Power of Prayer and Higher Intentions

by Melody Jean

Contemporary Seeker Power of PrayerPrayers. What do they mean? Why do we say them? Who do we say them to? Does anyone hear us? What should be said when we pray? Are there rules as to what we can pray for? When should we pray? How often? Do they work? Can we call them something else (higher intentions)?

It’s Personal

So many questions, but I’m beginning to think that the answer to all proposed have a common answer — it’s based on the individual.

Ask each question and answer it with that response. “It’s based on the individual.” It’s personal.

They all make sense answered this way.

Multiple Answers As a Possibility

Yet, still there are likely multiple answers to each of the questions above. My dad always says there are usually numerous reasons for things.

For example, when we wonder why someone behaves in a certain manner. Often we will try to pin down one reason. Yet there are likely several he maintains. I think we’re just more comfortable with one answer. It makes everything a little more simple. And we like simple.

My Prayer Journey

In examining my dad’s idea of multiple reasons I’ve often found this to be accurate more times than not. In everything, really. With this in mind, below I explore what I have come to glean on prayer along my life journey.

Perhaps it’s individual to me or some of what I share is universal. As always take from it however much or little as you need.

Forgetting to Pray

Throughout my life I often times find that I forget to pray. Particularly when things are going well. ‘Well’ in that I’m humming along and not feeling much discord.

–> Being Side-Swiped Reminds Me

Then … bam! Something happens.  Something in my life gets ripped out from under me. I’m flipped upside down or inside out. I get frightened or worried. So I begin grasping for anything to keep me from getting swallowed by the issue that so suddenly side-swiped my content state of consciousness.

It’s in these moments that I remember. While it might take some time of feeling the discord until it becomes so potent that I can no longer ignore it, I then remember (again). I reach for him.

–> Resurrecting Faith

I dig deep down for that golden word: faith. Faith in something greater than me. When I remember it’s almost as if I hug it, kiss it and embrace it. Then I sigh, and begin to pray.

–> From Forgetting to Remembering

When I’m caught up in everything being status quo I forget the love and light and synergy of prayer. The power of prayer, if you will.

Sometimes it seems that I have to be “woken-up” to remember that we came from somewhere else. From an energy or some other place before here and that this something else can guide us while we’re here if we ‘remember.’

–> Lessen the Wake-Up Calls by Remembering More

While in my content state(s), which I also correlate with being caught-up in the apparent world of “what you see is what you get,” I often lose sight of this. It’s a constant struggle when things are ‘good’ to remember to embrace this other realm which is always at my fingertips.

If I remember, even when things are dandy, I’m beginning to think that perhaps the universe’s wake-up calls don’t have to be so strong and uncomfortable.

It’s worth a try, so daily I work to remember to pray for the who, what, and where that is individual to me. Prayer, and higher thought, is what keeps me centered.

Asking for What You Need

There was a point in my life when somewhere along the way I felt that I couldn’t ask God for anything to benefit me. I thought this for years. I’ve tried to recall where I came across this idea, yet to no avail I can’t.

–> How Selfless

I somehow harbored a notion that prayer had to be 100% selfless in that we ask God to help others. Whether it’s because they’re fighting an illness, are unhappy, or because they need something. It isn’t about us — it’s about others.

When I approached this with my dad many years into this belief of mine, he responded, which I’ll paraphrase here. In short, I can ask God to help me too. After all, I need to be efficient and complete to help others.

–> Be Specific

My dad further maintains that it helps to be specific in what we pray for too. I understand this more today that I did when he first shared this with me.

If you’re looking for a new job and have your sites set on a particular one because it will help you to grow and become more productive, ask for help. Pray for guidance through the interview process so that you will become a better citizen, father, daughter, etc.

Yet we can’t just ask and expect to receive because we asked with good intentions. We need to also take responsibility to increase the likelihood, such as apply for the job. However, ultimately if we need help in getting there we can ask for help to carry us.

Pray for Others

My mom always suggests that we pray for the other person, for he who made me sad or hurt me. She offered this the first time when I was going through a break-up that was hands-down the worst break up of my life to date because he was my first love. I was beside myself with sadness and really couldn’t feel any semblance of hope.

I had nothing to lose so I began to pray for him. It was interesting because while I was praying daily for him I found it in me to write. I asked God to please help me to be unbiased when I write down what was really the essence of our relationship in the end. I didn’t want to cloud my writing with all “the happy thoughts” and “good things in the relationship.” I wanted to highlight the “not so pleasant things.”

And write I did … for hours. It was as if another part took over me which often happens when I write. Remember this was the days before heavy computer use so I put the pen to the paper and wrote pages among pages of how things really were in the end. When done, I read it and thought, wow. I wrote that? Where did it come from? And I smiled and I thanked God. I thanked my mom too who I believe was the messenger.

After this, I continued to pray for him and asked God to help me remember that when I missed the relationship, him, or “us” that I be reminded to take out what I wrote and reread it. I did this daily for a long time if needed and prayed for him. The pain finally started to dissipate and I was relieved of that burden. In later years, I forgave him. After all he was young and human too. We all make mistakes. He and I, thanks to Facebook and forgiveness, and what I believe prayer, are friends today.

This notion of forgiveness goes back to the Alanis Morisette song and the post I wrote Thank You Alanis Morisette for Thank U. A lyrical line of the song that resounds in my head “how ’bout how good it feels to finally forgive you.”

I attribute this to God and prayer. It feels great to forgive. If you haven’t you should try it sometime.

A Higher Intention Instead of Prayer

Something helpful my dad suggests too, especially those off-put by the word ‘prayer’ is to offer an intention. That is instead of thinking you are praying to anything (God, Allah, Jesus, etc.), you can just offer up an intention to the universal energy. Ask the positive energy, light and love to guide you and others. It’s the same principle after all intentions and prayers are energy. We just use different words to describe the same thing.

Religious Prayer vs. Personal Prayer

Growing up I was raised Catholic, yet today I don’t practice a specific religion other than to celebrate Christmas. It truly is the spirit of Christmas that I celebrate, rather than the birth of Jesus Christ. I don’t focus on the specifics of the holiday, just the good feeling that the time of year evokes. I actually take comfort in the fact that many of the Christmas traditions are derived from Paganism such as the Christmas Tree. It helps me to feel like Christmas is for everybody.

In association with religion is set prayer. What I mean is that there are prayers such as the Our FatherApostle’s Creed and others that Christians recite together at weekly mass. All religions have these established prayers. I don’t wish to take anything away from these rituals or traditions with what I will speak to here, but I do believe that there is a difference in reciting a prayer taught to you, and one that comes from the depths of your soul. How do I know? Because I have done both, I was raised Catholic after all.

I believe that prayer in unison, with others, can be extremely powerful if the group members hone the words and truly feel them and their meaning. Yet, if it is being recited just for the sake there of, it loses some of it’s energy along the way. For me, when I remember, I will pray anywhere and say anything because I believe that we can be heard everywhere. And further, what we have to say is important.

The Conclusion?

There is so much that prayer or good intentions offer, of which, I can’t even begin to touch in one post. I’ve already surpassed the extended attention span of the average reader with what I’ve written thus far. If you have traveled with me to this point I offer you the opportunity to examine prayer or intentions in relation to you. This offer of course is always there straight from THE source. Yet, as we all can become guilty of – sometimes we forget and need a reminder from the apparent world. So let me remind you; to remember.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bella

Hi MJ; This is a wonderful post. I had a similar conversation about prayer with my psychologist this past week. I started seeing her weekly once again, as I continue to find myself having a really hard time with loneliness. But that’s a subject for another discussion.

For the reference to this post discussion, I continue with this: I said to her that several people have told me not to pray for patience nor strength, as I presently experience the ailment of a broken ankle and going through that ordeal by myself. And as I also pray for patience and strength since I have yet to find a man to love and be my companion and partner for the rest of my life. Those people told me that if I pray for patience and strength God will grant me both, but will also give me more difficult events to go through in order to continue testing those characteristics in me.

She gave me her very wise and welcome response to my quandry. She said to forget what the others’ think or say about what to pray for or how to pray. Simply remember that I have a personal relationship with God that is only mine to share with Him, and I should not let the beliefs of others confuse me and create a sense of spiritual struggling that I so often experience. Truth be known I struggle spiritually constantly, and literally argue, kick and scream at God because he hasn’t answered my prayers no matter how specific I have been in what I wish to receive in a mate.

I beiieve in Him without question; I have faith that He will always take care of me; and I have trust that I will never be without because I am the King’s daughter. So I continue to believe in His presence in my life.

However, impatient I remain since I’ve been alone for six years and don’t understand why, since so many of my friends have found love or at least male companionship and I have not, not even a glimmer to this day. Nor love that I could call all mine and mine alone. Strength I do have because I am able to make it through everyday only because of the strength that He has blessed me with to continue my inner battle. But not without the help of my little pink pill, Klonopin, for my anxiety. Without that I just can’t cope, much as I try to pray off the enemy of panic, desparation, and anxiety that haunts me every single day of my life.

My dear friend Mel, I open my heart to you at this time more than I have ever opened it up in the years we’ve known each other. I do that because the spiritual connection that we always shared has more meaning now since you have developed and evolved to be a wiser, and more mature woman and friend. I welcome your comments and ask for your understanding and support as I continue through this journey that God has set a path for me to stay on till He commands differently.
Love you much, Bella

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