So Many Ways to Pray

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There are as many ways to pray as there are people who pray.

Head in your hands, knees on the floor.

Prayers repeated over and over like a mantra in the middle of the night.

Some prayers, like wishes, for dreams, hopes, and desires. Others, like insurance, place hope against evil, or illness, or pain, sorrow, and suffering.

Hands folded. Hands waving high. Hands to heart.

Beginnings. Endings. Births. Deaths. And every day in between.

Thousands of thoughts. Millions and billions of voices in hundreds of languages raised up in a single religion of hope.

Prayers for today and tomorrow, for what has been and what may be. Prayers for people and pets. Prayers over new jobs, crops, good health, friends in need, college applications, a way out of trouble, and money to pay the bills.

Prayers for our children. Our families.

Holding hands, we pray over dinner.

Some pray in a building and others find their quiet moments in nature, heads held high to the sky above.

Candles lit for love and life. In the memory of.

Prayers for the planet. For the world full of its people. For peace.

I spent my morning prayer today beside a lake just before sunrise. The horizon glowed tangerine and the clouds, purple. I watched the sky blue little by little in the company of five ducks and a lonely loon calling from somewhere across the water.

Fog rolled in, just as problems sometimes do, and I never witnessed the actual sunrise.

I didn’t have to see it to know it was there.

Some prayers rely on faith.


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