Prayer is commonly misunderstood to mean that we can pray for what we want. Often times, we pray for specific material items, health, a love relationship and if we get what we requested, “Our prayers have been answered.” Praying for specifics is one form of prayer, but in reality, prayer is limitless and can go much deeper than that.
When we pray, we are making a conscious request that our thoughts be shifted from fear to love. When loving thought prevails, miracles abound and our judgments are released. Negative attitudes reduce the possible outcomes, as we believe we “know” what is going to happen and attach to this belief with all our conviction. Our ego, or fear based mind, can never know the future but we can choose to get quiet and make a conscious request to keep our heart open to what truly is without being attached to what is happening in the material world — thus we remain faithful to the love that lies beyond, expanding our minds and the limitless possibilities.
We can surrender our negative thoughts with prayer to be shifted from fear to love. We can pray even if we don’t believe in the idea of God. If the word or idea of God does not resonate with you, that is not a problem. The word God is simply another word for the awakened Mind, unconditional Love, or the selfless compassion that dwells in each us. When we release our thoughts to the altar within our mind to be lifted to divine right order, there is an energy shift and the thoughts become altered. God cannot take from us what we are not willing to give, which means that it is up us to cultivate our willingness to purify our minds.
There is no perfect way to pray, no one is watching whether or not you do it right. A lot of times we complicate something that is so simple; prayer simply comes from the part of yourself that does not judge. In other words, just pray from deep down inside and let yourself go. Prayer gives us the opportunity to align our minds for the power of the Universe that flows through us.
Sometimes our prayers are about other people. For example, it can be very helpful and healing to pray for someone else’s health, but at the same time, we want to notice that we are judging them and we want their circumstances to change. Truly when we pray for others, it is to release us from all our judgments that something is wrong and they should not be sick. We are not powerful enough to change the fact that your loved one is sick. What we can do is accept that they are sick and send them healing thoughts of love through our prayers.
Judging others reinforces our belief in separation. The well-known line from A Course in Miracles: “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world” (T-21.In.1:7) reminds us that we can choose to change our mind about the situation and this is where prayer comes in.
We can choose to align ourselves with the loving thoughts that prevail rather than the fearful worse case scenario thoughts that keep us stuck and frozen in the negative outcomes and possibilities. Prayers ask for our hearts to remain open despite what is happening in order to be a vehicle for the love to flow through us and extend to others in whatever situation arises at the moment.