“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is THANK YOU, it will be enough.”
In a previous post, I had explored whether having faith has to equate to being religious. In it, I came away with the conclusion that while the two are often correlated, the correlation is not mandatory.
To expand on the same topic, can you apply the same philosophy to praying? When saying a prayer, is it always to a religious entity? In order to explore that question, we have to ask, what exactly is praying?
The traditional definition has always been to either request something or to show gratitude to a supreme entity. For most people, “supreme entity” equates to some kind of a higher power, irrespective of which religion they follow. Ostensibly, this would indicate that people who pray must be religious.
Then again, I’ve had friends who are atheist or agnostic but always talk about requesting something. Some even hold superstitious rituals like putting a dreamcatcher or starting a cleansing fire when hoping for something important to come to fruition. Yet, they’ve always maintained that they’re not the least bit religious.
If we stress on the keywords in the definition of prayer stated earlier, they’re “request” and “gratitude.” That’s expressed by everyone. At various junctions of life, everyone says “I hope this happens” or “I’m grateful for this in my life.” The only difference is to whom you express it to.
If you express it to a higher power, it’s deemed as a prayer. If not, it’s simply hope and gratitude.
In that sense, it’s not difficult to conclude a prayer can be said by anyone, in a religious context or otherwise. The terminology may differ from person to person but the format and the act of doing so is largely the same.
In the end, we all hope for things in life and upon receiving them, we should all be thankful. As long as we adhere to that philosophy, especially the latter, the actual terminology is of little significance as long as we all act upon it with utmost sincerity.
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