Having been raised in a Catholic school, I have been taught to always start any task with a prayer. When I was younger, I was taught a simple song that said the same; to start the very day with a prayer and offering. I taught the same song to my daughter. It goes:
In the morning when I wake up,
With a cross I sign myself ,
Singing, Jesus, I love you,
I give you my heart,
As I grew older, I have gotten accustomed to seeking God's blessing and grace to fill whatever I lack. I am not really religious. I feel comfortable in my relationship with God. Although, often, I honestly take it for granted too. Especially as the days became busier and busier. It was easier to worry than to quiet down my soul in prayer. But I know well that prayer is important. It feeds my relationship with the Divine God.
My relationship with God is a constant re-nourishment and re-construction. I am stubborn. God loves me anyway. That is completely reassuring. An absolute comfort at the end of each day.
They say, in prayer, there are several expressions. Three of which are invocation, worship and prayer.
Invocation is when we speak of God's qualities and say it as praises. God does not need our compliment. God will be praise-worthy whether we give it credit or not. We proclaim that God is compassionate, kind and just . God is. God will be. So, why say it still?
When we recite these qualities, we humans, slowly imbibe the same qualities in ourselves. In praising the qualities that God has, we receive the blessing and grace to be part of it. We receive that grace and blessing to slowly grow it in ourselves too.
When we sit with God and be together with God; we worship. But how do we sit wit someone we cannot see? How can we be with someone who is not there?
God is omnipresent. God is present everywhere. God is in fact a part of our soul, as we were made in the same image and divinity as our Creator. Hence, when we come into that peace of knowing God is with us and is in us; we are in worship. Worship leads to enlightenment.It brings forth contentment and a feeling of fulfillment from within us. It is like feeling the warmth and knowing the comfort you get from a blanket over your body on a cold night.
Prayer is a plea. Why do we plea and ask? We do so, because, we lack. And to whom do we plea and ask? We do so to those who have the abundance of what we lack. We do so, because it is with those who have abundance that we can hope we will receive.
Who better to plea and ask than the One who is ever abundant and has all. So, we go to plea and ask God. We say a prayer.
Are all our prayers worth the merit? Sadly, no. It is always said that God helps those who help themselves. Our prayers are worth the merit if we have given our best on the situation but still has not prospered or materialized. Our prayers are worth the merit if they are worth gifts before God - a worthy offering. It is no different when we ask help from our elders or friends after we have done all best and humblest efforts and still find it all lacking.
We send up a prayer in acknowledgment that our efforts are not enough. It is an acceptance that God has what we need, and that God can provide what we need. It is not wishful thinking.It is seeking the blessing, grace and gift after our dedication and commitment to our task.
Invocation, Worship and Prayer; although often expressed through words are not limited by it. I have seen these beautiful expressions in many delightful ways. There are some who have given praise, spent time and spoken to God in varied languages as dance or movement, song, a painting and even in stillness.
It is between you and the Divine Omnipotent - the Almighty. Let not the world confine your invocation, your worship and your prayer. With this, may you be blessed. Always.