Over the past couple of days, I have kept a running list of ideas for my blog. With that being said, my intention was to write a blog post today titled “What’s Your Intention? Part II” However, this morning I felt compelled to write about prayer and the significance of prayer in my life.
For readers who have taken the time to read the core values of Redefining Life LLC, you will notice that one of the values mentioned is faith. I believe that faith is the foundation of our ability to hope. Hope gives us confidence in what we cannot see. My belief is that at the core of human existence is the capacity to believe in the unseen, giving humanity the courage to embrace and explore the unknown.
Over the past several days, I have been blessed to hold conversations with several individuals who have shared their hopes, wishes and desires with me regarding their relationships, their careers, and their faith journeys. In each of those conversations I have asked the same question, “Do you pray?” I have received different responses ranging from not as often as I should, sometimes, or well, no. To each of those individuals I offer the same “advice” (for the lack of a better term). You have probably already guessed it. I offer that they pray for themselves, their loved ones, and their heart’s desires with GRATITUDE.
In preparation for writing this post I started looking up different definitions for prayer. I have noticed that while in various contexts there is a common understanding of what prayer is, but in other context it is personalized in a way in which individuals are left feeling as if it is something they never do or do not do often enough. I, on the other hand, would offer that most people pray daily and more frequently than they realize. By definition prayer is a solemn request for help or an expression of things addressed to God or an object of worship. It is an earnest hope or wish. Given these two definitions, I feel confident in saying that many people have hopes and desires and are all mindful of those desires. From my perspective, the question is not about if we pray but whether or not we surrender to the idea that when we pray we are actually relinquishing control over the situation and trying to figure out how things will work out.
In my opinion prayer and faith go hand and hand. Why would we pray if we don’t have faith in its ability to work in our lives? I would offer that many people pray without faith. Hebrews 11: 1 states that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (NIV).” The opposite of faith is worry. Worry takes many people down the road of trying to figure out how things will work out or trying to control situations or people in their lives in order to achieve a specific outcome. This robs us of our peace. Prayer, on the other hand, invites peace into our lives because it is our confidence and assurance. When I have confidence in something or someone I do not doubt it. I feel confident in saying that the Universe desires to partner with creation to invite peace into our lives and the world.
The times in my life in which I have experienced the most peace are when I have earnestly (in sincerity without the hidden motive of trying to control others or situations) prayed for people and situations in my life without making suggestions to the UNIVERSE about how it will work out. I am the Queen of Suggestion. I have learned to be mindful of my tendency to want to control EVERYTHING in my life so that I may choose to respond differently to circumstances while I am patiently awaiting a resolution.
Having been married for nearly 7 years, prayer has definitely been a non-negotiable in my life. I believe that my relationship with my spouse would not be as fruitful and intimate without prayer. It’s in my prayers for my spouse that I relinquish control. It’s the moment when I allow what I call the Holy Spirit to be at work in the life of my life partner. This frees me up to love unconditionally while knowing that when I focus on being connected to God’s divine presence I invite that presence into my marriage and into my home. In addition, my prayer life only intensified the moment that I became a mother to my stepson and my daughter.
Lastly, I have come to learn that prayer and patience are friends. I have tried to break them up on numerous occasions but their commitment to one another is unrelenting. I have learned that if I want to be in a committed relationship with prayer I get to accept patience and vice versa. When I pray, I don’t get to determine when things happen but I can trust that things will happen when my desires are purely based on love for others. I pray for myself and others because I believe that there is peace, love, joy, gratitude, and abundance to be experienced NOW. These ways of being are not just for me but for the communities I am connected to.
Do you pray? Are you willing to let go and trust the Universe to work on your behalf and the behalf of the communities you are connected to?