for someone, is send them love. And rather than asking for stuff or for any specific experience, even in the case of asking for something universally embraced, like asking for good health, I just ask for love.  Sometimes I enjoy imagining what it would be like to have this or that happen, but I hold my dreams lightly and look for balance between what I think I would like and what comes to me.  I love the expression “come into cooperation with life.”  I trust that what occurs is for the highest good of all of us, no matter what.  I am grateful for and look for the blessings in everything, even, um, tooth aches.

Just as I have translated the word God as the ultimate power that is the light of life inside me and inside all of us combined, I have translated the word prayer, so I can use it comfortably, and so I can relax, enjoy and be open and receive what there is for me in the more traditional services.

I’m going to lead us in prayer, and first let’s say where we would like us as a group, joining the power each of us has inside us, to send and receive love.  Is there someone you’d like to send love to, or is there some way that you’d like to receive love this morning?  I’ll start by asking that we send love to all in our community who are not with us here today.

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Having a prayerful attitude can be comforting.  Bowing our heads to a power that is greater than we are individually can bring peace and fulfillment. Closing our eyes helps us focus our attention.

Beloved God, we come together today to celebrate and more fully experience the light of life that is in each of us and that creates and uplifts all of us.  Please hear our hearts, because we are more grateful than we can express in words for this wonderful life, for our community that enriches us and brings such joy, for the proximity to nature that inspires and humbles us.We know that you are love; the combined love of all of us, and we send that love everywhere there is a place that will particularly benefit from it this morning.  We send it to all that has been spoken of and to all that we are unaware of.  To every aspect of our lovely lives: to our neighbors and friends, to our families, to all sentient beings, especially all the wonderful animals, and to the greater family of the world, to the whole earth and all that is beyond it.  We send our combined love especially to all who are struggling and suffering, and to all who are leading us toward peace and loving acceptance, however that arises, and toward ever deepening compassion and understanding.

We acknowledge and appreciate that only what is for our highest good will prevail, so be it, amen.