Friday Favorites Newsletter #42
August 23rd, 2019 
Favorite Quote: 

"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It's a way to live."

  -  Dwight Lyman Moody
What Prayer Means to Me

Lately I’ve been thinking about what connects us. When I look at what crazy times we are living in, with people more polarized than ever, I like the idea of taking a moment to focus on our connections and how we are similar. This week’s podcast with Diane Morrissey was so inspiring! I absolutely love that she’s been praying for her children’s future spouses since the day they were born! It has prompted me to consider the idea of prayer—what it is and how we do it.

I love when someone says that they’re going to pray for me. I certainly don’t mind what religion anyone’s from—I am just delighted that someone would want to surround me and mine in love and light. I was raised traditionally Catholic, although I like to call myself a “recovering Catholic,” having become less religious and more of a spiritual being. In this issue I have asked some of my badass friends from different faiths what prayer means for them, and I am so completely touched by the answers that it feels like a blessing simply to put together this issue.

I love this prayer that I said to my children when they were little: “You are a spiritual being, infinitely loved by God, protected by angels, and surrounded by light, and you walk in the path of peace. Om shanti shanti.” I do say prayers that feel traditional, and I also call upon my mother, whose presence I often sense. She feels like an angel looking out for me. Reclaiming prayer as an adult for myself has been powerful and empowering.
I believe I could hear my mother’s prayers when I was inside her womb.  I remember my tiny hands cupped in between her palms as she showed me how to pray to Buddha, Kwan Yin, and our ancestors at our home altar.  When she was dying of cancer, I remember my father on his knees every morning without fail, bowing his forehead onto the marble floor, uttering his most sincere prayers in front of our home altar for his wife’s life.  My parents taught me that prayers are the doorway to intimacy with God and Self.  They showed me their humility, gratitude, vulnerability, presence, and praise through prayers.  I pray when I wake up and before I go to bed.  Every time I pray, I stand in that threshold where Human and the Divine meet and greet, where I, like my parents, continue to turn the wheel of an ancient tradition of humankind.

Jovinna Chan
Yoga and Dance Teacher/Artist
Prayer is my way of re-engaging with all that is vulnerable within me. It’s a reminder. A message from the sky, the sun, trees, dirt, water, my ancestors--all that are in support of me.
It says: “You’re not in control, and that’s okay. Everything in this world conspires on behalf of your greatness, your ultimate success. Open your mouth. Ask. Be open, willing to receive. And so, as always, it shall be.”

Carrie Kholi, Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Whole30 
In our daily prayers as a Muslim we ask for peace, protection and “barkat” which means abundance from God (with goodness) for ourselves and others around us ....
Our prayers are inclusive to everyone around us daily.

Freda Shafi, Chef and Founder, Spice it up
Prayer is what gets me through the day. Sometimes it’s organized, out of a prayer book (which we call a siddur in Hebrew) and most of the time it’s the continuous conversation I have with God while going about my day to day life. On the good days, I use my prayers to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me, big and small. On the hard days, I pray for the strength to get through them because I know that when I feel as if I have lost total control I turn to the One who controls it all.

Danielle Renov, Founder, Peaslovencarrots 
The 94th chapter in the Quran titled ‘The Relief’ is one of the most important for me. There is a saying that is repeated, symbolizing how much we have to focus ourselves on the relief that will come after the hardship. We all go through pain and suffering, but the focus is on the relief, and not the pain, as we are believers, and our faith is more powerful than our hardships. Nothing bad lasts forever: 
‘For indeed, with hardships, there will be ease. 94.5
Indeed, with hardships, there will be ease. ‘ 94.6

Joudie Kalla, Palestinian Chef and Author of Palestine on a Plate and Baladi
Prayer to me is more spiritual than religious. I've learned to really value and trust the power of the unseen. Energy is a tangible thing, and our thoughts truly become our reality. Because I know this to be true, each day I practice mindset and manifestation activities to be highly intentional with my thoughts. I write journal entries from future, affirmations, and practice gratitude for things that haven't yet occurred. I thank the universe for what I know it will bring me, and sooner or later it comes.

Danika Brysha, Self Care Coach + Wellness Entrepreneur 

Founder/CEO, @modelmeals 
Photo Credit: Annie Vovan 
What Prayer is to Me:
Provides me comfort.
Brings me peace.
Grants me solace.
Relieves anxiety.
Offers direction.
Strengthens my resolve.
Softens my worries.
Affords me calm.
Lends me clarity.
   Keeps me Whole.  

“Dear Lord, watch over my babies tonight. Keep them warm and safe, happy and healthy, dry and content and always keep your arms wrapped around them.”

This is a prayer I have said every night for the past 25 years, as long as I have been a mother, and even though I don’t have babies anymore, I still say these words every night because we never stop worrying about them. In times of worry, or if feeling pressured or lost, I have always thought it wise to call on God for strength, peace, clarity or direction to help sustain me when I need a little extra. Prayer and talking to God brings me a calmness that nothing else can.

Diane Morrisey, Food lover, Recipe Developer, Influencer
This week's nocrumbsleft Table Talks Podcast

Episode 30:  A Plate and a Prayer 

In this episode, I talk with @DianeMorrisey about food, faith, and love. We share a mutual love for food as art, embracing imperfection, and praying for our kids. What a lively conversation!

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This week's favorite recipe
Healthy Peach Frozen Icelandic Provisions Skyr

I love this delicious summer treat. It takes the idea of frozen yogurt to a whole other level!  It keeps you out of the kitchen and comes together in 5 minutes and is so cool and refreshing.
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