What's the Point of Prayer?
It doesn't matter what name you call God and it doesn't matter if you think God is white, black, hispanic, invisible or non-existent. It really doesn't. But I have to say, that everyone, at one time or another, has prayed TO something FOR something. Anyone who denies that , regardless of your religious upbringing, cultural background or family traditions, isn't being truthful.
We all have had times when we felt desperate, alone and helpless and looked up to the highest point above our heads, wherever we were at the time, and begged for help. I remember as a kid, when I wasn't prepared for a big test, I would say, "Please God, let me just pass this test! I promise I will study more the next time!" Or, as an adult, driving a bit too fast on the highway spotting the Georgia State Trooper parked WAY back on the right of the road, I would say, " Oh God! Please don't let him catch me! I don't want to throw away another $150.00 on a ticket!" And of course, I slowed down!
Yes, I was raised to believe in God and believing that something exists that is greater than me is quite comforting. It means that I am never alone and that I always have a spiritual safety net to fall into, when life feels too big to handle on my own.
I do not believe that faith and prayer alone allow for change to occur in people's lives nor, do I believe that there is "one right way" to connect to God. But I do believe that faith and prayer is a part of the triage of what it takes to bring about the change or changes that we ask to appear in our lives. The last part of the triage is "action"- what YOU do to complete the act of manifesting your prayers.
Prayers are answered for those who pray every now and then, for those who don't even believe that they pray and for those who practice prayer regularly.
Even if you don't expressly ask for something to manifest, what you focus on is heard and responded to by Spirit. If you focus on what you lack, wishing that you had more of something in your life, but you constantly notice that you don't have it, you are asking for more lack of that exact thing and you will continue to pave the way for lack not abundance, to appear in your life.
Answers to thoughts and prayers don't always look like we envision them to or arrive at the exact time that we request them to. But, at some point, your "thought" will get answered. And knowing that you were answered depends upon how well you listen and take notice of what appears around you and what thoughts/ideas that you have ,that are different from before.
"The value of consistent prayer is NOT that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him." (William McGill)
Prayer does work and it does matter. There is something that exists that is greater than we are. To deny that there is a force in the universe that is greater than any human being just doesn't make sense. And, as far as prayer goes, if you deny "that something greater" than you exists, you could be limiting how much you can accomplish in this life.
As I have aged, I have become more spiritual than religious. I have faith that my connection to God, in the unique way that I have it, works. Pain and hardship shows up in my life to teach me what I don't "know" and what I need to learn to grow in my soul and joy and happiness remind me that life is good.
I pray, not out of weakness, but out of strength and humility. I pray, as someone who works hard to be humble and as someone who knows she needs all the help she can get. Prayer feeds my spirit, allows me to stay grounded in humility and helps me grow as human being and, ultimately, guides me about how I can contribute to the world in a meaningful way.
And, as I always do, I pray that what I contribute to the world has a really positive ripple effect.
In love and light,