Learning How to Pray

So I keep hearing over and over how much prayer helps. I was talking to my sponsor, and she suggested I start praying daily. I was listening to her explain how much it helps and that it is very important for people like me. All the meanwhile, the only thing going through my head was…

How do you pray?

I went to an Episcopalian school K-12. Now that was 13 years of going to chapel once a week. That should make me an expert, right? Quite the contrary. I just did what was asked of me. Sit, stand, kneel, sing, be quiet. I have never really prayed. My mother was raised in a Catholic orphanage in a muslim country and married a russian orthodox man. Still no guidance there.

When I was a kid, I used to talk to my dad all the time, when I was scared or upset or just needed someone to talk to (he died when I was two, fyi). I catch myself doing that still at times, mainly when I feel like I have let him down. Maybe it’s a little like that?

Even in yoga, we have moments of silence in savasana. But there my mind in pretty blank. I am just basking in the joy of the practice. It took a long time to learn how to clear my head head like that. So that can’t be it.

I also say the serenity prayer and the lord’s prayer a few times a week. But that just doesn’t seem to be what I need to do.

So I asked my sponsor, what do you do when you pray? Do you have to be on your knees with hands palm to palm? Do i need to be in silence on the ground with my eyes closed sitting in criss cross? Do I need to start learning a bunch of verses to bust out for what ever situation is called for? She simply said no. There really are no rules. She told me how she heard in a meeting once that prayer can be as simple as please and thank you.

So I will now make my attempt to start praying daily. My sponsor gave me a great starting point of starting the day with a quiet moment and simply ask, “please keep me sober today”. Then I will end the day with, “thank you for keeping me sober today”. I can worry about going more into detail once I have gotten into this habit. I am actually pretty excited to start.