It’s Times Like These
Posted On Jun 13, 2016
The world continues to grieve for the city of Orlando, the families and friends of the 49 lives lost and the 53 wounded, due to the LGBT night club shooting that occurred over the weekend. It’s being called the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
It’s times like these where we feel powerless, helpless, confused, hardened, and defeated. It’s times like these when you just want to get up, go out there and picket the streets, make a difference, and lobby the government. It’s times like these where posting your sentiments on social media just doesn’t do the justice you feel in your heart to love those who have been affected. It’s times like these you just want to go to Orlando and hug everyone, love them and support them, even though you are just some stranger from some city, you want to let them know that they are in your thoughts…
Well, lucky for us, that is what prayers do. A lot of people have many different ideas of what prayer is so I thought this is the perfect time to talk about the power of prayer.
People often have a jaded sense of what prayer is due to its religious nature. Prayer comes from the Latin word precari which means to “to ask earnestly.” I, honestly, just use it as a form of communication, from one person to another (be it a person or a higher power), who cannot reach each other physically.
I have the weirdest perception of prayer but it helps me through tough times like these. Think about the closest relationship you have right now, is it your husband, your boyfriend, your best friend, or mother/father/sister? If they are doing something that hurts your feelings, what do you do? You communicate to them. You talk to them, out loud, and you “ask them earnestly” what is going on so that it can be fixed.
This is the way I use prayer. The only difference is; I communicate my issues to the Universe (or whatever higher power you believe in) so that the issue can be fixed. I use prayer as deliberate communication to those who are in need of my love. And I believe it works.
Example #1. Crime Rates Lower
This is one of my favorite stories to tell.
There are many peace initiatives that have been around for decades. This particular one was sparked by numerous Transcendental Meditation (TM) studies showing that when a critical mass of meditators regularly meditates in an area, the crime rate goes down.
In 1983 a special TM assembly met in Israel to attempt to use meditation to resolve the Palestinian conflict. During their sessions, they made daily comparisons between the number of meditators working on the project and the state of Arab-Israeli relations. On days with a high number of meditators, fatalities in Lebanon fell by 76 per cent. Ordinary violence — local crime, traffic accidents and fires — all decreased.
Please take a minute to soak that in. Read it a few more times.
TM groups are still working hard to restore peace in conflicted areas today. To learn more about the TM groups, visit www.tm.org.
In case you are wondering if there is a difference in prayer and meditation, there really isn’t. People dance, sing, bow, chant, etc. to communicate their love to the world. Prayer comes in a million different forms. Speaking of dancing and praying…
Example #2. Make It Rain
Native Americans are known for their worship and tribal gatherings that included dance, rhythm, songs, and trance. These tribes heavily rely on prayer and communication to their higher powers for the turn of weather, the raising of crops, and hunting of animals, etc.
A great drought crippled the land for many months and people began to starve and die. Tribes across the prairies began to grow in fear of their futures. Only the Children and the Old Ones sat and played and carried on, unaffected by the fear.
One day, a child asked the Old One about fear and how to make it go away, “Does it want to play?” the child said whole heartedly.
“Fear has forgotten how to play,” the Old One said.
Soon enough, the children got up and started to dance and asked fear to join them. They didn’t believe that fear had forgotten, unlike the rest of the villages.
They called it the Dance with Fear. Soon, fear began to cry with happiness as it felt the love and joy of the children’s heart. Rain began to pour over the plains.
Generations of Native Americans, at the turn of the seasons, make a Great Circle to Dance with Fear. They are called the Rainmakers and they dance and chant to communicate their needs of the land to a higher power.
Prayer really works.
Example #3. We Are All Connected
The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) is carrying out some of the most powerful research ever done by trying to prove beyond reasonable doubt that we are all one.
GCP is the brainchild of Roger D. Nelson, a professor at Princeton University who holds a PhD in Experimental Cognitive Psychology. He has the distinction of being the first scientist to find a way of measuring with mathematical models what ancient spiritual traditions have always claimed: we are all one.
In other words, he is finding patterns in the connectivity of the human consciousness, that he is measuring through a network of one hundred computers in many different parts of the world that operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
For example, in a recent article, he has found anomalies or significant irregularities in the data shown in the New York computer during 9/11, the terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia, and the election of President Obama.
The patterns he is finding basically say that when we collectively focus on one thing, the energy is measureable. So if you can imagine a whole nation focusing and pouring love into Orlando, how that might make a difference.
It may not be tomorrow that this world becomes at peace; peace with herself or peace with each other, but we have got to start somewhere.
Please take a moment, find your favorite prayer, poem, or uplifting song and think of those in Orlando, send them your love. Here is one of mine:
It originated during the brutality and violence that erupted during the Crusades and was an attempt by a monk known as St. Francis to spread peace, pardon and non-violence. The “little poor man,” some say went to Egypt to engage in a peaceful dialogue with the sultan (head of the Muslim forces)… a meeting in which a spirit of forgiveness, respect and understanding prevailed.
St. Francis would have the same message for those in our times who are so quick to see violence as the only cure for terrorism. It’s times like these that we use prayer…
Peace Prayer by St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Cover Photo: “Praying Hands” by Albrecht Dürer, 1508