The Meaning of Prayer

I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer lately.

I’m completely new to Neopaganism… I actually come from a Catholic background. For years, it was ‘Our Father’ and ‘Hail Mary’ and rosaries. Before meals, on planes, before marching band performances in high school (seriously), in fear or gratitude, there was a prayer for every occasion. Now, though, I’m feeling a little lost. I no longer have the security blanket of those memorized prayers. I know the rituals and practices of ADF will become familiar with time, but in the mean time, I feel a little lost.

And in the midst of that feeling, I was wondering what prayer even means at this stage. Specifically, my question was this: If ADF is a sacrificial religion, meaning we offer sacrifice to the Kindreds in hope of a reciprocal offering of blessings (or what have you), what is the point of spontaneous prayer? If I have no offering to make, will the Kindreds even listen to me?

I expressed this concern to my fiancé who, incidentally, is not remotely religious — apathetic, not atheistic — and he said this: Prayer is an offering of time and spirit.

That hit me hard. I offer myself, my time, my devotion, and my love… And if I cannot express my gratitude in another way, offering myself is enough. It’s comforting. And when I am able to make a physical sacrifice, someone will be listening.

9 thoughts on “The Meaning of Prayer

  1. It’s my understanding that we make sacrifices in pursuit of relationship, and as such is not an effort to gain attention or communication, but in support of it as it already exists.

    • This is, I think, a fair assessment, and one that helped me clarify the question that troubled me. What was bothering me was, ‘How can I ask for anything when I nothing to offer in return?’

      The answer remains the same, but now I have a clearer understanding of the question. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Pingback: The Meaning of Prayer: A response | Bishop In The Grove

    • I meant “your” post. 🙂

      And, in case it wasn’t clear, I’m really enjoying your blog. Thank you for being so transparent about what you’re experiencing.

      • I’m so glad it speaks to you. I’ve been planning a comment to your reply post, but I’ve been sick in bed all day! I’m going to mosey on over there now. 🙂

  3. May I suggest trying to find a copy of “A Book of Pagan Prayer” by Ceisiwr Serith? It may help you with some of these questions.

  4. Pingback: The Meaning of Prayer: A response | Bishop In The Grove

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