Now that's an odd topic for an erotica author's blog, isn't it? I write steamy fiction that sometimes breaks taboos. What does that have to do with prayer?
Well, I wanted to talk about prayer because paradoxically, it's only since I've joined the erotic romance community that I've felt comfortable even mentioning the word. Most of my friends in the real world would raise their eyebrows if I told them that every morning, I spend ten to fifteen minutes praying. If I told them that I meditate, that wouldn't be viewed as too odd. But in fact what I do is much closer to prayer than meditation.
First I read the day's message in Daily Word, a publication of Silent Unity (www.unity.org). Each day this little booklet offers a word, an affirmation, a few paragraphs to serve as a meditation guide, and a Scripture quote. Today's word, for example, was "Good" and the affirmation was "God is all, and God is good".
Next, I sit quietly and try to open my mind and heart, focusing on the word and what it means to me. Sometimes I'm given new insights, not directly related to the day's topic. Today my attention was drawn to a sentence in the meditation text: God's good flows effortlessly. I was planning to spend much of the day writing and was feeling pressured about how much I could accomplish. This sentence helped me to relax and let go of some of the tension.
After I've spent a while seeking personal insight, I turn to a mental list of other people for whom I'm praying. Often, I can see how the day's word applies to their situation. Sometimes, I simply envision them surrounded by light, or laughing, filled with joy.
This is the part of my morning routine that is closest to what other people call prayer. However, I'm not really petitioning some Higher Power to give them what they need. Rather, I'm trying to use the power of imagination to see them as the perfect children of Spirit that I believe we all are.
I read somewhere once, "Prayer doesn't change God. It changes us." This captures pretty well the way I see things. I believe that so-called "reality" can change depending how we look at it. Prayer is about changing our perspective, taking a higher view, and recognizing the intrinsic order of the universe.
Anyway, in the romance community, you don't have to be embarrassed talking about prayer. People often post requests for prayer on the chat lists to which I subscribe. I've done so myself. I suspect that many of my fellow romance authors and readers have a more orthodox view of prayer than I do, but that doesn't really matter. We are united in our belief in the efficacy of prayer, however we define it.
I know from experience that prayer works. I've seen what I'd at least call miracles - both large and small. It's a comfort to be able to talk about this, to write about it, and not be the butt of mocking laughter.
I want to thank the romance community for this freedom.