Singing as a Form of Prayer

Yesterday, I was asked by several people to pray for their loved ones. It was just that kind of day. One person’s father was diagnosed with leukemia. Another person’s daughter was driving her horse trailer with three horses right toward the epicenter of a tornado. Another friend reminded me to pray for a mutual friend of ours, recently diagnosed with cancer. And then throughout my yoga classes yesterday, there were people carrying their own pain, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.

While I was driving in the car between classes, I found myself making up a prayer song. I usually turn off the radio between classes, as it distracts me and often offers the wrong kind of energy that I want while teaching classes. So that time of driving becomes a time where I remind myself to not look at the clock and instead look at the scenery. I often find myself having conversations with God. I am reminded of a story I heard several years ago, about Pope John Paul II, who, when asked to pray for someone, would stop what he was doing right then, and offer a prayer for that person. I liked the idea so much, I have incorporated it into my own prayers. That way, I don’t forget anyone at the end of the day, when I pray before I fall asleep.

As I was driving yesterday, I was reminded of something I had recently read, comparing meditation to chanting. The article author said he felt chanting was more powerful, because you invoke the name of God into your chant, like a prayer. I am not sure I agree fully, as I believe the two are very different. To me, prayer is DOING, while meditation is BEING, and in meditation, you listen, while in prayer to speak. But I have thought about this article a lot lately, and so I have been listening to some chanting music in my day.

Thus the prayer song. I decided to offer a chanting song for the people who are sick and treating and healing right now, instead of the average prayer. I thought perhaps God would appreciate the melody, as off key as I am, and hear my intent. And it made me smile. Singing makes me smile because it vibrates with my heart.

Maybe if you are driving alone during this weekend, you might try singing a prayer for for your suffering and the suffering of others, or even better, sing a prayer of gratitude!

Shanti! (Peace)

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