Bold Prayers:

7 Jan

During those rare times, when I slow down and  look around at my current life,  I can see that a large part of some preposterous dreams and wishes I had ,had strangely come true, to an unbelievable degree with God’s grace.

I had these images in my head a few years back, when my life was still good but severely lacked basic amenities. I had images of a gorgeous home, with happy family pictures hanging on the walls (how cliché!). I had images of ample and abundant supply of water and that of  my family visiting me. At the time, I had a job, I immensely enjoyed, however, I did want one with a better pay. (Common dream for all?)

All these seem like normal dreams for any person. Simple dreams. But for me it seemed then that  most of them were just that–dreams. There was nothing, “I” could do, about most of the things I desperately wanted. I seemed helpless and the only thing I could do was WAIT and PRAY.

So now, when few of my cousins and friends tell me about, their present state where they have no hopes of improvement, and where their “dream life” seems like an unachievable target, and while they share their worries and their fears, I have to lamely tell them, the only lesson I have learnt in my experience. And ie to wait. Wait in complete blind hope and faith.

Recently I had emailed two people who were close to me, and who were going through two completely different however similarly disturbing  trials in their lives, and I ended up detailing the steps of how to wait, in sync with God.  I believe the email helped, (Insha Allah, I hope), the people I send it to. So if, you are someone, who is “waiting” for something in your life to happen, and that wait, seems never-ending, and your current circumstances make you feel , that it is just NEVER going to happen, I hope the below helps.Most of my ideals/ideas in life, have been formed by the books that I have read. I have been able to restructure most of my thinking,which I might have caught on due to the society I lived in, or due to the beliefs  previous generations passed onto me.

Built undying “blind” faith in God:

Being in India, I presume, the higher percentage of people, are not atheists, but people who do not necessarily know “how” to trust in the Al-Mighty. Sure, we goto houses of worship, sure we mouth the words. But do we pray? Do we know to pray?We have innumerable religious schools, dedicated to learning prayers, learning morals, learning how to connect with God. But not many of them teach us HOW to pray. And I am not here to teach you that either. Each of us have to find out our very own method of communication with the Lord.

The kind of prayer that gives me peace personally, is praying with CLARITY and Praying BOLDLY.

How to pray boldly in spite of your current circumstance?

Your current circumstance, or what your mind can conjure up as “possible”, has nothing to do with your prayer or dreams. In the equation of prayer, you have someone with you, who is Al-Mighty. That is something we often forget. We do not have to pray, like  we are asking another human for a favour. It doesn’t have to be restricted, or limited. A few examples that might help, in restructuring your prayers

If it’s a job, that you desperately want.

Current circumstance: You have no interviews lined up. No employers have been calling you, or fixing any schedules. You feel like you are of no value in the job market.

Prayer: BOLDTo get that (whatever pay package you are dreaming of), in that super huge dream company you have always dreamt of.

Prayer: CLARITY :Along with this, it would be great to remember that money and a huge company, doesn’t guarantee job satisfaction. Remember to include the rest of  your dreams in, that you enjoy your work, are good at it, have amazing colleagues, and a great encouraging boss etc etc. The point is to be as BOLD at the same time be CRYSTAL CLEAR in your prayers.

Body issues: A very common cause of pain, depression, lack of self-respect, and general peace of mind in today’s world is weight gain. Everyone is either too thin, or too fat. No one I know is happy at the weight they are in. Or they aren’t happy with their fashion choices, they aren’t happy with some part of  their appearance. They fret over it. They are constantly seen cribbing about it. And when they seemingly have the perfect lives, they can’t enjoy it, because they just aren’t their dream weight yet.

I, for one, have never been happy with my weight and appearance, ever in my life. I was unhappy in my teenage years, cause I hated my complexion. I was, now in hindsight, at a great weight then, but I never appreciated it, for sure. Now when I am ok with my complexion, I hate my weight. And then there was a time. I was a great weight and a good complexion, but you know what, I didn’t realize it then either. So the below tip is as much for me as for anyone else.

Current Circumstance: Suppose you hate the body. Hate the hair. Hate that the dresses you like, do not fit, hate the dresses which do fit. Have a diet regime in mind, which God knows when you are planning to follow. And a fitness regime? Right !

Prayer: BOLD Having Mandira Bedi’s (or anyone you adore) figure. This seems preposterous, when you are currently obese,can’t pay for a personal trainer, never had the will power to stay on a diet and have no  training regime in mind. But you have a clear view of your dream body in mind. So are you going to bend on your knees and ask God for another person’s body? How lame is that? Shouldn’t we only ask God for spiritual things? Like your parent’s happiness?

If you ask me, He is the Al-Mighty, so if it’s your weight that is bothering you, and stealing your joy, it means, it’s important enough to pray about it. There is a reason He is God, cause he can solve all your problems.

Praying with clarity for one’s body. It is not enough to say, God make me 48 kilos. You can become 48 kilos and look like a drug addict. So believe me, weight loss doesn’t equate to good looks. It means , God make me (your dream weight, no matter how unachievable) in a “healthy” manner. Make it easy on me.( You can go on a diet, and kill yourself in the gym, and attain your perfect weight , just to keep at it for one month, and get RIGHT back, to being over weight, if you don’t stress on this factor.)

Making it easy for you:-No matter how grueling your fitness regime seems to a third person, if it seems like cake walk for you, you are going to keep at it, and maintain your dream Mrs Bedi like body forever.

Life partner/dream wedding : Another major point of concern, especially in my friend’s circles. Will I ever get a person who I am compatible with? Or will my parents thrust upon me the next best thing they set their eyes on. Will I get fed up seeing too many men/women that finally I “settle”

Prayer:.

BOLD PART:You can pray for that milky white bride, who looks like Gwyneth Paltrow, or for a Bradley Cooper look-alike husband, whom you can show off to your friends.

CLARITY PART:But do not forget to pray for the many other things which are important too. The compatibility, the fun, the similar interests. You dare ask, can I really get a Gwyneth Paltrow who is fun?? You sure can, Chris Martin did, didn’t he? Now this also includes, mentioning things like someone who you can be honest with, comfortable with, and who adores me. Remember to include the minutest details, and remember to pray for each of it with clarity, while praying boldly.

Really, so now I have 15 min long prayers for three things in my life, when do you think I am going to pray for all this?

When to Pray?

Being a Muslim, my prayer life is “very” structured. So the one thing, that I don’t have to sit and write a timetable for, is my prayer, because my religion has already done it for me. Thank god, for that. So if you are a Muslim, you have it sorted out. You have 5 prayers daily. Learn your prayers, (as they are in Arabic, it’s easy to get into the motions, without understanding what we are reciting) We  also have a practice of saying personal prayers in Sujud, so what I tend to do, is use one of my Sujud’s to pray with clarity.

If you are a non muslim, it doesn’t make it any more difficult for you.SCHEDULE YOUR PRAYERS .The best time to pray in my opinion, would be when you commute to work. This is the time, you usually can do nothing. You can’t read, because you feel nauseous. You can’t work, you can hardly sleep. And commutes in large cities, usually last for half hour to one hour. But you sure can pray. This is going to seem a little mundane, but you could divide The Monday Morning To Office-commute, to pray for , your “new dream job “. The Monday From Office-Commute to pray for your “dream partner” etc.

Now if you are currently unemployed. I am guessing you have time to pray, for sure. So schedule it, to do it, at least twice a day.

So while the examples of job, life partner and weight loss, may or may not be applicable to you. I am ending it with one final example from my life, about how prayer can help you deal with shorter smaller goals too.

How do you know if you are praying right?

There is definitely no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is all-encompassing and everyone has their own personal way to pray. But prayer is supposed to bring us peace. No matter how enraged or angry disappointed or depressed you are, prayer IS supposed to bring you peace and a sense of calm. So are you feeling peaceful after you pray?

Something that does work for me, and brings me sense of peace and calm, is to visualize my dreams coming true while praying. And with as much clarity. So if it means having an amazing apartment to stay, with lot of air, sunlight, water, food etc. that means imagining each detail of it, including happy pictures hanging on the wall, or whatever your idea is. So prayer, immediately translates into a sense of faith. Because you believe that your prayers will come true.Every religion in the world, talks about faith, aka Imaan. So praying your prayers with faith, is the first part of living your life wholesomely in your waiting period.

Whenever I ask people to pray, even the ones who are religious, ask me, so you just want me to pray and not do anything about it? like shouldn’t I  work out to lose weight? Shouldn’t I learn to bake to bake a cake when people come over?

My answer to this, is you don’t. you don’t have to force yourself into doing or learning anything. It will find you. You will easily find your way, to a workout regime that’s simple, yet effective. You will find a supremely easy way to bake, and understand  it wasn’t such a hassle after all.

So while you slowly start your prayer regime, I wish you lots of peace and calm, and insha allah, I will continue my waiting series. With more pointers.

P.S: If you are an atheist, or someone who has lost their faith in God, I am not sure, how I can translate this point into something legible. In short, a life devoid of a belief in a super power, doesn’t currently make sense to me. So for those of you who are in that state, I hope, you find your God soon.

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One Response to “Bold Prayers:”

  1. shivranjini January 8, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Well said Nasia. Prayer is but the most integral part of anyone’s life. Only the intensity, practice and approach varies.

    My prayer is in the first ray of sun that meets my eye each day, the silent smile that thanks lord for giving me one more chance to realize my dreams. My prayer is in the concerned biting of the lip when measuring the salt to put into my food…hoping it tastes just the way I want it to. My prayer is in the quick shut eyes seconds before I login to work…hoping the day doesn’t weigh me down or bring any unpleasant news. And of course through the day.

    I believe we are all given to praying, wishing for that invisible force to hold us strong while everything around seems to fall apart. It’s just that the “I” in I am takes over too often and demands to be recognized over the force that feeds us with the courage and faith to live an achievement of a day each day. In fact, the choice of wanting to be an atheist in itself is quite sozzled with the fact that “there is…” but the “I” refuses to acknowledge. 🙂

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