On this National Day of Prayer, Elizabeth Drescher finds certain inspiration in the prayer practices of “nones” who eschew organized religion but demonstrate charity in their spiritual approach. She writes in the Washington Post:
The majority of nones come from Christian backgrounds, carrying hurt, anger, or boredom with their childhood faith along with fragments of belief, ritual, and everyday spiritual practice that they weave into approaches to meaning-making within which prayer has a continuing significance.
My research shows that prayer stands alone among traditional practices like attending church and reading scripture tracked by pollsters as “spiritually meaningful” for nones. For many nones, prayer offers an openness and flexibility that makes it functional for those who have left the religions of their childhoods but who don’t’ want to—or can’t—forget them entirely.
“I pray because I always have,” says a none from Missouri who left an evangelical church he found “shut off from the love I found in the Bible.” Prayer, he told me, “is where religion is most true for me. You know, it’s not a show of how holy I am.”
He added, “it’s more than just something going on in my head. It’s about me in relationship to others through God. I don’t go to church anymore, but I still need that focus in my life—that it’s not all about me. I pray for myself and I pray for others—that things can be better for them. That I can be better for them, too.”
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