Pray… To ask of a higher power that which we can not achieve by ourselves. To believe such a higher power exists. To believe we can communicate with this higher power. To believe It can listen to us and understand the message we try to convey. Finally, if such high power exists and we can communicate with It and we can convey a message, to believe It can actually grant our request. And if It doesn’t? Well, in that case It is either evil or It does not exist (what else…?).
A pray is the acknowledgement of a failure. The recognition that we can not achieve something by ourselves. The recognition that we are limited. Alternatively, more often than not, the acknowledgement that we are too lazy or too craven to do something by ourselves. If there is such a higher power and can indeed listen to us and understand us, how will It feel when we ask It to remove obstacles form our life that we are perfectly capable of solving by ourselves, but we don’t, just because it is difficult or because we can not gather the courage? This, of course, assuming that It can have feelings. And if we kindly request something that is beyond our capacity, like beating time or death, how will It feel? Why do we have limitations in the first place? If we didn’t have these limitations, wouldn’t we have different limitations? More power, but not unlimited anyway.
But a pray is also a demonstration of our power. Or, at least, the power we believe we have. Because we believe that we can not only communicate with a higher power in a language It can understand but also that, somehow, we can yield Its will so that It will grant our wishes. We acknowledge our limitations, humbly, but, implicitly, we are suggesting that we might have the capacity to make this high power act at our command. Oh, not a command, just a humble pray from a humble servant… and, yet, a pray that implies the manipulation of a higher power through an intervention that is unlikely to cause It any benefit (or detriment, for that matter), an intervention only we profit from.
So, when we pray out of cowardice or laziness, not only do we believe this behaviour is acceptable, but we also believe we have the right to twist Its arm for a favour we are perfectly capable of carrying out ourselves. Very humbly, of course, and forever grateful.
And if we pray out of need, of despair… well, we are also implying we can… “convince” the higher power to bend natural laws for us.
We are indeed powerful… we can talk to a higher power, in the language of the Gods and can convince It to help us. In all our humility… But we aren’t humble. A pray is an act of sheer arrogance. Because we assume there is a small possibility we can yield Its will. Because if the higher power doesn’t serve at our will, if It is there just to remind us of our impotence, of our limits, then what is the purpose of It…? Why would we even accept Its existence, let alone abide by some laws that, uncannily, came to be in our hands? Why not ignore It, then, if It serves no purpose?
And the word “please” is just the same. A recognition of our limitations and, at the same time, the arrogance to believe we have the power to move someone else to do something for us. Except that, being on the other side, being able to grant a wish… feeling like a God for an instant, makes us feel so well. It makes us feel loved. But a higher power, if It indeed exists, does not care for our love, It does not need it. It makes no difference to It. It just is. As are we. And the whole of us, all of us, are It.
Who do we pray to, then? We pray to ourselves. Or rather, we pray for ourselves. We are the ones who listen to the pray. And the ones who can understand it, in its totality. And, often, the only ones who can grant our wishes.