I was looking out for a sign for my blog this week, when I spied a Praying Mantis on my window. She is a rare visitor to my household, so I wondered if she had a message for me. In hindsight I could have asked her personally, using the skills that I learned during my animal communication courses, but, at the time, I was in a hurry to get my meditation over and done with, and make sure I wasn’t late for an appointment.
As the Praying Mantis was posed in its classic praying position, I assumed that it was there to remind me that I needed to pray in gratitude for all that I have received and all that I wish to receive. I have learned that the key to manifesting is to be grateful for those things I desire, as if they are already part of my reality. The universe can’t tell the difference and so it thinks I already have them too, and so they become my reality. I have always found this easier to say than to do, but practice makes perfect.
I proceeded to pray with gratitude for all that I had time to give thanks for, (I have a long list of gifts and desires and didn’t have time for them all), but I realised during my meditation that this wasn’t the only message that Praying Mantis had for me that day.
She also wanted me tell you how I pray as well. She prays all day in all that she does, and this is the message that she later had for me.
I have learned that I can make many of my routine daily tasks into an active meditation. I don’t need to try to find a lot of time to pray and meditate; I can do that as I fold the laundry, make the bed, stir the porridge on a cold winter’s morning, or any repetitive or otherwise dreary task, which doesn’t require a lot of thought or focused attention.
As I perform these tasks, or even whilst taking a walk, just as when I meditate normally, I repeat the following as a type of mantra:
“ God I love you, I love myself, and all the world. I send my peace, love, healing, and joy out to all the people, all the creatures of the Earth, and Mother Earth herself. ”
I have been told that this is a very effective method of spreading my love out, not only into the world, but into the entire universe, because God is the entire universe, so when you love God, you love everyone and everything in the universe. I have been told it is important to include myself in those I love, because this ensures that there is always enough love within me to share with others.
Although I knew that Praying Mantis wanted me to tell you about my method of praying, it would be remiss of me not to remind you of another method of praying, which Jesus taught. Most people in Christian societies have learned The Lord’s Prayer, but I wonder if many people have thought much about what he meant.
Here is my interpretation:
Our Father who art in heaven
(God, who loves you as parents love their children, and who lives in a divine place, which exists wherever he/she exists, that is, everywhere)
Hallowed be Thy name.
(In Exodus 3:14, we learn that the name, which God wanted the people to know him as, was “I am”. In John 8:58, Jesus said “before Abraham was, I am”, and in John 10:30 he tells us that “I and the Father are one.”
Whenever we make a statement starting with “I am”, we are declaring what we believe God to be at that point in time and space. Let’s proceed, from now on, to only declare God’s and our magnificence. “I am wonderful. I am divine. I am joyful.”)
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
(Let us make Heaven a place on Earth. If we consider that God is Love, then the way to bring Heaven to Earth is to focus on love in all that we do – to think love, be love, and act with love, and to ask “What would love do now?” when faced with any decisions.)
Give us this day our daily bread
(Thank you, God, for the abundance you give to us every day.)
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
(As we sow, so shall we reap. What goes around comes around. We will do unto others as we would have them do unto us. As we give, so we receive.)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
(Thank you for helping us to stay on the path of peace and love, but when we forget who we are, and we lose our way, then thank you for steering us back onto the path.)
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.
(God, I see you in all your eternal magnificence, and as I see you in your magnificence, I also see that “I am” eternally magnificent too. And so it is.)
There are many methods of prayer. They are all designed to help us to connect with our Creator, although, as The Koran points out, he is “as close as your jugular”. Islamic prayers help practitioners to focus on Allah, whereas Buddhist prayers take the practitioners to that place within, where the Creator dwells, without ever naming her. God has seen to it that we all have a way to connect, regardless of our beliefs.
We can achieve this aim of connecting with the divine, without even believing in God. As we notice the magnificence around us – in our children, our pets, our wildlife, a beautiful sunset, or a moonlit night – we are noticing God. Noticing is the first level of praying, appreciating is a deeper level, and gratitude is the deepest level of prayer. Even the atheists among us are connected to God; they just don’t know it. But they, too, experience this connection when they notice, appreciate, and are grateful for, such magnificence around them.
I knew it was no coincidence that this happened to be the week that I was reading a book about Chaplaincy for a course I am doing. Within this book are a number of prayers from different religions, mostly associated with those times when a chaplain is more likely to need them, such as for the sick and dying. There were prayers such as a Buddhist prayer for contentment, the Hindu morning prayer, the Islamic prayer for protection and mercy, Jewish and Christian prayers including, Psalm 23, and 121, and The Lord’s Prayer.
I have never been one for using formal prayer, but I was astounded when I realised the effect that just reading all these prayers had on me. I had come home from work feeling depressed and despondent, after a difficult day and the expectation of more to come, but after reading these prayers, I felt a strong connection to the divine, my depression had completely lifted, and I was feeling joyful. So I can definitely vouch for the effects of prayer on the one doing the praying; I can only imagine how wonderful the effect must be on the person on the receiving end of prayer. I would definitely recommend it. What have you got to lose.
Thank you, Praying Mantis, for reminding me about prayer.
I close this blog with a prayer, dedicated to Praying Mantis.
Thank you for blessing me with the ability to share my love with others.
Thank you for blessing all of us with all of our desires.
Thank you for your magnificence and mine.
Thank you for this beautiful Earth and all who dwell on her. Thank you for filling all of their lives with love and joy forever.
Thank you for allowing us all to witness your kingdom on Earth every day – a world of peace and love.
Thank you for allowing us all to be your kingdom on Earth every day – to be peace and love.
Thank you for allowing us all to be a light unto the darkness, so that others may find their own path to peace and love.
Amen – And so it is.