What is Prayer?

Today when Arletta and Ellington met, they sat quietly for a while.  Then Ellington asked: What is prayer?

Arletta: It’s simple. You have a wish. For example, you want an apartment because you have nowhere to stay. The apartments are expensive. There are not many, there is awful competition for the few available. You have tried and failed. Your own power is therefore not enough. That’s when you pray.

Ellington: I don’t believe in any God. Do you?

Arletta: I focus strongly. I focus on the powers available within – in me. I gather all my energy, and I limit it so that it focuses on just what I want to cope with. It’s like wrath. I prepare myself to concentrate all my power in one single stroke.

Ellington: Like a high jumper!

Arletta: Yes, you can say that. But there is another way  too. When I really want to be prepared to understand something. If I see something unknown and strange. Then I do the opposite. No focus. No anger. No power. I just take away all thoughts. Everything I already know is put aside. I get completely open.

Ellington: You mean you make yourself receptive to all impressions without screening or weeding anything out?

Arletta: To me, this is the same thing as prayer. That I can find the power to focus totally, and that I can find the courage to open myself completely.

Ellington: Now you talk about finding the power to do something yourself. But people also pray when they are in a situation where they can not themselves affect what’s going to happen?

Arletta: Like when there’s a thunderstorm and you pray that the lightning won’t strike you?

Ellington: Or when my life depends on what other people do?

Arletta: Like when I’ve lost everything I have and cannot even go out begging – I give all my last power in a prayer that someone will bring some food, so I can get up and find a job?

Ellington: In science, this is usually called magic. When you believe that by pure willpower you can affect nature or other people’s actions.

Arletta: But I believe that my strong thoughts (and yours) can be registered on an unconscious level by others. And prayer is strong thought. A kind of electrical signals.

Ellington: But those who pray usually see it as God who hears their prayer.

Arletta: I do not know if it is right or wrong that the medium of such communication should be called by a name like God. I leave that question open.

Ellington: Is all this less real if there is a scientific explanation?

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