Why I... Pray Daily At Noon
By noon at the office, my coworkers and I are poised to run out under the guise of a lunchtime break, harboring a secret wish that we'll fall into a vat of cash and won't have to come back. So, each day at that time, I forge a spiritual reconnection and rejuvenation that lasts for the rest of the day. How? I take time out to pray, either with a middle of the day reflection in the bathroom or during a quick walk, which helps me refocus the day and make it a little easier to get through.
I pray during the day because...
I need assistance. Quoting President Lincoln at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, President Obama said of prayer, "I've been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." President Lincoln also went on to explain why: "My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day."
When situations arise that I don't know if I can handle, prayer helps me connect to a source more powerful and knowledgeable for assistance and guidance. It also reminds me that I can't do everything alone and supports me when I ask for help.
I need rejuvenation. Every sports game has a half time. Every performance has an intermission. Every TV show has commercials. During the day, I need a time to pause as well. My daily prayer helps me to reflect on how my day has been and figure out what I need to stay motivated and energized. It's not always easy to find a time to step away from my work but when I find a window in my schedule to pray, I'm always glad I did.
Most religions have prayer traditions during the day. Many Muslims find time to pray five times a day. Members of the Baha'i Faith recite a noonday prayer. Christians often pray before each meal. Buddhists chant throughout the day. Most religions and spiritual practices view prayer as an essential part of the day because of the powerful effect prayer can have in someone's life. Of the act of prayer, Gandhi once said, "Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart." Connecting to yourself and your needs through prayer is an awesome way to stay focused and grounded to what matters most.
I need to listen to myself. I like to talk a lot, as do many others I know. But with all that chatter, it can be hard to hear yourself think and feel. My afternoon prayer is my guarantee of silence. At noon each day, I can find a bathroom stall or bench at a park and just be quiet. After reciting a prayer, I take a moment to be still and listen to the natural rhythm of my body. The calm and tranquility this practice gives me can be so peaceful on hectic days. And who couldn't use more calm and tranquility?