The value of prayer in my life rests on whether it promotes my sense of serenity, acceptance and willingness to act humanely and honestly. Both of these prayers failed me on that kind of personal level. Because the nature of what faith I do have is so uncertain about what a higher power might or might not be, or even if there is such a one, I found the inclusiveness of Hunter's remarks more to my liking, though if either Yeary or Hunter were standing next to me, I would hold their hands, listen to their words and try to put them to useful purpose in my life. I pray spiritually rather than religiously. Prayer is a discipline that fosters balance, understanding and compassion in me. It is a practice that helps me stay in closer contact with my better self. Maybe I am a praying atheist, as I have sometimes been described. In the context of the convention, I'm not sure that either prayer could escape the spectacle. The RNC, in particular, seemed in a raucous mood. All prayer, however, expresses humility in that it admits that all of the answers and needs cannot be met by a single individual or group. Prayer expressed communally reinforces that community. Prayer impedes our natural tendency to compare to rather than identify with others. Concern about politics scullying religion strikes me as almost comical. Institutions of such magnitude don't belong in any contest of purity. My guess is that most religious figures carry as much "baggage" as most political figures.
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