During world anxiety, the act of prayer is the way to find hope and faith
Ever since the pandemic broke out, “prayer” is being searched on Google worldwide. An associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark told The Tablet UK Google searches have:
“skyrocketed during the month of March 2020 when Covid-19 went global.”
Surprising? Not really. What do we do when we panic? Many of us pray.
We are all suffering from unexpected events, turned into an interminable crisis, and naturally, turn to prayer. At least I do. So here is how to pray during world anxiety because:
“To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.” — Billy Graham
Side note: I’m no priest, but I am a believer. Prayer has aided me through tough times such as my current misfortunes of losing my job, going through a break-up, moving places, and my parents splitting — all unfolding during the pandemic. I have made prayer a habit and can heal myself through it, so I’m here to show you how you can, too.
What is the meaning of “pray” anyway?
Before we come to find out how to pray, the meaning is compulsory to consider. After we know what it means to pray, we will understand why research shows that the increase in prayer intensity has never been this high since 2004.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “pray” has two definitions:
1: to make a request in a humble manner 2: to address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving
You may think that praying is only for the religious type, but I beg to differ. Although I am spiritual and believe in God, I have a hard time with all the labels of “religion”. Brought up in a Christian household, I consider myself a Christian but also going into more of my spiritual practice and development with God, feel that labelling is unnecessary (that’s a whole different story for another day!).
Anyway, I fully resonate with what Martin Luther King said:
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
I still find the act of prayer to connect more with the first definition of requesting humbly. You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to pray; you just need a heart and a soul.
Praying is the act of opening up your heart and letting it heal. At least, that is what it means for me. I am active when I engage in prayer because I am addressing God, as the second definition corresponds to, with confession and courage.
The meaning of “pray” is speaking with words that rise from the heart centre and in a time of world anxiety, we need it more than ever, as seen during the last pandemic in 1918. During the Spanish flu pandemic, it was hard to get people to stop congregating to pray, as seen in the photo below:
How to pray during world anxiety: 1918 congregation of people in California praying during the Spanish flu pandemic. Courtesy of https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-52564371Now all churches have closed their doors, so we must pray behind our closed doors — that is the proper way to pray, anyway. But:
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” — Mother Teresa
As stated, I have been through some rough times recently; we all have. We are all suffering from world anxiety, I mean, how can’t we when deaths rise, and a virus spreads with no cure?
The cure is within us all; it’s called peace through the act of praying. When I pray, afterwards I feel OK. Just as any other outlet like crying, drawing or dancing, prayer is an emotional outlet too. It allows us to speak from the heart and listen to the voice of reasoning within. God gave us the gift of prayer to find perseverance during trialling times like right now, so let’s use it.
It’s not about only praying for yourself and your family, but it’s about showing care and compassion for others — we all have this capacity in us to do so. You see it through social solidarity at the moment, and it’s pretty amazing. This pandemic is bringing us all closer than ever — who would’ve thought it? Well, prayer can bring us even closer together.
According to Bentzen, it is natural for humans to use religion in times of crisis, confirming the surge in online Google searches for prayer. However, as said, you don’t have to be religious to pray and:
Is there a correct way?
Not really. Of course, according to every religion, there are rituals and rhythms to be followed, but praying can be as basic as closing your eyes and mentally speaking words. Listen to your heart, and don’t make it a duty:
“Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.” — E.M. Bounds
I pray every morning and night before sleeping. Always have, always will. I have been brought up this way, so praying has not only become a habit but a part of me. I feel whole when I pray. I feel close to God, my mission, my path in life. I feel a part of the bigger picture and promote peace to the world.
Still don’t know how to pray during world anxiety? You will; trust me. When I say pray from your heart, I don’t mean to just babble but to listen to what your heart wants to say in silence and stillness because:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:26–27, NIV)
The Bible has a lot to say about how to pray, but follow your flow and trust in your compassion roaring for attention right now from your rising anxiety and fear within.
Here’s a prayer to pray for the Coronavirus released by the Catholic Health Association. Mentally read it out or out loud and feel it. Then see how you feel afterwards as you mean every word you say in prayer for our world anxiety.
As 200 countries are affected, and the Coronavirus still infecting people, praying is an abundant source of collective energy that will spur hope, peace, and love on in the world. That, I am sure of.
So, how to pray during world anxiety doesn’t have to be hard; it’s simple. Listen to your heart, come to a quiet and still position, close your eyes if you like and look within. Tune in and turn off from the world commotions, so your words can flow and feel from the heart. Pray for world peace, for strength, for courage and remember: show gratitude.
Thanks for reading and stay blessed. ❤ Buy my short self-help book on how to cope with changing times.