In times like these, during our global pandemic and self-isolation, it’s easy to fall into a rhythm of hopelessness. Despair. Uncertainty. This is where the power of prayer surfaces.
Sure, the power of prayer won’t cure all the sick and bring world peace overnight. That’s not the point, even though we so desperately seek our spiritual practice to solve all our problems. If the Divine is almighty, then certainly a quick ask will get the ball rolling…right?
The power of prayer goes beyond our words and thoughts. That’s what makes it so special and intimate. You’re choosing to take time away from the physical realm to reset your mindset and intentions. That alone is powerful.
Let’s dive into what makes the power of prayer so potent and so important. Even if you don’t have a practice or have tried before and didn’t stick to it, now is the perfect time to begin connecting with Spirit. There’s not a one-size-fits-all method.
the power of prayer is yours.
There’s many misconceptions surrounding the power of prayer. Like we already mentioned, many people expect prayer to be a checklist of things to ask for. They expect God to immediately give an answer and “perform” to fit every whim.
Praying isn’t talking to a genie in a bottle. Not only does that demonstrate a false image of God’s work solely for you, but it also limits your own potential for praying and accepting all of life.
In my church confirmation classes, I remember learning that every prayer should be structured as praise, gratitude, repentance, and then whatever you need. While I don’t utilize the power of prayer in this format, I do appreciate the sentiment: you’re putting others before yourself. You’re expressing gratitude for all you have before asking for something else. God’s awe and majesty set the stage.
Regardless of if you subscribe to that notion or not, the power of prayer grows exponentially when it goes beyond ego-centered thoughts. There’s no shame in admitting what you may desire or what’s on your mind, but it’s best to realize that Spirit isn’t under your control. Nor is Spirit under anyone else’s control. Prayer is for you and God.
how should I pray?
That’s not to mention the way we “should” be praying. If you grew up with any religious background, you likely learned to clasp your hands together, close your eyes, bow your head, and kneel on the ground every morning and evening. All of that, and you’re reciting the same prayers from memory.
For many people and traditions, this is exactly what feels best. Kudos to you folks, but that doesn’t work for me. Sure, I could say the Lord’s Prayer on a regular basis, but there’s a huge difference between saying a prayer and embodying a prayer. The latter one is where your heart is activated and a warm energy radiates. Almost like a mini spiritual awakening, or simply a closeness with that which is beyond ourselves.
And there many ways to feel this. The only wrong way to build a spiritual practice is if it harms you or anything else. How often you do it, where, what method….truly, it doesn’t matter. The point is to connect with your Higher Power, and that goes far past the exact “look” it takes on.
the options are endless.
I’ve been using the power of prayer as my go-to phrase, but meditation is another form of that. It’s amazing to see the proliferation of meditation and its benefits, and it can become even more groundbreaking if you set a spiritual intention. Maybe God language isn’t your forte: simple compassion and love for yourself and others is the same thing.
If you’re anything like me and really struggle to focus in a meditative, “clear” space, then perhaps a centering prayer better fits you. This is similar to meditation in its spaciousness and contemplation, but you’re focusing on one particular word or idea. By repeating this word or idea in your mind, you become more receptive to God: rather than speaking to God, you’re now the listener.
Maybe you just can’t sit put with your eyes closed. No worries! I hear you! I also really enjoy prayer journaling, where you write out the words you’d say in prayer down on paper: this can often lead to greater insight as you organize your thoughts, as well as allows for presence as you notice your hand moving and writing.
How about some movement? Yoga, tai chi, walking meditations…you name it, you can incorporate the power of prayer. You can literally be doing anything, anywhere, and make it a prayer by adding presence. Shift your focus on this moment. Tap into your senses. Turn your inner dialogue into a conversation with the Divine.
empower your power of prayer!
The power of prayer lies in the spiritual journey you embark on. Even the most peaceful priests and meditative monks are still learning and growing. Give yourself that grace and love you deserve as bring forth more spirituality into your life. It’s an exciting venture.
As with any journey, there are inevitable bumps in the road. We’ll be on a prayer streak, and then give up for weeks. We may lose sight of our goals and lose inspiration. Life gets busy and stressful, and prayer falls to the wayside.
Always know that the power of prayer is within reach. It will never wane or falter, even when you feel disheartened. This includes times of being in isolated quarantine or working overtime to meet new demands. There’s no shame in asking for guidance and help when necessary, from loved ones, spiritual leaders, or a trusty therapist.
Prayer is a resource available in your brightest victories and lowest defeats. It’s a true gift we each possess that restores our balance with our spiritual essence. I encourage you, when you feel smothered by this looming pandemic, to remember God. Not to question the existence of divinity, but to take comfort in a higher purpose for all of the suffering.
I also encourage you to remember God when everything feels great. I know I’m quick to pray when I’m feeling really down, but it’s just as powerful to pray when all we can share is gratitude. That too is the power of prayer.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie
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