The Power of Prayer

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Every morning at the crack of dawn, I look forward to the time in which I pray. It is a time when I contemplate my life, review what I have done and seek guidance on how I should proceed further.

Prayer, salat, supplication or whatever you might call it is your personal conversation with God. There are many characterizations of this gesture. Some may dress a certain way. Others may stress that it be performed in a language not understood by all, simply a repetition of verses. It may argued that its structure is tantamount to its conveyance. I would humbly submit regarding the issue of form over substance, the latter of the two takes priority.

It is, I repeat, your conversation with God! I only hope that your sentiments are from the heart, most sincere and occur on a fairly regular basis.

The contents of a good prayer should include gratitude and a request. It should express gratitude acknowledging the excellence and favors of the One to Whom we address our prayer. We may not realize just how much we have to be thankful for, from the air we breathe to life itself…

Life is better when one shows gratitude. It sets you in the right attitude and may protect you from temptations. It has been said that “God turns to man when man turns to God.”

The other crucial element is the request. The vicissitudes of life can be overwhelming. We must acknowledge that we do not control all things and that a little help may be warranted. Only through the remembrance of God and His role in all our lives can matters truly be placed in their proper perspective. One’s request may be to seek guidance on how to make someone’s life better.

On a personal note, as I get older, I feel the need to express gratitude for all that has happened to me, both good and bad. I have come to believe that all experiences are just trials and challenges instituted by God to help me better myself, to make me stronger. He is the Guardian, Sustainer, Provider and Nurturer of all things!

There have been times in my life when I have achieved much success. There were other times when my will to see future days waned. I was happy for God’s intervention when it was most needed. Now I view each setback as an opportunity to regroup and continue to press forward. Now I begin to understand the importance of having faith. I accept all challenges and take them all in stride…

Today, after I pray for me, my family and my friends, I find myself praying for a better world. I pray for world peace and harmony (http://wp.me/p2hekR-v). I believe we each have the sense of a divine presence within us. If we concentrate collectively, if we each make an extra effort, anything is possible!

Won’t you join me in this prayer? It costs you nothing and the potential for rewards are immeasurable…

Changes…

As the year draws to a close, and a new one is upon us, I find myself wanting more and expecting more, first from myself, but also from everyone else!

More effort! More understanding! More cooperation! More peace! More harmony!

Imagine how better off we would all be if we all tried just a little harder. This applies not just to individuals, but nations, governments and religions as well.

I believe that within each individual, “God has placed His own spirit, so there is great potential in every human being. Those who cultivate the talents given to them become resourceful, and those who neglect their talents become weak. God has not only given talents and intelligence to the human being, but also the initiative to apply them. We should, therefore, strive to develop what has been given to us and become resourceful.”1 

I wrote a haiku about the moon years ago (http://wp.me/p2hekR-1). As the year changes tonight, so does the phase of the moon. I think this is one of those rare occurrences, but I take it as an additional sign of the change, which may be upon us.

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I wish everyone a better New Year, filled with much hope, more peace & harmony and abounding prosperity!

 

 

 

1 Sultan Abdulhameed The Quran and The Life of Excellence (Denver, CO: Outskirts Press: 2010) pp. 207-208

Tis the Season…

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Although I do not celebrate Christmas, I still consider it a time of hope and joy because many of my friends do.

Any time when people stop to think about peace on Earth and goodwill towards their fellow men is a good time.

Any where there is conflict or strife on the planet, I wish that we could just pause for a moment, and reflect on what we have to be grateful for and how worse it could be.

We can decide on what we can do to make it better.

This is a part of the divinity in all of us.

I pray for the Children…

Years ago, I wrote a special prayer (http://wp.me/p2hekR-v). A part of my morning ritual is ask for peace and harmony in this world. There is a section where I offer a prayer for children. In light of what has been happening recently to children throughout the world. It seems appropriate at this time to revisit those words:

… I pray for a World in which Children can be Children,
And grow up to become fine upstanding Adults,
With a good set of Values that have been imparted to them,
By their Parents, other Family members and their Elders.
I pray that they are never again exposed to the horrors of Man,
Because these have in fact, become non-existent!

In October of this year, the Taliban in Pakistan shoots a young girl the head on her way to school miraculously she lives. Yesterday, twenty-two primary school children were wounded in a knife attack in central China. This was followed by the shooting deaths of twenty-six people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, 20 of them were children.

In each incident, the intentions were clear, to willfully harm OUR children!

Why are people committing these senseless acts of violence against our children? The older I get, the more I value the life of others, especially the children. They are truly the innocent ones. They are our hope for a better tomorrow.

If we are to survive as a species, we have to learn to preserve and protect the children!