What is Prayer?

Ever since I started a brand new morning routine maybe a week ago, I became conscious if I was doing things right. This morning routine consists of waking up earlier than usual, saying my morning prayers, meditating, praying the Feast Abundance Prayer while looking at my vision board and finally, reciting a list of affirmations. (If there is enough time, I read the Bible.)

Although this set up allows me to find peace easily, I cannot help but feel disrupted a bit at times. Am I doing things right? Should I get down on my knees? Can I do it any better? Is it alright if I pray for myself most of the time?

It’s like I’m swimming in the waters and fighting so hard to float and move. But before I drown, I went back to basics – I stop fighting the water, collect myself and remember the proper breathing for me to float.

Yes, I went back to basics. What is prayer? Prayer is when we talk to God (or the Source or the Higher Being or whatever some people call it). But I think prayer is not limited to words, tears can be prayers too, as well as feelings of love, longing, thinking, and sighing.

Our actions can be prayers too – when we choose to be more patient with a difficult person, when we smile in the middle of Edsa traffic, when we give up a seat for an elderly, or when we are considerate of others’ feelings.

As my favorite saint tells it,

“Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned towards heaven; it is a cry of recognition and love; embracing both trial and joy.” – Saint Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul

But prayer is not one way. Prayer is also listening to the answer in the deepest parts of our being. Fr. Bob McConaghy, in his new book Closer, said that prayer is intimacy. It means saying to God, “into me, see.” It is when we ask God to see our hearts, our thoughts, our hopes, our fears and our concerns.

Prayer, Fr. Bob said, is when God communicates with us in the midst of that prayer, saying, “I know. So, into Me, see.” This is when God invites us to see how much He loves us, how much He’s right with us and will never abandon us – even though it doesn’t feel like it.

With these descriptions, I finally know that I what I was doing was right, but I know I need to work out my listening skills more. And so in silence, I place my heart.

I hope you do too. 🙂

Or do you have a unique way of praying? Share it to the comments below! 🙂

Closer
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Who Do You Follow?

Yesterday my sister and I ran an errand for our aunt at SM Hypermarket. I was in a hurry because I will be attending a friend’s graduation and so I just grabbed the only things we needed – fresh milk and butter. (We were also in the mall for other purpose, in case you’re wondering if we went all the way to the mall for milk and butter. hihi)

I lined up in the cashier to pay for my items. While on the queue, I noticed a mother and daughter cutting through the line and placing their push carts ahead. I was struck by what I saw and I wasn’t able to manage a single word. I know myself to be mataray and so maybe that was the reason why I didn’t say anything.

However, another mother and daughter next to me wanted to do the same! They wanted to cut the line too. Since I was in a hurry, I secured my spot in one of the cashiers to also prevent them from getting ahead of the line. hehe.

This morning while catching a ride with our driver and his friend, our natural discussion was about the traffic. Our driver recounted an instance when he passed by a road that was only meant for public vehicles. He said he just tailed to the vehicle in front of him and so he was also tailed by the vehicle behind him. They were all caught by the traffic enforcer but he managed to avoid the violation ticket because of some reason. (Yan tayo e! hehe)

With these two recent experiences, I realized that people follow what they see, whom they fix their eyes to, regardless if an act is wrong or not. I’m sure we are all familiar with phrases, ‘ginaya ko lang sya’ (I just followed him/her) or ‘bakit ginawa nya, ako hindi?’ (s/he did it, why can’t I?).

Most often, people are caught up between messy situations (a violation ticket, an accident, or a fuming-with-anger day) because of following the fad or fellow violators some people or certain situations.

I think there is only one sure way not to mess things up. There’s only one way, one person to follow and that is Jesus. If we can all follow this Man, I’m sure we can never go wrong.

This Holy Week, it is my prayer that we all strive once more to follow Him and His ways. With the many falls we all had in the past, may we never tire of rising up and following Jesus again. Because, friends, there’s no other way but Him.

Have a meaningful Holy week!

t1XWdsnX
Photo from flickr.com

In Reverence ♫

Today I look back to all the people I lost along the way– unconsciously and consciously, purposely and accidentally. Those friends I grew up with, the ones whom I worked hard to sustain but to no avail, the friends whom I did a lot of firsts with, the ones who made high school worth bearing, and the friends who taught me to love and serve the Lord with all my heart. The past years with them had been like a burning fire that slowly turned into ash. Now, I’ve only got the ambers of memories left-memories that I can always return to but not sure if can be relived again, in a different time or a different space.

I wonder how their lives are without me, I’m pretty sure it’s totally fine just how my life has been fine since they were gone. I wonder if this is all God’s plan that we part ways. I wonder if they miss our times together, if they secretly wish in their hearts to repeat the moments even for one time.

Then that bittersweet truth hits me, we cannot really choose, force or control how people will stay or get out of our lives. Everything on earth is fleeting, passing by. Even the wise says we cannot walk on the same river twice.

Why am I looking back at those days anyway?

I look back because I wanted to thank everyone who passed by my life – the friends who hurt me and made me stronger, the ones who never did anything but to made me laugh, the friends who accepted me for who I am regardless how my temper went for a certain day, the ones who pushed me and encouraged me and the ones who bullied me anyway but loved me.

I look back because I just feel today that every cell in my body is a contribution of the people whom I spent my life with yesterday and today.

Wherever they are right now, we are just under the same sky. I hope they feel my gratitude. I hope they are growing and learning and being tough enough in this difficult world. I hope they can hear me say right now, ‘love and kisses, guys.’

When Words are Cheap: Silence

When there are lots of words shared by many,

When truth become lies as it passes you and me,

When lies are regarded as truth because of wit’s scarcity,

Silence, let me embrace thee.

When trust has been breached because of the mistakes of everyone

And when the people around try to avenge through the mighty tongue,

When there seems to be a handful of version of the story,

Silence, let me embrace thee.

Oh Silence how comforting to know,

when I fall on the trap of cheap words, you are always there

when I get tired of talking and listening to words that almost do not matter,

you are within my reach.

Embrace me now, purify me.

Make me comfortable with my own thoughts running in my head.

Together, let’s get lost in the wilderness

and tomorrow when I return

my words are true and sacred.