Do Ritual Humanists Pray?

If there is no god, why pray? 

Ritual Humanist® prayer is a practice to awaken our inherent capabilities of strength, compassion, and wisdom rather than petition outside powers to use fear, idolatry, and worldly and/or heavenly gain. Ritual Humanist prayer is a form of meditation; it is a practice of inner reconditioning. It replaces the negative with the virtuous and points us to the blessings of Life.

The prayer offered by the Christ in the Gospels is often referred to as the lesson in how to pray for maximum effect. Here are a few of the examples interpreted for you:

  The quintessential ‘Christian Prayer’

“Our Father, Who Art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come

Thy will be done

On earth as it will in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever

In Jesus’ name. Amen.“

  The outline for the Christian Prayer

Addressed to the “Father” in Heaven (not the son) living in the royal city where the seat of the authority is and acknowledgement that the Heavenly Father is worthy of worship.

Prophecy of Kingdom coming to power

Promise that His will shall be done by us.

Same authority on earth as in the holy city.

Dependency on God for daily needs.

Forgiveness of transgressions and promise to forgive others.

Prayer for spiritual guidance and deliverance.

Honor and worship again.

Signed by believer with the authority of the heir to the throne (Jesus). (Implies that we have joint power of attorney with the Christ.)

For a more detailed analysis by John Wesley, see John Wesley's Bible Notes.

This is the ideal example of the Christian prayer as Jesus taught the disciples to pray. It consists mainly of worship – adoration, homage – and supplication for personal daily physical and spiritual needs. Most of what is truly valuable is designated to be held until the resurrection, when we are make perfect by a supreme deity.

Ritual Humanists can also pray. If that word is too “religious” for you, you could call it meditation, self-talk, recitations…whatever makes you feel comfortable. The main thing to remember is that it is not addressed to a deity. It is addressed to our own higher-self. I personally call it a guided meditation if it is written out and repeated as written. It can also be just a free meditation if you say what’s on your mind without any particular outside guidance.

The following in an example of how a Ritual Humanist prayer differs from a Christian prayer:

                           May All Be Filled With Joy and Peace

May all be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The meek and the powerful,
The short and the long,
The subtle and the gross:

May all beings everywhere,
Both seen and unseen, dwelling nearby or far away,

Let no one deceive another, 
Let no one anywhere despise another,

Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering to anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from hurt,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

This writing encourages us to turn our thoughts and minds toward the beneficial, inspiring our minds and actions towards a widespread awakening.

Ritual Humanism prayer is a practice to awaken our inherent capabilities of strength, compassion, and wisdom rather than to petition outside powers to use fear, worship, and worldly and/or heavenly gain. It is a practice of inner renovating. It replaces the negative with the virtuous and points us to the best parts of life.

For Ritual Humanism this is a way of seeking to draw new energies such as compassion, or joy and to filter those influences and share them with all living things. In addition, prayer and meditation inspires our higher-self to compassion and wisdom towards others and equally to ourselves. If we believe in something enough, it will take hold of us. In other words, we will become what we believe. Our ability to be changed this way is a demonstration of the greatness within humans.

This prayer-like meditation also functions as a self-therapy where one thinks through a problem or talks through it out loud in the hope that some new inspiration will come to light or a more enlightened decision can be made. Therefore, it can become a valued part of the decision-making process.

The wonderful thing about a prayer or meditation practice is that we can do it anywhere and anytime, changing the ordinary and routine into the path of Awakening. It improves our lives with a deep awareness that makes every moment special, giving us a life of loving kindness in the here and now rather than the hereafter.



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