What’s Your Definition of Prayer?

A few weeks ago I was talking with my students about various formal definitions of prayer. This led to a very fruitful and moving discussion of the qualities of prayer, of prayerfulness, and prayerful presence.  Prayer can include deep inner conversation, connecting to something meaningful, to the Source of All That Is, to that which came before, is now, and will be; sanctifying, feeling of closeness and simultaneous expansiveness, communal prayer and personal prayer. Prayer can involve words, silence, ritual objects, nature, water and more.

What is your definition of prayer? 


Thirsty Soul 

Do you believe there is some place that will make the

soul less thirsty?


In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;

there you have a solid place for your feet.

Think about it carefully!

Don’t go off somewhere else!


Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of

imaginary things,

and stand firm in that which you are.


By Kabir, excerpt from #14, in The Kabir Book, p. 17, Translated by Robert Bly.