The Power of Prayer
Regardless of what religion we practice or don’t practice, prayer is a common ritual that is practiced across all cultures. Prayer is an act of faith and takes us into the depths of our spiritual journey. It is a way to connect to something deeper and more meaningful in life- a power greater than us. Whether we refer to It as God, Divine Consciousness or the Universe- this Higher Power is the force of life and power that pervades all creation. Prayer leads to feeling more hopeful and optimistic and empowers us to take part in the co-creation of life. The power of prayer is that we move beyond fear and open our hearts to new possibilities. It awakens our inherent inner capacities of strength, compassion and wisdom. Through conscious prayer, we attune ourselves to Infinite Power, and bring healing, peace, joy, harmony and wisdom into our lives and the lives of others.
All prayer share the common element of intentionality. Regardless how we each choose to pray, whether we get down on our knees and ask for help, healing and guidance, or whether we meditate or chant, all prayers are answered in the sense that the universe will always have some response to the action of our intentions. Therefore, we can be assured that all prayers are heard because the Universe is impersonal. It gives alike to all. It doesn’t favor one person over the other; there are no “chosen” ones. The Universe values each alike, for we are a part of It.
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Based on Universal Law, the more we focus on something, the more it becomes part of our reality. As human beings, made in the image of God, we have the freedom to use the same Infinite Power that created the Universe with our thoughts and energy, as we are part of this Divine Wisdom. Thus, prayer is a creative process that shapes our every day reality. Prayer is a seed that we plant in our consciousness that has the potential to manifest our deepest desires. It is most powerful when it is used to expresses an aspiration to pull something into one’s life, like some new energy or purifying influence and share it with all beings.
“The Ego is a veil between humans and God. In prayer all are equal.” ― Rumi
It is important to understand that whom we pray to, is not an external construct of the ego, or something “out there”, but rather it is an internal source within each and one of us, resonating with the notion of the Self as Divine. Prayer is a conscious communication, a way to align our minds and hearts with the eternal presence of God within us. Prayer starts where we really are because God is in us as we are.
“Prayer is the science by which we can attune the human mind and will to the consciousness and will of God. Through prayer, we form a loving, personal relationship with God, and His response is unfailing.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Here are five ways prayer can change our lives:
1. Prayer helps us to forgive
Most of our bitterness stems from holding onto resentments and our inability to forgive. The moment we begin to pray, we open ourselves up to the possibility of forgiveness, which is ultimately an act of love and kindness towards ourselves, as forgiveness set us free from any bondage. Praying for forgiveness helps us release the bitterness and anger in our hearts, and we are able to restore peace within our lives and move forward.
2. Prayer helps us cultivate a sense of gratitude
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
― Meister Eckhart
Prayer is an especially powerful technique for cultivating gratitude because it shifts our focus on all the good in our lives. This creates a shift in consciousness, and as a result, we experience more joy and appreciation for life. Gratitude may be the highest form of prayer as we live every moment in appreciation.
“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” ― Thomas Goodwin
3. Prayer helps us to let go and surrender.
Prayer is ultimately an act of spiritual surrender- letting go of our egos, limitations, worries, anxieties, fears and our need to control. In prayer, we surrender to a power greater than us and trust that It will take care of our burdens. Surrender is admitting that we are not in control; it is about getting ourselves out of the way and trusting a Higher Power to guide us. Spiritual surrender leads to profound acceptance- accepting what is and connecting to the deeper connections that are available to us in the moment.
“Perfect prayer does not consist in many words, silent remembering and pure intention raises the heart to that supreme Power.” ― Amit Ray
4. Prayer leads to self-awareness
In prayer we transcend our egos and get in touch with our Divine Selves as a form of self-reflection. Prayer connects us to our Truth, our Authentic Selves, the spiritual aspect of our being that is beyond our five senses. This awareness of Self is our spiritual identity of I AM- the indwelling presence of Life, Love and Wisdom within all of us. We often see ourselves through that which we identify ourselves with. As we connect with God through prayer, we shift our consciousness from a limited self to a Higher Self that is always empowered, free, at peace and full of joy.
5. Prayer strengthens our sense of oneness and unity.
Prayer moves us beyond ego and connects us to our Truth, which is oneness and unity with all of humanity and all of life. It takes us from identification with the external world of matter to an inward journey of interconnectedness with the Universe, in which we begin to see our individual self as part of a greater Self- the conscious, spiritual whole, where everything is part of one great living system, where we value all religions and all spiritual paths, where we live in wonder, awe, unity, harmony and love. This sense of oneness is a reflection of collective consciousness, the unifying sources of all humanity. Thus, sending thoughts of love, healing, prayer, good intentions, and positive energy, can have a powerful influence on our lives, the lives of others and the world around us. Everyone’s reality is influenced by collective consciousness as every moment of every day, each person adds to and affects the balance of the collective. Praying is a powerful force that serves humankind and the earth in the highest form possible. Prayer encourages peace in ourselves, in others and in the world.
“The Simple Path is silence. Silence is Prayer. Prayer is Faith. Faith is Love. Love is Service. The Fruit of Service is Peace.” ― Mother Teresa
The wonderful thing about prayer is that it can be practiced everywhere and anytime, transforming the ordinary and mundane into the Path of Awakening. Prayer enriches our lives with deep spiritual connection and makes every moment special, manifesting grace and miracles here and now.
Love and Light,