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UNDERSTANDING PRAYER: Finding Peace in the Pool

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UNDERSTANDING PRAYER: Finding Peace in the Pool

Editor’s Note: Spokane FāVS is publishing a series of columns on the subject of prayer. Prayer is a common religious concept and is used in secular, colloquial speech and circumstances. Early humans may have used a version of prayer, even before the advent of formal religious observances.

But what does prayer mean? What is it? Who does it? Can you pray if it isn’t to a Divine Being? How do you do it? Is it a solitary and/or communal activity? Why do it at all? What motivates a person to pray? What are the expectations on the part of the pray-er? Should there be some type of tangible outcome or after effects? These and other questions will be addressed over the next few weeks.

By Emma Craven

Secret’s out. I’m a little bit of a control freak. 

In this crazy world, it seems there are many things we can’t control, and that is stressful. Anyone who knows me knows I love to plan, have schedules and be organized. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s plans got thrown out the window. With a lack of control in my life, I’ve searched for ways to find it, along with seeking peace and clarity. 

The first thing I did was get in the water.

The pool, or any body of water, is a place where I can find peace. Water has always been a constant in my life — an anchor for me. When everything in my life seems overwhelming or crazy, I can hop in the pool and instantly feel better. When I’m in the pool to escape everything in my out-of-control life, the number of laps I do is something I can control. 

In reality, it may be less about control and more about peace. When I’m swimming laps, my brain relaxes and I feel free. The water calms and slows me down. I’m able to reconnect with myself and the world around me.

For me, being in the water is when I feel closest to God. Being in the water God created makes me feel at home, at peace and safe. It makes me feel like I have a connection to God and that I’m being heard.

I’ve always loved the water. As I have grown in my faith and explored prayer, water has also become a tranquil environment that provides an opportunity for me to be vulnerable with myself and with God. 

Being able to combine my love of water and prayer has grounded me and helped reassure myself, my thoughts and dreams for the future. Using water to explore and dive deeper literally into prayer may not be the most conventional way to pray, but it works for me and makes me feel connected in this crazy world.

About Emma Craven

Emma Craven is an undergraduate student at Gonzaga University majoring in English and Psychology. She is originally from Leavenworth and currently lives in Spokane with her family. She grew up in a half Jewish and half Catholic household. She has a writing background in news writing, poetry, and fiction pieces. She has previously been published in two of Gonzaga’s writing journals. Outside of school and work, you can find her swimming, reading, spending time with family, or watching Grey's Anatomy.

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