How many of us pray when we are happy and content with our lives? When the weather is perfect, work is fulfilling and vacation is just around the corner? While there may be many who never leave sight of God, the majority is guilty of appealing to the superpower only in times of extreme crisis. Be it a health scare or employment instability, or even relationship challenges, most of us summon the almighty when the sea of our life is in choppy waters, looking firmly for a safe anchor.
The reality is that a daily prayer routine works as a healing balm for our soul. The prayer doesn’t have to be structured or ritualistic. You merely have to seek out a quiet retreat, which could very well be a calm refuge in your house like the attic or the basement, close your eyes and talk to yourself. This daily “checking-in” with your soul lets you explore what conflicts or issues you are confronted with, and is the first step in finding ways to resolve them. If we don’t recognize our problems, how do you think we can ever arrive at solutions?
I once had a co-worker, who wasn’t too happy with her job, but she never confronted the monsters traumatizing her thoughts, and one day she quit the job cold turkey. If she would have asked herself what specifically was at the root of her troubles, maybe she would have sought solutions. Not having a dialogue with self proves detrimental and leads one to a point when one cannot take the pressure anymore. A small spark turns into a forest fire, and the proverbial last straw breaks the camel’s back.
Watching news on television shows us how prayers for somebody stricken with an incurable disease sometimes work miracles in saving the person’s life. Collective prayers for victims of fatal accidents or disease assuage the wounds of their loved ones. The power of prayer can never be disputed. Even the most invincible warriors have had to fall to their knees in earnest when enemy troops approach.
Try a small and simple regimen to test the potent power of prayer first hand. Close your eyes wherever you are and focus on your thoughts. Try to hear your breathing and synchronize it with the beating of your heart. Just having some alone time with your soul every day is the best gift you can give to your mental health.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.