Depending on the religious tradition that you grew up with, prayer might seem like any of these negative adjectives: Trite, fake, stiff, too organized, impersonal, boring. If you grew up in a tradition where the prayers were in another language, you can add “I didn’t even know what I was saying” to that list. And that’s not just a shame; it’s unfair to you. You were robbed of your own spiritual connection. It’s time for you to reclaim prayer.
Prayer is pouring your heart out to your Higher Power — however you understand it — and asking Him/Her/It to fulfill your needs. Your prayers do not have to come from a prayer book. By all means if the words of a prayer book feel like an expression of your core, then use them. But know that crying out to (or speaking quietly but sincerely to…it’s up to you) your Higher Power in your own words is the basis of prayer. It is very effective. It is free, and you can do it anytime and anywhere.
You might feel guilty about asking your Higher Power to provide for your material concerns. You might have been told that you are small and your Higher Power is big, and don’t bother Him/Her/It for the small things. Let go of that nonsense. The spiritual truth is that the basis of prayer is turning to your Higher Power, with all of your heart, and asking Him/Her/It to fulfill your needs. By doing so, you acknowledge that even the smallest of your material wants are provided by a source greater than yourself. Recognizing and expressing that every single thing that sustains you is a product and a gift from a higher source is one of the deepest spiritual actions you can take.
Exercise: Go into a private space. Put a timer on for five minutes. Begin speaking to a power greater than yourself. Journal about what the experience feels like. Record your answer in MyMLC.
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