Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t, has been, when praying for others, to adopt their style of prayer. Somehow it seems more humble, loving, and universal. When praying for Muslims, to pray as Muslims pray. When praying for Christians, to pray as Christians pray. When praying for Hindus, to pray as Hindus pray. When praying for Jewish people, to pray as Jewish people pray. When praying for atheists, to do whatever nontheistic acts atheists might do in place of prayer. I have been wanting to look on the Internet for simple instructions on how people in other belief systems pray, and then post them on this blog as a reference.
There’s the danger, in trying to be universal when it comes to religion, of overemphasizing the religious color of other people’s identity and experiences. Religion may simply be background for most people, or something personal and private, and calling attention to it out of an overeager desire to be universal could cause discomfort or promote division. Playing up people’s religious identity has the potential to be very awkward and unhelpful.
Nonetheless, to the extent that people do practice and identify with their religious beliefs, praying for them as they would pray could be something egoless, encouraging, heartwarming, and beautiful.
I’d like to try it.