Tuesday, 8 June 2010

...Says A Little Prayer For You!

Today one of my very dear sweet friends was somewhat troubled, so I suggested that he say a prayer to help ease his burden. "Oh but I'm not really religious" he replied, immediately categorising the idea as untenable.

That made me think, is the concept of prayer exclusively owned by religion or can we all pray, even if we aren't religious? 

I'm not particularly religious, but I always pray. I regard prayer as asking for help. To me, a prayer is not about religion. Prayer is about needing help, asking for that help and then waiting patiently with the full knowledge and trust that your prayer has been heard and will be answered. 

Read that last sentence again and look at that little word "trust". How does that make you feel?  

Many times I've said a prayer and because the answer didn't come in my time frame, I assumed I would have to do the leg work and get the ball rolling. So instead of waiting patiently, trusting that my prayer had been answered, I took over. I didn't trust. And of course the result was that the answer either went unheard, because I was too busy, or it went by unnoticed because I had forgotten about my request.

That's a little bit like going out for a meal, giving the waiter your order and after waiting a few moments, giving up and going into the kitchen and cooking it myself, or standing over the chef while s/he cooks! Who does that? Nobody as far as I'm aware. So why do we do it with prayers? What drives us to feel we have to do it all? 

We don't have to do it all. Help is available. 

This is my recommendation on how to pray: say your prayer, be very specific about what you're asking for, and then let it go. Just speak using your normal language, and ask for what you need. Sometimes my prayer is just these three words "Please help me". And the help always comes.

Don't worry about being in a designated place of prayer, instead find that place within you where stillness sits. In my opinion, that's the best prayer house on this earth.

And please don't worry about what you're wearing or if your hair looks good. Just say a little prayer. Or a long prayer. It's up to you. Make your prayer personal to you. I don't believe we can influence others in our prayers, but we can seek to enhance our lives. So you can't pray for David Beckham or Kelly Brook to fall in love with you, but you can pray for a happy, healthy relationship with someone kind, compassionate and thoughtful (insert any words of your choice here!) who loves and respects you.

Next, please don't get upset if it doesn't happen straight away. That will only serve to diminish your trust. While you wait for your prayer to be answered, you must have trust that it's in the process of being delivered. 

Get excited that it's on it's way. Look forward happily to receiving your answer, and feel positively grateful that your prayer has been heard. Waiting with a heavy heart is so painful, but waiting in hopeful expectation is exhilarating and uplifting. 

I suggest that those are the very feelings we should to aim to cultivate in our lives, and if we imbue our prayers with those feelings, we'll see miracles happening every day all around us.

I don't know if my beautiful friend did say a prayer after all, but I said one asking for my heart to stay open and loving.

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