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How to pray?

Many pagans and witches use prayer as a form of worship and for requesting help from deities. Share and discuss prayers here.

How to pray?

Postby nyxmoonshadow » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:56 pm

Merry meet, everyone!

I come bearing another question (I have many, I'm sorry!). I hope this question is in the right place, if it's not, feel free to move it. Okay, here's the thing. I come from a very Catholic background, and praying usually consisted of Our father's, Hail Mary's, and practically beseeching (read: begging) God to help out. Since I was a kid, about 5, I knew this wasn't the right way to pray, but I was never taught any other way. I'm rereading all the books I've read since I began my path, starting with the first one, To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf (there's mixed opinions about this author, but I was young :D). In this book, she mentions that interaction with deity is about not sacrificing your dignity by sniveling at their feet. It's about raising our vibrations, and accepting the union. My question is in parts: How do I bring up my vibrations and how do I pray "correctly"? I've never actually had a conversation with deity, and to be honest, thinking about trying makes me feel like a crazy person. How can I overcome this?
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Re: How to pray?

Postby AdastraJunction » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:03 pm

Honestly you just do it. I tend to have conversations with my deities as if they were old friends, like I've known them the entire life. I tell them how my day/week/month has been, my fears and concerns, what I'm happy and excited about, plans for the future. I don't ask much of them because I don't EXPECT anything from them, if they choose to help me then they will and I am always polite and make offerings.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby Siona » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:20 am

Prayers come in many different forms, and different people may have better success with some forms over others. If you're having trouble just jumping right into personal prayer, you might want to try something else first... For example, you're familiar with prayers that involve repetition (doing so many sets of our father, for example), and that's certainly a valid way to pray that is used in many different religions. Repetition of a particular prayer like that puts you into a meditative and receptive state, which can allow you to commune with deity. Using prayer beads can be similar.

There is also reciting (but not repeating multiple times at once) an existing prayer, either one you've written, or one written by someone else. A lot of Greek pagans are fond of reciting the Homeric or Orphic hymns, for example. After reciting a hymn one might then say some personal prayers, or just have a moment of silence. Opening with the same prayer before personal prayers is another way to get into the 'right' frame of mind, acting sort of like an icebreaker, almost. Do it enough and your mind goes, okay, yeah, it's time to pray, and then going from reciting a prayer into personal prayer time becomes easier. Some accomplish the same thing by sitting at their altar and lighting their candles/incense, or whatever else, first. Eventually you might find it easier just to get right into personal prayer without these aids, because you've simply become more comfortable with it over time.

There's a book called "A Book of Pagan Prayer" by Ceisiwr Serith you might like to check out. It's a prayer book with a lot of different examples in it, but it also covers the whole how/why/etc of prayer different ways to pray, and all that.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby Lillady » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:56 am

Just as Siona said there are various ways to pray. The book she suggested by Ceisiwr Serith is an awesome one to read when you have a chance. When I pray I do it as a meditation, depending on my need I will use stones/candles to set the mood and to help with empowerment. You do not have to use tools, I just do that is a personal thing but certainly not needed. Focus on your need, call out to the deity you wish to speak with, open your heart and mind and let them come to you. Have an offering ready to show your thanks if you are able to. If you do not have an offering, of course thank them for their help and coming to you. Deities work in mysterious ways. Do not be troubled if one does not come to you. They are all always here for us, just sometimes they do not just come to you as you wish. This could be for a variety of reasons. During my prayers, I will play Celtic music to help with opening my mind and heart as well as helping to focus on my prayer and need. I hope this helps you. Blessed Be.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby nyxmoonshadow » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:16 pm

Thank you all for the feedback and useful information. I've put the book mentioned on my reading list, it sounds like it would help me greatly. My praying seems to have gotten better, I'm actually getting responses now! Asking politely instead of begging did the trick. They don't always answer, but when they do, they make sure I get the message. Thanks for the music tip, Lillady, I've found some real good songs on YouTube, which have been added to my playlist.

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Re: How to pray?

Postby Naudia Threng » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:17 am

I pray like an essay. An opening phrase that never changes, then i ask for help or whatever, finishing with a conclusion which is also constant.
O Goddes, all praise to you. Ta em hotep, anekh hrak. Lady Isis, I adore you. Nebet aset, tu a atu.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby Naudia Threng » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:27 am

For instance...
(I use hecate, you can use any-other god or goddess)

Goddess Hecate,
Your humble follower calls to thee,
For he (or she) is faithful, blessed be my goddess,
And here me.

(Insert problems and whatnot here)

You have heard me,
My goddess is blessed,
Goddess Hecate.
Merry meet.
O Goddes, all praise to you. Ta em hotep, anekh hrak. Lady Isis, I adore you. Nebet aset, tu a atu.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby SpiritTalker » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:36 pm

There's contemplative prayer too in which you just sit in silence, allowing the Presence to surround your awareness. No words are needed or even possible. It's like sitting comfortably with a friend, and just being together is the prayer.

And prayers of thanks where you count your blessing, and of praise in admiring the handiwork of the divine. Pretty words aren't as important as honest awed content. Just feeling rather than thinking opens up the flow.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby moonraingirl » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Contemplative prayer is a real gift from the Divine.
When I first set off on a spiritual journey, I would get into that state often.
That feeling of redundance of words, everything was clear. Everything was right. A Being so gentle, so soft, like huge snowflakes falling on a calm winter evening and you look up and see them falling gently in the light of street lamp. You are ACCEPTED.
You get hooked on that feeling, smiling ear to ear like crazy for days...
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Re: How to pray?

Postby Shekinah » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:57 pm

The formal religions do not teach anything about communication with the Spirit realm. A memorized rote prayer is meaningless and Divinities are most likely offended by such lazy thoughtlessness. Verbal praying goes nowhere beyond the space where it is voiced. Are we to assume sound waves waft into ethereal spaces or that the Gods are fluent in all languages on this and other worlds? We might say the same for silent prayers where-in verbalization is rambled in the mind. In Witchcraft magick we learn the importance and power of visualization in all of our practice. In our ritual circles it is not words that cast the sacred space or opens a portal between worlds or reaches the mind of our Spirit Guide (God/Goddess) it is the mental imagery that meaningfully extends into entangled consciousness. Our words only facilitate our visualization. In prayer we create a mental image that will convey our intended message, associate it with whomever it is to go and then release it confident that "IT IS DONE".
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Re: How to pray?

Postby nightshroud » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:18 am

So anyway you go about it is fine?
The darkness is my friend for I am Nightshroud the darklord.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby Bychan Wulf » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:33 am

nightshroud wrote:so anyway you go about it is fine.

Yes, talking to your Deity is like talking to your mom. Nobody teaches you how to do it, there are no rules for it, but you do it the way it feels right.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby nightshroud » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:46 am

That's where I get nervous...
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Re: How to pray?

Postby Bychan Wulf » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:56 am

Look, not everybody is good at praying. I am terrible at it but it always worked for me, even if it sounded awful. It just has to come from your soul; nothing more.
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Re: How to pray?

Postby SpiritTalker » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:13 am

Yup Nightshroud, anyway you do is fine. Nervous is OK too. It's honest. Prayer can be, but is not limited to, being an internal process of focussed thoughts. It can be external, like a chant, song, dancing, sculpting, drawing, painting. It moves vital life force. It expresses the soul. Think of those old petroglyphs and cave paintings as prayers. Sometimes it carries an emotional tag like joy, grief, fear or shame; sometimes it hums or shrieks.
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