Rethinking “A Secular Prayer”
©2021 by Vernon Miles Kerr, VernonMilesKerr.com
A few days after posting the “Compendium,” a narrative about my struggles with the concept of a God. My morning meditations transitioned into this “Secular Prayer.” That was a year before this update, which is being composed mid-December 2021. I think it encapsulates and renders-down all of the essay-links in that launch-page. (see link to it, below.)
A Secular Prayer
I’ll call You “God,” not from Faith, but from mere belief. Maybe someday it will be from pure faith. But now I only believe that You are there, reigning over this universe and the multitude of possible universes. I say “reign,” because I have no other human word to describe the epitome of everything. My conception of Your reign is nothing like the rulership of those weak, fallible, morally-challenged rulers of Earth—whether they be tyrants or well-meaning benefactors. I picture Your reign, dear God, as an all-encompassing one, an all infusing one. I imagine Your being everywhere, and within everything and everyone in this Universe, even non-Earthly brethren whom we have yet to meet.
When I pray, I sense that there is no necessary direction. There’s no orientation I must ritually assume, because You are everywhere at once. I think that all of my earthly brethren sense that omnipresence, because of the occasional inspiration in their own lives. Inspire, inspired, inspiration—we so frequently resort to those words. Even those who profess to deny Your existence, know cerebrally that the very source and ancient meaning of “inspiration” depends upon the word “spirit.” But what other word than “spirit” can describe instances of that astounding insight, even encouragement, coming from the mere ether?
Dear God, thank You. Every prayer should include thanks. Thanks for existence. Thanks for our family of mortal beings, animal and human, who inhabit this planet with us. Thanks for allthings: the mundane and the mysterious. The mundane, musty smell of freshly-tilled soil. The mysterious ability You have given us to mathematically parse the tones within the magic that is music. The very exclusivity in our ability to appreciate music, apart from all the animals of the Earth, hints that we are special in Your eyes. No wonder most of our Earthly religions make it an integral part of worship. Thank You.
Now my petitions. Every prayer should have petitions. The two words are synonymous. When we petition for ourselves, and especially for others, we are showing belief, perhaps even Faith. Belief or faith that You can and that You may, in Your omniscient overview of our needs, intervene. How many times have non-religious people reported puzzling intervention into their lives by complete strangers who were given knowledge of a dangerous predicament? You seem to work, dear God, not so much by spectacular miracles from the heavens, but by the simple infusion of a human being’s mind with knowledge of someone needing help, then with the burning desire to render it. Inspiration: sprit-within.
Now, dear God, I pray for all my fellow human beings who are not yet blessed with peace and safety. I pray for those who are hungry and suffering from the elements, from human cruelty, from disease or from addiction. May You inspire many more of us to reach out, to encourage, to provide physical assistance where we are able. I will have more specific petitions for You next time. I’ll have petitions for specific friends and family, specific situations. For now, I wanted to keep this prayer general in nature: a template as it were. My final petition, dear God, is that You allow this prayer to be a blessing to all who read it, as I now share it with the world.