THOUGHTS ON PRAYER
I used to say a prayer every day trying to park downtown ... "Hail Mary full of grace, help me find a parking space." And this started me on a thought process about prayer. Recently I've heard that many Christians believe Jesus is God. This upset me immensely because growing up as a Catholic I've never ever had a confusion between Jesus and God. Jesus was a man sent to us by God and God, well that's clear. I thought "How can people believe Jesus is God? How can God create himself?" And if Jesus was God, he (depending on different schools of thought) died on a cross. This seriously disturbed me because I wonder how many kids, etc. are being indoctrined to this belief. It's scary to me. But then I was thinking of this prayer I used to say (the one above) ... It sounds as though I was praying to Mary...certainly in my mind I wasn't, but it sure does sound that way. These types of prayers can give kids the idea that we should pray to saints etc when we should only pray to God (and this is what I always did) but the types of prayers in churches can seriously be taken wrong as though they are praying to someone else than God. And it is a fine line isn't it? Once I started praying Islamically I at first had troubles with Muhammad's (SAW) name being in the prayer so much because it made me think of the way Jesus is in so many prayers. I feel prophets and messengers are pious and special people, but still people, not to be idolized. They are the human form of what Allah wants but not to be prayed upon. In time, my thoughts changed, and I understand why he is in our prayers and why it is important - and that we are asking for blessings and he and his family - not praying to him. It took some time for me to be comfortable saying his name so much, but the Quran cleared it up. Sometimes though it bothers me when Muhammad (SAW) is idolized. The other night in a lecture the guest sheikh was saying Muhammad - he's the Man and kept saying it over and over and exalting him. I agree that he is so important to the religion and a person whom we should take guidance for our lives from but sometimes I would like to hear Allah praised as much as our messenger.