Transform Your Prayer: Secret 15
Know. Understand. Mean
Often we go through the different parts of the prayer and say everything we're supposed to, but we have almost no connection to what we’re saying.
By 'no connection', I don’t mean in terms of 'understanding'... (that comes later, as you'll see below)
...I mean that we are literally not conscious of / not hearing the words that we're saying, when we say them.
Our brain and tongue are disconnected.
See, when you've memorized something (especially in another language), it’s possible to recite it accurately while your mind is completely unaware of what you're saying in that moment.
God refers to this phenomenon in the Qur'an...
In one of the stages of the prohibition of alcohol at the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him, God addressed the believers:
يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَقۡرَبُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاَنۡـتُمۡ سُكَارٰى حَتّٰى تَعۡلَمُوۡا مَا تَقُوۡلُوۡنَ
“You who believe, do not approach the prayer while you are intoxicated, until you know what you are saying...”
[Chapter 4, Women, Verse 43]
A drunk person can utter words that make sense. They may even be words of wisdom...
But in that moment, when they're saying those words, they have no connection in their mind to what they're saying.
It's literally mindless communication - their tongue is just running.
The same applies to many of us in our prayer...
Not that we've had any alcohol!
But sometimes we utter words, without our mind connecting to the words that we’re saying... as if we are a little drunk.
Being fully conscious of what you're saying is the very first step of a proven 3-step process to unlock a more meaningful, mindful and focused prayer.
It's called: Know. Understand. Mean.
- Step 1 is to KNOW (be conscious of, or hear) what you're saying, when you're saying it.
- Step 2 is to UNDERSTAND (process the meaning of) what you're saying.
- Step 3 is to MEAN (express genuinely, with emotion) what you're saying
Why is Step 1 so important?
Because if you’re not even conscious of what you're saying, as you're saying it (step 1)...
...then it’s impossible to understand / process the meaning in your mind (step 2), let alone express the words from your heart (step 3).
So start putting Step 1 into action from your very next prayer!
Focus on hearing what you're saying / the actual sounds of the words you're uttering (even if you don't know what they mean... yet!).
Tune into them and listen to yourself as you speak to your Lord.
Step 1 is all about increasing your level of awareness and consciousness.
Train your mind to be present and connected.
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