Prayer Experience — Ana Gobledale, UK

The Phenomenon of Prayer

I’d love to say that I pray without ceasing,
but I do,
cease that is.

I would love to say that I pray with understanding,
but I often pray from a place of not-knowing.

I would love to say that I pray with a deep sense of connection to the Spirit,
but sometimes it feels that
only a thin thread of hope connects me to anything.

What I can say is that
prayer,
the openness to connecting with a higher power,
shifts my reality and my experience of it.

When I stubbornly refuse to pray,
refuse to ask for assistance or guidance,
the world can seem to be pressing in on me,
feeling overwhelming and unmanageable.

When I am convinced of a need to go solo,
to handle a situation on my own,
the experiences of panic and confusion
often slide into my head,
and if I persistently continue to withhold prayer,
I begin to entertain thoughts
of using alternative coping mechanisms,
usually unhealthy.

When I open myself to spiritual guidance,
whatever that actually is,
the pressure decreases,
and often recedes completely.

The feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control
evaporate
like so much mist,
as a path to follow
becomes illuminated before me.

The panic and confusion
subside,
replaced by trust and confidence,
confidence that I am not alone,
that I need not fly solo,
that I am held in love.