Generations of prayer

Posted: 2018/03/23

The following is a reflection from a new mother on how seeing her father pray influenced her own connection with prayer.

When I was a child, I remember some mornings I would wake up extra early for school. The house would be filled with the silence of sleep, the sun would be rising, mist filling my backyard and the birds only just starting to sing.

So, with quiet footsteps, I would sneak downstairs to have breakfast. In my home, you needed to cross in front of the living room to get to the kitchen and the wooden floor would creak and snap, so I would take extra care. With the house so quiet, I remember being surprised to find my father kneeling in the centre of the room with just one light on, hands resting on his knees. Eyes closed, face lifted to the heavens, he looked like he wasn’t in the room where our family gathered, but in another world entirely. I would look at him and think, “This is prayer.”

The scene was always too peaceful to break. I would sneak by, get my morning meal as quietly as I could, and then return to my room. Sometimes, he would finish his communion with God before I left, smile at me and say, “Good morning,” before joining me for breakfast. Other times I would come and go but he would be so consumed that I knew no sound would disrupt his concentration.

Now, as an adult with my own child, I think of those moments so often. With all the distractions in the world, the tiredness that comes with being a new mother, the materialistic influences telling me that prayer is a secondary priority, or – worse – no priority at all, I see my father: at dawn, with one light by which to see his prayer book, and his heart melting into the love of God.

And so, I pray. I sing the words given to us by the Manifestations and I melt into Their Words. I wonder if my little girl will ever see me so enraptured and will try to sneak away, thinking about her own prayers. I wonder if she will see conversation with God as a real and tangible act. The same way I saw it with my father in his own private moments.

I can only pray that she does.