Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my Soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my Soul to take.
How many children learned this prayer as a child? It is a simple prayer, yet profound in its message. A reminder that our souls reach beyond this world and that we hope to be called home should something happen to us. How many of us remember this prayer as a bedrock of our first introduction to prayer or the notion that there is something greater that awaits us?
Our waters run deep with influences like this from every experience we have ever had. While we may not be able to recall each memory specifically, they are still there running deep, still calling to us from a sea of energy that runs through each of us and everything around us. In our dreams, in the many signs that surround us we find them there as inspiring reminders throughout our lives. To quote neurobiologist, Dr. Candace Pert, in Bill Moyer’s Healing and the Mind, “Clearly, there’s another form of energy that we have not yet understood. For example, there’s a form of energy that appears to leave the body when the body dies…Your mind is in every cell of your body.” Dr. Pert has proven, neuropeptides- the chemicals triggered by emotions- physically reside in our bodies and interact with our cells and tissues. Our experiences, memories, emotions, and thoughts are what contribute to our “cellular memory.” Throughout our lives these memories influence our behaviors and everything we do.
This prayer life for me, while having evolved over the years, reminds me that my soul still remembers and yearns for the love of spirit that runs through and around me and has the ability to affect my life spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When I am lost and in the dark, I’ve only to reach out and receive, through the uplifting joys and deep pains, the dawning light of awareness that again, I am never alone.
In my mid-thirties, my evolution of prayer included a new request that no matter what I may have to walk through in this life, no matter how painful, let it be if it is to include in the healing a deeper connection to spirit and the love that awaits me there. And while I have wanted to retract that prayer many a time-I am only human- ultimately it has opened my eyes to the fact that in the darkness is where I find the greatest “light.”
Somewhere locked away inside me, stamped on an energy field that we are really just now beginning to understand, I remember, and my soul remembers that simple prayer and that appeal from childhood. A “knowing” that I would be protected, loved and cherished and that everything would be okay as long as I return to the place called “home” and stay intentionally “open” to everything around me.
“When prayer comes from the soul, when it is prayer of pure intent and inspiration, a prayer that desires to reach out and create an envelope of love for self and all our relations, then the very desire with which it is being spoken gives it wings that will carry it to the heights and realms of spirit…”