please… please.. please…please.
I whispered the words softly, quietly.
As I stood in the bridal waiting room at the back of the church, ten years ago, ready to step out to a church filled with family and friends where my soon-to-be-husband was standing at the altar, I breathed those simple words.
Please. Please. Please.
I chanted the words silently, but strongly.
The words were half prayer, holding a sea of emotions, hopes, and fears. Not a prayer for divine intervention, but rather an appeal for serenity, strength, and mindfulness. As one of the most basic religious exercises, prayer has been shown to improve calmness, by strengthening brain regions that foster compassion and by calming brain regions linked to fear and anger.
And the words were also half mantra meditation, helping to calm my mind – my monkey mind, as Buddhists call it. Derived from the Sanskit work for “mind tool,” mantra meditation involves chanting a single word or phrase in order to focus the mind. Eventually the mind focuses more on the rhythm of the words, and less on the words themselves.
Please don’t let me trip walking down the aisle.
Please don’t let me break into uncontrollable sobbing.
Please let my husband feel as sure about this day as I am.
Please let this be more than just the wedding I dreamed of, but also the marriage that we both deserve.
Please make us family.
Please give me strength.
Please give us strength.
Please…such a simple word, but a profound word. As I chanted that simple word in sighs and whispers, the clouds of nervousness, anxiety, and worry parted. The rays of strength, confidence, hopefulness, and faith shone down.
Please…the holiest of prayers because what follows can contain the depths of our heart. The Spirit knows what follows that little word please. The Divine knows the unspoken that lies hidden in sighs and tears and deep breaths, even if we don’t.
Please...my favorite prayer, my truest prayer.
And thank you. The only response that ever seems appropriate for all that the Spirit bestows.
How do you pray? What is your favorite prayer?
This post originally appeared on the author’s website here.