Prayer of Intention

The good thing about wandering is that you never know what you pick up on the way. Especially when you wander without agenda.

On one such wandering I picked up a prayer.

Our default prayers are those that our parents taught us, to acquire all the goodness in this world. It took most of us quite a while to edit that prayer and add our own specifics, clauses and caveats to it. Some of us let go of the prayer altogether.

One word, it’s meaning, has eluded me for a while: intention.

I have used it many times in life; I now feel, I used it loosely. This possibly stems from the lack of proof, in some way. When you intend (for, or to do) something, that is all you do. It is, as it appears to me, an orphan word. Though it is born of a desire or a wish and it dies with the action that makes the intention a reality, it truly belongs nowhere, and to no one when it exists.

Like raw, unharnessed power, perhaps?

This one prayer, I picked up recently caused a mental feud of what an intention is, really and at the same time asking me, if I have ever really wondered what a prayer really is – and what I do when I pray. Enough has been proven about the science of the power of suggestion, and perhaps all prayers are just that. Some prayers, like the one I discovered are elaborate and elegant; some are crude while being beautiful. And whatever their form and quality maybe, they serve the same purpose: statement of an intention.

However, whatever the nature of their composition and presentation, a prayer cannot be a transaction. A transaction has a shelf-life, which ends when the transaction is complete. And a single prayer cannot be reused for another transaction, because then the specifics would change.

So, is a prayer just a statement of intention of a continuous purpose? Compare, “I need to touch an average of 500 page views on my blog in the next three months”, with, “Let there be a continuous abundance of readers on my blog.” This is obviously a bad example, for it sounds frivolous. But, I suppose it serves the purpose of explaining one defining characteristic of a prayer.

But then who is to fulfil the prayer, be it the one about the page views or of the abundance of visitors. Because the prayer is only a message, and without an addressor or an addressee the message is an unmarked envelope gathering dust somewhere.

But there is no addressee.

There isn’t “someone out there” who actually takes up the job of fulfilling your prayers. And it makes sense that no one entity is taking that responsibility, else it would be a conflict management issue — attempting to fulfill prayers from around the world. Our prayers are addressed to ourselves — only a reinforcement of intention then, of dedicating to the action that fulfills the intention.

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7 thoughts on “Prayer of Intention

  1. The intention/action relationship made me think of the caterpillar/butterfly.

    Your thoughts about prayers as a reinforcement of intention are new to me. In my experience, most people use prayers to absolve themselves of all action. This is of course, because they believe in “someone out there” who will make their prayers come true. Hence your view of prayers is a refreshing one.

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    • Thank you Mahendra! I used to belong there (seeking absolution), once upon a time. There is a linked concept of the ‘divinity of the self’, which most of us fail to recognise. In a way, this is a statement of that discovery. 🙂

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  2. A fantastic analysis of prayers, a usual thing for many of us. It has made me think, why do I prayer?

    But I would n’t say that there is n’t anybody to listen to your prayers. If I accept that, I guess I won’t be praying tommorrow. Its enough for me to believe there is somebody listening, keeping track of all my prayers, and fulfilling them as and when the time is “right” (which doesn’t cause a conflict!) .

    On a beautiful day, you see things falling in place, and experience a joy of perfection of nature, I’d say that is because there are not many conflicts on that day. And that is when you feel that your prayers are “heard”!

    So, keep praying!

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    • Thanks Amol; Welcome to Gaizabonts!

      Your comment reminded me of Pascal’s Wager.

      You could also be praying to yourself; but it is our conviction in how we pray to and the conviction with which we pray is what makes it all worthwhile.

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  3. Pingback: A Year in Posts « Gaizabonts

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