One of the foundational practices at Unity of Yucaipa is prayer. We use prayer to ask for things; guidance, peace, healing, and well-being. We use prayer to ask questions; how to be of greater service, what to do next, how to have more compassion, or how to create a new experience. We pray for ourselves. We pray for others.
I can remember a minister from my childhood saying “there is no wrong way to pray.” As a child I appreciated this, because I always worried about getting things right.
As an adult, I can agree with this to some extent. I can’t really say that there is a wrong way to pray, but through my experiences in prayer, I can say there is a way to pray that brings us more peace, and a way to pray that may bring us less peace.
For example, if we desire a certain, specific, experience, and it doesn’t happen right away, we may think our prayer wasn’t answered. Or that the answer was a “no.” So we end up feeling less peace in our life.
We may pray for someone else to change (because we think we know best). And when this doesn’t happen, we feel less peace because they didn’t change to our specifications.
Maybe we prayed for a particular presidential candidate to win in the last election, and that didn’t pan out. So we feel less peace about the state of our country.
Or it may be that we wanted to pray for something, but didn’t have the faith that our prayer would be answered, so we don’t bother with prayer.
One of the most powerful prayer practices we can do is hand over our problem, and however we think it needs to be specifically solved. We surrender it to that same Power that created worlds, and animates all the life on this planet, and works through every heart, and is the inspiration behind all inspired action.
I’ve come to believe that prayer is a lot like taking a road trip. I may desire to drive to Santa Fe, yet get in my car and head north instead. It could be that I end up in Fresno or Seattle. However, eventually I’ll notice I went off in the wrong direction. And I can make the choice to head south again toward my destination. Some turns bring me less peace, and some turns bring me more.
In my prayer life I may forget and lose hope, or doubt, or even feel disappointed in outcomes. But every despair reminds me that I’ve simply made a wrong turn, and I can make a new prayerful choice.
Here’s one of my favorite prayers for pivoting: Thank you Mother-Father-God for reminding me of the Light of my own True Nature. Blast me with the feel good sunshine energy that is Divine Truth. Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you’d like to amp up your own prayer life, please join us at Unity of Yucaipa for our Amp Up Your Prayer Practice workshop Saturday, July 31st, at 1pm. Click here for the information.