I don’t much believe in praying on our knees, hands clasped.
Still, I pray all day.
I grew up with the religious view of prayer, which felt like a pleading request for a temperamental God to step in and deliver what I asked for. It felt a bit like unworthiness waiting to be transmuted.
Even during the years when I believed in nothing, I prayed in times of despair. Out of superstition—and just to cover all my bases.
It was an ingrained reaction, like the impulse to knock on wood or throw salt over your shoulder. It came from fear. It came from a humble, apologetic place—“Dear God, I know there are much bigger problems in the world, and you’re probably really busy, and it’s probably unfair for me to even want this when there are so many people facing much worse things, but…”
Even when I started diving deep into spirituality, mindfulness, and consciousness, I avoided prayer. It still felt tainted. I didn’t know how to do it, even though I was told many times that I couldn’t go wrong.
So, what is the definition of prayer? It’s a petition to God, yes. But Merriam-Webster also says it’s “an earnest request or wish.”
I feel much better about stating my deepest desires, about owning them and putting them out there, than I do petitioning anyone or anything, anywhere.
I found a new way to pray—by viewing my life as a prayer.
My presence in every action can be an expression of my deepest truths, my greatest longings, my most mindful wishes.
I pack my daughter’s lunch—it’s a prayer that’s she’s happy, healthy, nourished. I brush her hair—it’s a prayer that she knows how much she’s loved and lives that way, too.
I wrap my arms around my son, and my touch is a balm, to heal, to soothe, to convey all that my words can’t. I sing him songs—serious ones, silly ones, and underneath all the words, I sing love and I sing, I wish everything for you.
I look myself in the mirror in the morning and say, I wish everything for you, too.
I save worms from the middle of the sidewalk and pause to water the garden. I hold open doors and check on friends.
I pray in motion—and it’s endless. Life is my prayer dance. I do not petition God. I do not lower myself to the ground. I stand tall. I fill my days with intention and presence and love. I ooze appreciation. I work only on letting go of the striving.
It’s all a prayer.
May I always notice these little moments. May this meal nourish this family in all ways. May this time together make its silent mark on our lives. May I make this day matter—to someone beyond just me. May it always be this beautiful. May I always notice. May I always appreciate.
In this way, I talk to God all day long. I connect to that energy. I never fall to my knees or clasp my hands. Many times, there are no words. There are a few “so be its”—and no “amens.”
It’s all a prayer.
What if, right now, you viewed your day that way—as a living, moving, freewheeling prayer?
What would you be saying with your life?