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How then should we pray?

How then should we pray?

Andrew WK writes a spirituality advice column in the Village Voice, and he responded to a question on how to pray thusly:

Prayer is a type of thought. It’s a lot like meditation — a type of very concentrated mental focus with passionate emotion directed towards a concept or situation, or the lack thereof. But there’s a special X-factor ingredient that makes “prayer” different than meditation or other types of thought. That X-factor is humility. This is the most seemingly contradictory aspect of prayer and what many people dislike about the feeling of praying. “Getting down on your knees” is not about lowering your power or being a weakling, it’s about showing respect for the size and grandeur of what we call existence — it’s about being humble in the presence of the vastness of life, space, and sensation, and acknowledging our extremely limited understanding of what it all really means.

Andrew Sullivan commented that his response, while not being overtly Christian, is one of the better descriptions of prayer out there. Further, it raises questions about organized religion’s ongoing relationship to the amorphous group known as ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’.

Read the whole column here.

What do you think? How does Andrew’s explanation of prayer (especially as a treatment of intercessory prayer) strike you?


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Esp hard for the “Man (aka “Me”) is the Measure of All Things” crowd.

As a queer person, I’m much more drawn to “…queerer than we can suppose” (Awe * Reverence * Prayer)

JC Fisher

Susan Schroeder

I agree that prayer is an exercise in humility, That is why it is so hard for some people. Putting yourself in the position of a suppliant is humiliating for some, I think. And that is why we should do it

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