Prayer is so important to life. All I can say is, that when life gets you down, when you feel great anxiety or fears for the future, when the greyness of existence seems heavy on your soul, prayer is a great relief. There are many forms of prayer. I have never tried meditation in the Eastern style, so my methods of prayer are more from the Christian tradition, but there are similarities between all forms of sincere prayer, regardless of tradition. Prayer to me is more akin to meditation, of releasing your mind, emptying your thoughts, and trying to feel or sense some sort of unity with the Divine. But it also soothes the mind too. There is a certain beauty to prayer. Prayer brings a certain calm and peace. I actually sleep better when I engage in steady prayer.
In this hectic world of ours, setting time aside each day for prayer and meditation can be a great benefit. Spend less time in front of the television, online, on the cell phone, or whatever, and spend more time in some type of contemplative prayer or meditation and your health will most likely improve, both mental and physical.
It is the positive effects of prayer on my mind and life that has always kept me close to God. Religion offers nice structures to pursue prayer, those ancient and contemporary methods of contemplation. If people have been engaging in meditation or contemplation for thousands of years, there must be something to these practices. When I do not pray, or when my prayer life falls off, then I feel the effects in my mind, a lessening of concentration, and deeper susceptibility to the cares of the world, and a distance from God. When I pray I simply feel healthier. In my overly simplistic ways of approaching life, this is more than enough to show me the great benefits of incorporating prayer in my life.
A lot of Christians seem to forget about the mystic side of the religion, and that’s a shame. There is so much beauty there, which brings a comfort that is unmatched by anything of this world.
I tend to pray inside my head a lot but when I forget about it for a while, I find that I do get more anxious. Zen meditation practice can be easily combined with Christian prayer and I think that is something like what you are getting at here.
Racer X said:
Yes, that is true. One of the things that most distresses me about Christianity is the overly legalistic approach to faith. This is not true all the time or everywhere, but it seems too common at times. I suppose it is just human nature.
I love the spirituality of the Christian mystics.St John of the Cross is my favourite.Contemplative prayer is beautiful.No legalism just a child like approach of coming to God in humility,docility and just listening to Him.Simply being in His presence.Beautiful and comforting.It is like being content being with the One that you love.
Racer X said:
Yes, contemplative prayer is a beautiful thing!