Prayer

As I write this, people in Nepal are pulling out the broken bodies of their loved ones from the pulverised remains of their buildings, amongst the stench of death in the aftermath of a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake.
The UK is among the least religious countries in the world, with less than a third of Britons identifying as religious, according
The society has an outreach program and has a unique method of alleviating suffering in the world. They believe through channeling positive prayer energy and storing it in batteries, they can then release it around the world when critically needed.
Two young Muslims, completely different backgrounds, the same objectives and similar rationale. They do not appear to be a new axis of evil, but a very natural by-product of our military behavior.
On the day I got up as usual, it was still dark, and made breakfast. I prayed the Lord's Prayer - 'give us this day our daily bread!' and asked for strength in fasting as a spiritual exercise. I finished breakfast around 06.30 (discovering later that the fast should began at 05.30, no imam for guidance though I could have researched it better - this was several years ago).
That refusal arms us with the all-important key to unlock the gates of self-preoccupation and open our hearts to the health-giving joy of loving - and living - who it is we spiritually are.
Around 18 months ago my best friend died of cancer. He was early 40s, and left a wife and twins. Like me 'the son of a preacher man,' we'd collaborated together on projects exploring the outer edges of what our faith was becoming.
The differences between Sunni and Shia Islam are political in origin, and remain so to this day. The way that Muslims are positioned throughout the world (70% Sunni, and 20% Shia) has heavily informed the politics of various countries and created much geopolitical tension and associated extremism between the two sects.
To many - like myself - mentally challenging this stigma is at the heart of prayer, because if we successfully silence the voice of this self-stigmatisation we're left with nothing but the awareness of being a son or daughter of the divine, as Jesus showed us all to be.
In similar vein, stories of a health dividend from a "divine connection" - often called prayer - are slowly but surely being woven into the growing debate about the importance of life's immeasurables.