“Lord, please give me the courage to change the things that I can, the serenity to accept the things that I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference”
The prayer above is known as the alcoholic’s prayer. While I am not an alcoholic (though my first two years of university might have brought me dangerously close), this prayer resonates deeply with me. It reminds me, just as when my mom used to say “Aides-toi le ciel t’aideras!” (God helps those who help themselves) that God, while almighty, is a facilitator and that I need to change the things around me in order to receive His kindness.
My mom did attend church 5 days a week with the exception of prayer night and bible study, though I never really tagged along except for Sundays and only while living with her. However, she did teach me how to do my Catholic prayers and I have recited the rosary more than my fair share of times for a young adult in the 21st century. I used to think my mother was ompletely demantial with her church once a day, turns out, there’s another people out there even more “demential” than my mother. Moreover, I am joining their religion knoingly and willingly: blessed be my soul!
Sunni (a branch of Islam) Muslims pray 5 times a day:
– between dawn and sunrise
– between sunrise and midday
– between midday and the evening (when the sun is about halfway to setting)
– between evening and sundown
– between sundown and nighttime
The concept of Muslim prayer ressembles that of Sunday mass: stand up, sit, stand, sit, kneel, sit EXCEPT replace sit by sitting on your feet, on the ground and kneeling by prostrating. Also, much to my enjoyment, Muslim prayer does not last an hour like Sunday mass, but between 10 -20 minutes depending on the prayer you recite. There is much too much for me to explain but look it up, it’s very interesting. But long story short, with all five daily prayers added up, I’m basically goign to church on a daily basis! Ressemblance are so close that I even took it upon myself to compare both of the most recited prayers from Islam and Christianity:
“Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
– Bible, Matthew 6:9-13
“In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the World
Most Gracious, most Merciful
Master of the Day of Judgement
We worship You and we seek Your help.
Show us the straight way.
The way of those on whom you have bestowed Your Grace, those whose [portion] is not wrath and who do not go astray”
– Qu’ran, Al-Fatiha 1:1-7
Okay, looking at both those prayers, we can see one very obvious pattern: we both are seeking righteousness and trying to be steered away from evil/wrath. Praying to me is more than requests and demands to God, it’s also submission and love for God. “Our Father”, “Beneficent and Merciful” those are characteristic of love!
Regardless of all of this, it’s going to be a pain to wake up early in the morning and pray late at night, but I can do this. Can’t I? I’ll get back to you on this once I’ve actually tried!
3 thoughts on “Five pillars examined: 2 – Prayer (Salat)”
“will have to”, wrong word, “should” or “will be polite enough to” would have been a better choice of words! 🙂
The other Muslim convert at my work prays in the conference room. I'm sure it's big enough for us to share, though I will have to ask her 😛
Do you have a spot at work where you can do your prayers with the movements?