Sunday, January 25, 2015

Deism and Prayer

Deists have varying thoughts on prayer. Some believe that Deity does not interfere in human affairs and thus prayer is a waste of time. Others like myself believe that prayer connects to the Higher Self which can be view as the God/dess within.

I remember hearing a sermon that mentioned 4 types of prayer. I'm guessing this refers to Christian prayer but I'll go over each type and why it may or may not fit into my practice.

  • Praise/Adoration/Love/Awe: When you tell Deity how great She and Her Works are. Chances are, She already knows but it doesn't hurt to be reminded every now and then. Deism is based in science so praising the beauty of the sunset or being in awe of the human birthing process would fit in with this belief system. In my Pagan rituals there are invocations that could be likened to prayers of adoration although I'm not really one for flowery speech.
  • Thanks: Not sure if this form has a place in deism. The creative side of my brain whispers a quick Thank you to the Universe when things go my way unexpectedly. The rational side realizes that there is no proof that a Deity exists so who am I thanking? Does Deity even intervene? In case She does, no harm and saying Good looking out!
  • Petition/Intercession: This is the I need, I want, or somebody else needs/wants prayer. I feel torn about this form. For example, I lost my job a few years back. Along with prayer and ritual, I looked for employment and asked friend for leads. Currently employed so was that me or Goddess? On the other hand, there's poverty, war, lack of drinking water, animal cruelty, crime, disease, and other bad things going on in the world. These things rarely make it into my prayers. Why? Because we humans caused them and it's not Goddess' responsibility to get rid of them. We have everything we need to get rid of man-made conditions.
  • Confession: No such type in Paganism or deism. You would have to believe in some type of sin. Sin implies a wrongdoing again Deity. Many Pagans follow the rule of do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Although broad, this edict carries common sense. If some sort of wrongdoing took place, the only confession necessary would be to the person wronged and/or to law enforcement.

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