The Power of Prayer
Whether a prayer for strength, a prayer for a friend, a prayer for protection, a love prayer, a prayer for hope, an inspirational prayer, a prayer for guidance, an intercessory prayer, a healing prayer, as you pray and become more attuned to God, you experience greater growth and change. You experience a deep connection with God and discover who you are as a spiritual being.
We create our life experiences through our way of thinking. One way to align ourselves with Spirit is through affirmations and guided meditations. To affirm is to state positively; to pray is to speak to God; to meditate is to listen. In other words, affirmations are positive statements of Truth; and they are thanksgiving to God. Guided meditations are a tool for relaxing the mind to open the way for Spirit to respond.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening to God. Prayer is talking, or speaking the word (logos). Prayer is the medium of miracles.
Prayer can be applied to all creation. Pray for your garden, and watch it become fruitful. Pray for your children and watch them prosper. Pray for your animals and watch them shine. Pray for your business and watch it recover or expand.
All creation responds to the energy of prayer. Answers often come in unexpected and remarkable ways, for prayer is contact with a Creative Power, and the essence of the creative is surprise.
Forms of Prayer
The first type of prayer involves a simple asking for what you want, and there is nowhere in spiritual teaching that forbids this. It is the gift of free will. A simple asking prayer is: Help me!
A prayer used for millennia, and one that is extraordinarily effective, is repeating the words Jesus Christ, over and over. This repetition prayer has brought results to so many people in so many areas of life, in so many emergencies, that an entire book could be written about it alone.
Asking for help from God is talking to God. Help me God, is asking prayer. Prayers for forgiveness are asking prayer. Prayers for healing and guidance are asking prayers. Asking prayer is the primal or first prayer. Ask and you shall receive.
I tell you,
whatever you ask in prayer
believe that you have received it
and it will be yours.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.
Learning how to ask is almost as important as the asking process itself. Asking with belief energizes prayer. Applying the conviction of things not seen adds enormous power to prayer. This entire process is very different from mere wishing or hoping. Thus, belief, conviction and faith make effective prayer.
So what do you do when prayer (a common problem) doesn’t seem to be working? When you find your conviction and faith weak, pray with others.
…wherever two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them … Matthew 18:20
There is a power in this bit of scripture that reflects eternal law. This power has built vast fortunes, founded and preserved great nations, and it has held together peoples through the rise and fall of civilizations. It has brought about numberless and untold healings of every disease. It can reach into the mind and heal and guide and inspire.
What else increases the power of asking prayer? Answer: The practice of loving kindness prayer. Practice of these prayers can lead to inner healing of the psyche and lead to deeper more effective prayer generally. They are all very powerful prayers.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. Psalm 107:43
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…(there is more here)
Create in me a pure heart… (more here)
May I be filled with loving kindness… (an ancient prayer, more here)
Being Real — Being Present
When you begin prayer, observe where you are emotionally. Are you angry, upset, filled with guilt? Okay. No problem. Open all of that to Spirit—open it to God. This process is not a poker game where you can out bluff your opponent. God already knows everything you are holding in your hand.
Talk to God. Pour it all out. Remember, this is a benevolent Higher Power that already sees it all, that is, every card you are holding. Opening your stuff to God is the beginning of healing.
Most of it is fear of one sort or another, anyway.
One of the best prayers for releasing fear is the 23rd Psalm (most of the Psalms involve some kind of talking to God). As with all great writing, you could live in this one prayer for months or years and still draw from it spiritual healing.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.