I recently announced that Prayer Circle is moved to a new day and new time. When I made that announcement, one member wrote:
“I am very glad for this time change. For some reason unknown to me (yet) I cannot wrap my mind around ‘prayer’. I have done root cause inquiry a few times on this and it keeps coming to a piece of the prayer puzzle is just missing for me. I understand holding the truth of the matter in my mind… and I understand holding thoughts of love-joy-gratitude. Beyond that, I have this mental block where prayer is concerned. NTI Philippians 1 is helpful. But I still am missing something. So I’m hoping that being part of the Prayer Circle will surface that missing piece in me.”
Here is what I shared with her:
I understand your block about prayer. I used to have the same discomfort. So, it was very uncomfortable when Tony Ponticello and the Community Miracles Center Board of Directors decided that my service to CMC as my ordaining authority was prayer. It was decided they would send me prayer requests and I would, on a weekly basis, honor the prayer requests with prayer.
My discomfort about prayer came from two ideas:
1) When someone asked me to pray for them, it didn’t feel right for me to pray that they would a specific outcome from God/universe. A part of my spiritual practice is detachment, accepting all things as they are. It felt like ‘judgment’ to pray for a specific outcome. I prefer to trust all-that-is and stay in a mental state of unknowing.
2) When someone was truly upset by something and asked me to pray for them, it did not feel like love to disregard their pain. It felt non-compassionate.
As I began the weekly prayer circle as a part of my commitment of service to my ordaining authority, I looked at my discomfort and waited for an answer to come … something that would help me feel authentic in my service. And then I saw it! My answer was in the discomfort itself!
1) I feel authentic in a state of unknowing, so I would conduct Prayer Circle from that state of unknowing. I decided to read the prayer requests exactly as they are received … never judging or editing a prayer request. I would let the prayer request be as it is. And then from a state of unknowing, I would simply be still. In the innocence of unknowing stillness, I honor the prayer request and give it to the universe to do with as it will without judging that a certain outcome should occur.
2) I feel authentic by looking at pain instead of denying it. For years I have looked at my own pain from the state of Rest, Accept and Trust, but now I was being given the opportunity to look at more pain from that same state of clarity. I came to realize that each prayer request is actually a symbol. For example, for every person who is afraid of losing a loved one to cancer, there are millions with the same fear. So when I honor one prayer request, it is a symbol of all who have the same request. I am able to be still … Rest, Accept and Trust … while holding the pain of the world in my heart. That feels like authentic compassion to me.
I am very happy you will join me for Prayer Circle. And thanks for prompting me to write this. I will share this with others as well. Love.
Awakening Together’s Weekly Prayer Circle
Co-Sponsored by Awakening Together &
Community Miracles Center
Led by Rev. Regina Dawn Akers
Each Wednesday, 3-3:30 pm ET,
In our online Sanctuary.
Submit a prayer request for prayer circle
(Please submit requests by noon ET on Wednesday.)
Our role in response to a prayer request is to be silent in love, not denying the experience of form and not seeing it as reality. As we hold this space, we speak to the universe in recognition of the call for help while also recognizing the loving universe is fully present.