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.