Maybe you’ve been saying you want to pray, but you’re too busy. Perhaps you believe that you can’t pray because you don’t know the right words. Maybe you feel overloaded by too many tasks and overwhelmed with too many choices. Or you want to discern what’s best, but you aren’t sure what’s correct.
If any of this sounds like you, take a deep breath and relax. Because with prayer, the overload and overwhelm disappear. Discernment occurs gently and clearly. You feel more grounded and discover more ease.
So, if you want a way to experience the peace and calm which passes all understanding, prayer needs to be your go-to, take-it-anywhere soulwork. To fully develop this awesome practice:
Consider Your Beliefs
Jesus teaches: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
How you pray and what you pray for determine what you demonstrate in your life. And the way you ask directly relates to your beliefs about God. Reflecting on these beliefs can help you shift and expand your mindset about prayer.
Remember that Jesus was a master wayshower and leader because of his great God connection. He knew that God was his Source and Sustenance in all ways. So, notice your own beliefs about God, especially if you imagine God as punishing, judgmental or withholding, or if you think that God wants you to sacrifice or suffer.
Likewise, re-examine your beliefs about yourself. Affirm often that you are a divine child of God, just as Jesus was, and that it’s God’s great desire to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32). Praying as if you’re unworthy or undeserving is completely different from praying knowing that you’re one of God’s Beloveds. So, notice your feelings as you pray, because your beliefs energize your thoughts and actions, whether positively or negatively.
Center Yourself in Faith
How you feel when you pray for yourself or others determines the prayer’s power. So, remember: You don’t need to beg. Prayer doesn’t change God or convince God to do something. Prayer changes and motivates you, so you can change what needs to be changed and do what is yours to do.
Also, really listen to what you’re saying. Are you fully placing your faith in God and yourself? Are you allowing the words to flow into your heart space so you feel them deeply? Or are they something rote?
For example, “The Lord’s Prayer” can be uplifting and reassuring, to help you trust in God’s grace and goodness, but not if you tune out while saying it. If you pray, for instance, “Give me this day my daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), but then worry all day about finances, you’re directing your faith toward money, not God.
Furthermore, it’s challenging to feel faithful and uplifted with a prayer which begins, “I don’t really deserve this, but . . .” Instead, try saying something like: “I am now centered in the consciousness of my heart.” Or “I now breathe into the stillness of my Oneness with God.” Or “I know I am worthy because I am one of God’s Beloved, and I am open to receive all my blessings.”
Set Your Intention
Jesus says: “When you pray, don’t heap up empty phrases and think you’ll be heard with many words” (Matthew 6:7). Therefore, you need to consider your intentions:
- What is your mindset?
- How are you showing up, no matter what’s occurring with another person or situation?
- Are you attempting to force something or assert your own way?
- Are you begging and pleading?
- Are you trying to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with God?
- Are you giving God directions for how your prayer should be answered?
- Are you caught in drama or fear?
- Are you willing to let go and let God?
- Are you open and receptive to wondrous possibilities you can’t fully imagine?
Your mindset when you pray matters more than pretty, perfect words because you aren’t praying to get something. You’re praying, as Jesus did, to more fully align yourself with God, all good, all loving, everywhere present, always and in all ways.
So, keep an attitude which beholds the truth of God’s ever-abiding love and compassion, despite all outer appearances. This is called “holding the High Watch” and it lifts your attention beyond your problems so you can focus on God.
Remind yourself that it isn’t your job to know how everything will unfold; that’s God’s job. Center yourself in God’s divine presence within you. Then, begin your prayer by saying something like, “I admit, of myself, I can do nothing. The Spirit within does the work.” Or “I don’t know the best way, but I now open myself to see the best paths before me.”
Jesus says, “God, thank You for having heard me. I know You always hear me” (John 11:41-42). An attitude of gratitude helps you release the prayer, rather than stew about a situation or worry about an outcome. It broadens your mindset to know that “Thy will,” not your will, is being done. This way you remain open to how answers are being revealed.
Furthermore, gratitude nurtures faith so you’re assured and patient as you follow your own intuition. When you’re truly grateful, you also may feel a lightness within your body, as if you’ve lowered a heavy weight. This is how you know you’ve fully let go and trust in best outcome.
Enjoy the Benefits
To truly realize your spiritual strength and manage whatever comes your way, schedule daily time for prayer. Even five (5) minutes first thing in the morning or before bed works.
Better still, begin every task with a prayer. Something as simple as: “Thank You, God, for the wisdom and strength I bring to this project,” or “I now allow God’s divine healing energy to restore and renew me” are affirmative prayers you can pray anytime, anywhere.
As prayer becomes a sacred ritual, you’ll discover greater clarity and peace of mind. You’ll feel comforted knowing that you aren’t responsible for steering the Universe. Especially, you’ll be able to tune into your own intuition to discern whatever is best for now.
No matter your prayers, trust that God is already at work on your situation, even if results seem slow to appear. Know that baby steps pave the way, and be at peace as your prayers are answered for you and through you.
© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.
Photo from Shutterstock by Andrew Mayovskyy.