Mindful Prayer

Before I share a prayer that I found myself saying to divinity, seeking guidance to embrace the present, I want to share some facts about my faith.

I’ve come a long way to get here. I was raised a Christian, and, out of fear, I never allowed myself to ask any questions outside of what my faith allowed me to believe in. I’ll admit, curious for truth as I am, I had to repress bits of myself just to fit into the faith. I never really struggled with believing in God as a divine force of the universe, and maybe beyond, but I might have had some trouble believing in God as portrayed by the church. My mother taught me well– her faith was my faith, and when we talked about God, I didn’t think of God as a Christian God, but just as God. A God who is love and goodness; a divine force that sustains the entire universe. A God who gives when asked, guides, protects, and is merciful. However, having been taught that to believe is to also put the effort into going to church, and reading the bible, I felt conflicted because I wasn’t always content with how the preachers and the bishops wanted me to see God. I didn’t fit into the category of righteousness that they said I ought to be in, to see God. I tried as much as possible for that conflict within me, not to show, but I just found myself questioning the dynamic of the church. I shifted churches, just to try and gain contentment– I thought, maybe this other preacher will be less judgmental than my last. In 2019, I made the conscious decision to make faith my own and know God without the church as an intermediary.

Perhaps in another article, I’ll dive deeper into the journey of making faith my own, but for now, I’ll fast forward to the present. My view of Who God is hasn’t changed much, it’s only evolved– I just learned to redefine my approach towards divinity,­(still allowing myself to keep learning) and I made my relationship with God my own. Now, I don’t have to squint to see that God is and will always be within, and around me. I see God from the moment I open my eyes in the morning, as I live through my day, and even when I close my eyes at night, I trust that God is right there. In my journey, I’ve learned to accept that, for those of us who seek God, we may not all seek His/Her divinity in the same ways, but we all seek the same God.

So, yesterday I went for a nature walk, other than for fitness purposes, I just really needed to be out of the house and breathe– get away from everything that’s been overwhelming me lately, even though a big part of that happens mentally. Within a few minutes of my walk, I heard my inner voice telling me that I’d been living as if I am waiting for something, and the truth of that hit me. Of course, I have all these plans laid out, that haven’t come together yet, and the anticipation of everything coming together is blinding– what’s funny is that I have not been seeing what all the anticipation is doing to me. But when I heard that voice, it all dawned on me.

I’d put on a timer for 30 minutes to manage my time, but I ended up just letting myself be– the walk, with all the adventure it brought, went on for over an hour. Something about walking without following a specific trail aligned my whole being with each moment as it unfolded, exactly what I needed! I wasn’t anxious about everything I am trying to achieve, or the workload that awaited me back in my house. When I got back home, I freshened up, then sat on my couch to eat some fruits. I was contemplating the past hour I’d been out when I remembered how my inner voice had whispered to me just as I’d started the walk. I let myself sit in what I discovered, I was still when I heard myself start to say a mindful prayer internally, and I knew I needed to note it down so I could always refer to it. There isn’t an organized structure as to how you approach divinity, but if you’re ever looking for some guidance, here it is.

I want to share with you my mindful meditation prayer:

“Show me, because God, I do not know. Help me let go of any illusioned control I might have assumed along the way.

Teach me to live in the present moment without letting myself drown in the feelings of anticipation for what comes next.

I am tired God, of living my life as if I am in waiting– what’s the next big thing? It all overwhelms me.

I ask that you be there for me; whatever experiences the present moment may bring, equip me with your wisdom and shower me with strength, so that I may allow myself to walk through them gracefully.

I want to learn your language, God, so that I’ll never miss the signs when it is You Who is speaking to me.

I do not have the strength to carry worry within me, about how my path unfolds from here– I ask that you unburden me.

I want all of me to be in tune; my heart, mind, and body, all speaking the same Soulful language.

When I drift and forget that here is where I ought to be; in the present moment– God, please lead me right back.

Thank you for everything that has led up to this moment.”

I am happy to say that, I have since felt lighter. If you are going through a transitional period, or struggle to be present through each moment as it unfolds, I hope my prayer helps, even in the slightest ways.