Prayer: Heartless Words or a Wordless Heart

posted Nov 5, 2012, 9:54 AM by Interfaith WS

            Widowed Elizabeth, who worked as a secretary for a motor vehicle bureau, told us that praying did nothing for her life. “For twenty-five years I’ve gone to church,” she said. “When I walk out of church I’m the same person as when I walked in. My prayers and motions are mechanical and dry. How can I change this?”

            Darshani: Pray with your heart.

            E. I don’t know how.

            D. Have you ever been in love? While you were in love, your mind did not have to be taught how to meditate on your beloved. Your heart knew. Your heart functioned in high gear with no instruction. Real prayer is like that. You don’t dictate to your heart. The heart calls the shots itself.

            Here is the way to start. First, you need a very clear concept of your ideal. To get that, write down everything you know, feel, or believe to be true about God. Your list will come from your own understanding, from your highest concept of Reality. It might include such words as omnipotence, omnipresence, love, all-pervading Light, infinity, compassion, mercy, purity and peace. You might wish to narrow your list down to six primary words or even three.

            When you finish the list, set up a meditation seat in a quiet corner of your home where you can sit undisturbed when you get up and before you go to bed. Relax your body, and look at your list. Mentally repeat one word at a time. Project it onto the screen of your consciousness the way you would project a film onto a movie screen. As you repeat the word, dwell on your deepest understanding of its essence. On their own accord, the repetitions will soon cease, and you will be established in your wordless center, your heart.

            To pray with the heart and no words is much better to pray with words and no heart.