I am a very spiritual person though I am hardly religious. I do not strictly follow any form of praying rituals or visiting the temple, yet I do not leave any opportunity to visit a place of worship irrespective of it being a temple, church, gurdwara or mosque.
When I was in school, one morning during the assembly session our Mother Superior taught us a lesson that changed the way I pray, forever. Quoting Socrates, she said:
“Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.” ~ Socrates
This followed a lengthy but an eye opening explanation on how our prayers shouldn’t be all about seeking items or wishes of personal gain. Instead, praying should mainly involve thanking the Almighty for whatever we are going through in life. Be it good or bad, just thank the Lord.
At the tender age of 10 years it was a difficult to comprehend preaching, nevertheless, it somehow struck a chord for me that I could never give up on trying the newly learnt lesson I would constantly question myself if I really wanted to thank God for the pain in my stomach or head, for forgetting my notebook at home after having spent five long hours to do the homework to end up being scolded with the kids who hadn’t done the homework. At the same time remembering to thank the Lord for escaping scolding by the principal by a whisker.
Time flew, I grew, problems and successes in my life changed magnitude but my way of praying stayed the same with the addition of uttering the ‘Gayatri Mantra’ to get my disturbed state back to its peaceful self.
When troubles cropped up in my married life, I thanked God even then, though I still had no clue what good a troubled marriage could ever do to a girl. Driven by the faith I had developed over the years I kept the practice on and each time I felt a surge of peace fill my system.
“I have come to learn that pain, suffering and failures in life are lessons God wants us to learn by example so that we never forget them. Hence, the logic to thank the Lord even when things don’t go our way or in our favor.”
From time to time I have prayed for countless reasons. Asking God to make the cutest boy in my class be my friend, for looking the best in the college farewell party, to keep my skin pimple free on all major occasions of my life, to passing the exams I had barely studied for, to helping me cope up with the miscarriage and surviving a pregnancy full of grave complications, to praying endlessly for the well being of my baby in my life’s tempest and the health of my mother fighting cancer.
I also pray each time I am preparing for a long day out that my two year old and she magically stays tantrum free, doesn’t attack the crystal glassware of the places we visit or gives up her fancy of attacking the toy section of the mall every time we visit one.
That was just the millionth fraction of the list of things I pray for.
Scary? I too think so.
Besides, my failing memory and aging brain fails to remember what all I wanted to ask God to grant me every time I am in ‘dialogue’ with the Almighty. Given that, imagine the difficulty God would have in granting (million x 7 billion) wishes. I am a very considerate being, who tries her level best to solve problems of people in trouble cause of me, God included. Hence, I came up with easier to remember and convenient for God to grant list of things that I pray for.
I pray that God grants me with peace of mind, body (good health) and soul.
Vision to see the miracles and beauty of every moment that life gifts me. Success and failure alike.
Courage to surf through the placid as well as rough waters of time. Being strong is often the only choice life leaves us with.
Patience to have my precious smile stay put while my earlier wishes are being processed. Though with this request I often ask to upgrade it to make it ‘large’.
Faith to stay put when my reserve of patience falls to dangerously low levels.
I know there are plenty of other things we need to live this life, but over the course of time, I have learnt to sail through life with these five, basic yet powerful virtues. This is so because these five make up the foundation stones of life on which everything else rests and can be built upon.
It sure sounds weird but, doing so has been a source of immense peace and power for me lately.
I have felt my faith grow with a steep rise in my self confidence that yes, I have the power of faith backing me to face any difficulty life might throw my way. It’s complex, it’s tough to explain in words, but it’s success is seen in my strength. I feel ready to face life head on. I have fought many personal battles and I am right in the middle of troubled waters struggling to help my family during my mother’s fight against cancer. In these difficult times too my mother and I still pray for these four virtues to take us through to the end of the tunnel of hardships.
The song on my mind: Itni shakti hume dena data ~ Ankush
Picture Source : Girl Praying