Jacob - San Jose, California
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

On a mid-summer evening, not to long ago, a rainstorm came closing in over sunny San Jose California. As the rain became stronger, and louder I grew more and more excited; I love the rain. I quickly grabbed my bike, and started peddling. I started on my usual route, and before long I was passing the park (like I always had on my usual route). I stopped this time though, something not so usual. I dropped my bike, and went to sit under a tree. As I leaned against the trunk of the tree, I fell victim to the Spanish guitar playing on my ipod. I realized that I was in the perfect moment; beautiful music playing, torrential downpour, not-too-hot and not-too-cold weather. I found complete inner peace. I was connected with myself. I was connected with nature. I was connected with music. I was experiencing the most powerful prayer, I have ever experienced.

Too much of the time do I see people who believe that prayer and God, or prayer and religion are a package deal. They’re not; at least not in my life. People think that prayer is about sanctity, and holiness, and truth; it’s not. Prayer is about expression, and feeling. Prayer is song, prayer is dance, prayer is meditation, prayer is art, prayer is everywhere.

Do I think reading from the pages of a prayer book is prayer? Of course it is, but it’s certainly not the limit of prayer. Saying that you should pray only in places of worship, or at meals, or before you go to bed, or at any set time, is like saying that you’ll only find love through speed-dating. Can it be done? Sure. Does it work? It works occasionally, maybe even for some people it works often, but I would hardly call it the universal ideal.

Is wishing for a new bike prayer? I believe it certainly is. If someone expressing something decides it’s a prayer, then it’s a prayer. Who can stop them? Where does any prayer come from? Someone once said it. Someone made it up. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t make up new prayers every day. If someone means something, if they really mean it, and it’s from their heart then it’s a prayer.

My prayer- my idea of prayer- would not be considered prayer by everyone. For me prayer can be as simple as taking a deep breath, and observing what’s around me. Sometimes I meditate before I go to sleep, and I consider that my prayer. And I even sometimes pray from a prayer book. Through all of these I feel like I can connect with something greater. Sometimes it’s something within me, and other time’s it’s something else out there.

You can’t just say a prayer, or sing a prayer; you have to feel a prayer. That’s what prayer is all about! I believe that people are forgetting what prayer is. People forget that prayer is about thanking, praising, asking, expressing; prayer is about feeling, not just memorizing words in a book.