Open communication is key to relationship; being-ness-to-being-ness.
… and prayer is both verbal AND non-verbal communication
Some of my friends with dementia are anxious because they have “forgotten how to pray”.
Some were very comforted by specific memorized prayers or memorized scriptural verses. Now they are unable to remember them … and that fact can be very traumatic, even if they get strategies or tools for substitutes.
I don’t have any tips for memorized prayer right now, since that is not a tool i have ever used.
This is just a page from my spiritual journal.
For me personally, My most transparent, intimate moments with Creator — are with no words, and no others around; Just enjoying relationship and close EMOTIONAL connection. No words are needed with this being that understands it all.
It feels like my growing”scattered-ness” and confusion can easily get in the way with the VERBAL part of prayer,
like prayer requests and more formal thanks-givings.
But that same scattered-ness and confusion actually feels like an ASSET
for the NON-verbal, oh-so-intimate aspect of prayer.
Relationship with the Divine seems to be the one relationship that is not impaired by dementia symptoms.
For me, prayer is transparency; opening my life, with all its seen and unseen aspects
… to the ONLY entity who is all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-encompassing.
… yet so very warm, accepting, and generous.
i wont argue about He or She, Masculine/Feminine, etc. For i believe this entity is far beyond masculine/feminine properties, to something entirely “alien” in our understanding. Why waste my time on those efforts ? So, for sake of communication, i simply refer to Him/Her as “Creator”. (I know that this term may be another issue, but it is simply much easier for me to write if i have a term, and there are way too many misunderstandings with most of the other terms.)
We might entertain others in the privacy of our own home, but seldom do we entertain an Omniscient “other” in the complete intimacy of our being-ness; leaving no cranny of our essence or behaviors unseen and un-explored. It can be draining … and energizing.
Prayer can be energizing, revealing, relaxing, … or even all of those at once, but in my experience non-verbal prayer is often intense and exciting. For me, prayer is not something i often do to condition for sleep, except for quick notes. Otherwise i never get to sleep. My time for prayer is usually early morning on the couch. I really like the movement of water while praying, so tub is also really nice time for just sitting word-less … together.
Prayer is a CHOICE to spend time with another being, and i consciously make that choice.
What “format” does MY prayer-time have? Personally, i dont think prayer format is important at all. A format that seems to assist one relationship could clog another relationship, but for ME …
i usually begin with verbal prayer, clearing the space of any actions or attitudes that might impede communication; getting confessions and frustrations out of the way. Then time of gratitude or THANKSgivings. The “main meal” of my prayer is now extremely-intimate non-verbal time (30-seconds to over 20 minutes). Then i go back to verbal prayer, with some of my requests, etc. i have long list of folks with dementia who are on my written prayer list, and i mention those names and issues at different times (sometimes several times a day) but i know that omniscient Creator actually knows and has taken appropriate action on those requests without me verbally stating them. Priority is foundational RELATIONSHIP between self and creator, not mentioning names and circumstances. May have more non-verbal time (if it “clicks”) and then usually close with thanksgivings again. Or i get interrupted, LOL.
Non-verbal prayer is such a GIFT; this private communication with Creator !!!
Such unconditional acceptance of my being-ness.
Nothing compares to prayer.
invested 16 days. 8hrs on txt & more than 20 hrs on graphic because topic changed from power of prayer to intimacy of prayer. Graphic copyright issues: Original photo by werner22brigitte on Pixabay. Lightened the photo with filter, in order to make it more of a background. Added hand selected out from a photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash, then carefully selected sunbeams to lighten sections of hand in PhotoShop. Used fonts “Vanessa” and “Vani”, 3 layers each; 2 of dark green, and one very light yello (but very slightly off-size) underneath to make title “pop”.
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