To the Alcoholic who has Trouble Praying

You ask me how to pray to someone who doesn't exist
How to pray to something which is not,
Something you don't believe, some fantasy of other's imaginations
How can you be honest and indulge in sycophantic kneeling,
For you , you are a thoughtful man... or woman
Interested in the pursuit of truth.
I commend you for asking this question.
I praise you for your integrity
And I shall answer your question this way...

Come join us in prayer,
In a profound act of humbling ourselves in the presence of
The Entire Universe
Not just the stars and the planets and the galaxies
But one that includes every fleeting thought and feeling
Of every human and animal that has ever lived,
A Universe that includes every smell, every concept, every myth
That has ever entered the mind of man, every hope...
Come join us as we kneel
As people have knelt for thousands of years, connect with all of them.
Let us pray, not as a petition, but as an acknowledgment
Of our humble place in the Universe
Of forces existing outside our control.

Pray for the strength to accept what is
So you can clearly plot your future path
Pray for perspective so your creativity can flower
Pray to let in beauty
Of flowers, of mountains, of a woman's cheek or a man's caress
Pray to acknowledge your fearfulness
Pray to be here right now, humbly
In this moment where we are together
And all is still and there is no fear.

Pray for gentleness from the Universe
As it deposits you softly on the shore
Before tumbling down on its mad, thunderous torrent
Pray that we can all learn to care about each other
Even if we give just one hoot.

Prayer is that delicate strand
The spider takes to get to the other side
Where peace and hope and a myriad truths exist
Where smells are sweet and touches are soft
Where your pain can rest on petals.
And later, as you lie on your deathbed
You can remember with wonder, the healing and strength
That prayer gave you in your tumultuous days
And nights

And you can wonder again, if it exists,
That mysterious entity beyond understanding
That we have called whatever we wished.
You can wonder if existence itself existed
And rejoice at the loving presence around you

Prayer is an attitude, it is not the words:
Do not seek proof of God
For who are you to decide if God exists?
Neither accept nor reject the hypothesis
Do not go about loudly proclaiming your conclusions
Focus instead on the stillness within you
And as you are seared during the pursuit of truth
Rejoice in the courage of humans to strive
Let your kneeling be a testament to your striving
Draw strength from the thousands, nay millions
Who have knelt before in seeking a respite
From incessant drinking
Pray for calm,
Pray with gratefulness,
Pray for perspective and sanity.