Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simple Prayers

I find little to like in most published Pagan prayers. Either they are conversational prayers anyone with half a brain could have come up with on their own - something listed as "a prayer for strength" essentially just saying "Oh deity, please give me strength" - or, perhaps as a backlash to this drivel, and desiring poetry over content, they are blatant rip-offs of Christian prayers; the Lord's Prayer and "Now I lay me down to sleep" being the most popular. Of course there are some really good prayers out there, but they're not easy to find.

I've mentioned repeated prayer before, and I think repeated prayer does have to be poetic. A lot of the stuff you find online or even in published books is not a bit poetic, and therefore to me not appropriate for repeated prayer. In fact much of it is the sort of thing anyone would simply state plainly when speaking from the heart. This can be interesting to read, but do people really need that sort of hand-holding when it comes to talking to gods? You can't say "Lady, please grant me a child" or "Lord, please strengthen my spirit" or whatever without it written down in front of you?

I have realised that much of what I simply say to my gods when I kneel before the altar, speaking plainly, is the sort of thing you get in these books. (Heh, maybe I could publish them and make a bundle.) There's nothing wrong with this sort of prayer, I just find it annoying when going out on the internet or in book previews looking for a prayer that is beautiful and poignant, and I find very basic things of a few lines with no substance. Straightforward, sure. Nice enough, too, but not something you'd bother posting in the expectation that anyone would actually recite it. Read it, appreciate it, maybe. But recite it? Can't they form their own prayers?

I do like the simple prayers for interest's sake. I like reading them when others share them for the sake simply of sharing them. I like saying my own, I like tweaking them and writing them down in my book - I may not ever use them again (in fact it would be a bit odd if I did), but because they came to me when speaking to my Gods, they are valuable, with their own insights, however tiny, that I would not want lost. I like most of all that they are rarely if ever just words... so often, they are responses to imagery and imagery returned.

Here is an example. Out of my head and on the page it holds so little of what I felt at the time, but it has its own charms. Or perhaps those charms are noticeable only to me.

Hail Lady of the Green,
Of moss on trees,
Please help lift the worries from my shoulders.
Hail Lord of the Wide Sky,
Of the brown bark,
Please walk with me, and keep me company.
Hail, Green and Brown.

1 comment:

  1. I love that. It does bring about good imagery and it flows really well. There's enough in the content and wording that it's inspiring of, as you said the imagery but as well as a great deal of feelings. Expressions of sincerity, humbleness, and faith but it's still short enough that it is something you could repeat in chanting/repetitive prayer over and over as many times as you wanted to suit you're purpose.