What in Heaven’s Name is it to Pray Attention?

by Diane Scribner Clevenger

In The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran writes, “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?”

The way I see it, you and I are living prayers. We are feelings being felt, thoughts being shared, ideas being manifest, walls being built, and the compassion that levels us all. We are luminosity brightening darkness, a word spoken, a touch that hurts and heals. We are brave and bold and broken open so that we’ll shine.

Yet, how can you and I shine when it feels dark, and life seems uncertain?

I looked in the Bible for guidance and found the apostle Paul speaking to the ‘Thessalonians,’ which metaphysically means, tossed by the waves. The people he was speaking to were stressed out, wanting to know what to do, just like us! And in Thessalonians 5:17, Paul says to them (us), Pray without ceasing.

Whaaat? You may by thinking, are you kidding? I’m busy here. I’m freaking out; and besides that, I can’t get in full lotus position or sit on top of some sacred mountain, all the time!

Clearly there’s a disconnect here. What, I wondered, did Paul mean by, ‘pray’? For help, I looked at the scriptures just before and after, and something started to holy shift in me… Thessalonians 5:16 says, Rejoice evermore, and 5:18 says, In everything give thanks. Ah-ha!

I think Paul was giving us timeless wisdom for living a more conscious life; by saying, to us all, pray close attention to whatever is taking place, right where you are; and live in gratitude, constantly.

“You are here.”

In Mary Manin Morrisey’s book New Thought, I wrote: You’ve all had the experience of coming into a shopping center and trying to locate yourself. You find one of those maps that has an arrow and a little sign that says, “You are here.” I like those, because you’ve got to know where you are in order to orient yourself to your world. “You are here.” Have you accepted that? You may as well face it. This is it – as good as it gets. It is not a rehearsal. This is life. And so the question becomes, “How am I going to show up? What am I going to do now?”

So, I started a ministry with a goofy, play-on-words name to encourage us to follow Paul’s advice; and then I created this course to help you remember how to shine from within, no matter how rough it gets out there.

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Rev. Diane Scribner Clevenger grew up in New Thought, and was ordained a Unity minister in 1997. She is spiritual leader of Pray Attention Ministries, an alternative Unity church without walls, that shares down-to-earth ideas and practices for staying wide open. With honor degrees from George Mason University and Unity School of Christianity, Diane loves to guest speak, write, teach, help vulnerable children, coach, and facilitate gatherings. She serves Avow Hospice’s spiritual advisory board, co-emcee’s Unity annual conventions, is a Special Olympics chaplain, and a new side-walker for Therapeutic Riding. She’s been Sr Minister of Unity churches in VA and FL, a PBS TV host, radio personality, received the YWCA Women of Achievement Award in religion, walked 480 miles across Spain’s Camino, and now, is thrilled to be on the faculty of ILLLI!


Pray Attention to Your Self

Are you ready to stay open hearted during this time? Are you ready to be a light in a dark place? If you are reengaging with your spirituality again or exploring for the first time, this course will help you learn how prayer connects you to the real world of love and higher vibrations. Reacquaint yourself with the God of New Testament who is love; an intangible essence in which you live and move and have your being, of which you were created.

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