This week I’ve been writing about simple communication. As soon as I started writing my previous post, it made me think about prayer. For some, prayer is so complicated. Or, it might even be one-sided. I don’t know about you, but I always chuckle when I’m in a one-sided conversation with another person because they usually have NO IDEA! They keep talking, realizing no one else has spoken a word. This post on prayer is about taking a new level of awareness to how you enter into prayer. No more one-sided prayers!
Check out this quote from the book “Heartmath Solutions.” Heartmath is referring to a book called “Healing Words” where the author, Dr. Larry Dossey, found scientific evidence for the healing power of prayer. Here is the quote:
While he found that all types of prayer help, studies have shown that prayers sent without a specific outcome in mind, “letting the universe do the work,” yield scientific results that are twice as great. Dossey’s book talks about surrendering the mind and choosing a method of prayer that intuitively feels best. He sums up his years of research in these words: “As we recognize the empirical evidence for prayer’s power…we will find ourselves praying more prayers of gratitude and fewer prayers of supplication…realizing the world, at heart, is more glorious, benevolent, and friendlier than we have recently supposed.”
Wouldn’t you love to be able to sit for a few moments, letting go of all racing thoughts and worries, just to recognize how glorious and benevolent the world is? That sounds pretty nice to me. What I want to do is summarize some keys to simplify prayer:
1) Talk less, listen more
If this concept is new to you, check out a post I did awhile back on centering prayer. All relationships require the ability to listen, but for some reason most people have been taught to do all the talking while they pray. Try listening just a bit more.
2) Let go of outcomes
Picture releasing the outcome to God or out into the universe. When we recognize that there are some things we just don’t have control over, it can actually be quite freeing. When we let go, we hold a position of trust that God is already working on our behalf.
3) Surrender the mind
Try some mindfulness activities as a unique method of prayer. Mindfulness can help you release your thoughts. Check out this previous post on mindfulness or my course that includes some mindfulness activities.
4) Choose a method that intuitively feels best
You might not know this about me, but I am a planner. I like rhythm to my days. I once was sitting with a mentor of mine and said I wanted to start some kind of reflection and prayer regimen, and she said, “what about if you just allowed yourself to follow whatever felt right each morning for your prayer time?” It might seem so simple to you, but it freed me up. There are many different methods of prayer, so give yourself the permission to follow what feels right. Maybe it’s a walk outside, maybe it’s taking a few minutes to journal, maybe it’s through painting or playing an instrument. Prayer doesn’t always have to about saying things or asking for things. Think of prayer as the opportunity to abide with God. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit." (John 15:5) I think it might be even better when less is said, but you get to a place of an attitude shift. Do what feels right and puts you in a mindset of openness and peace.
Jim Maxim said, "Prayer is the method God chose to align our spirit with His." In other words, it's a method for connecting with God and being in alignment with God. Isn't connection the core of all communication, even with people? Let's use the remainder of the week to see how our communication with those around us and with God can be focused more on the ability to connect.
Okay, my friends, that’s how we can start making our prayer lives much more simple! My hope is that as you continue on your journey you can be filled with a sense of gratitude for the good things life has already brought your way. Happy rooting, everyone!