Today I wanted to touch on a topic I don’t usually discuss directly on my page or blog – prayer.
Prayer has become more and more important to me as a person who connects with spirit outside of an organized religion.
I was raised Christian and went to Sunday school for the majority of my childhood. Prayer was a fixed part of mealtimes and bedtimes, and we would often pray at other times too.
As I got into spiritual development I stopped praying completely.
When we think of prayer we are usually associate it with a specific religion or God.
When we move from organized religion to spirituality we might drop prayer because those religious connotations are just so strong.
Although a lot of religious practices are regimented and heavily imposed, and through our spiritual development we might want to get away from that type of control system, it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Prayer is an acknowledgement of and communication with something that is bigger, wider, more knowledgeable than ourselves; regardless of which term we use.
Pulling from the New Age, ‘surrender’ is talked about a lot but there is a lot of confusing advice about how to do that in practice. We can inadvertently become fixated on an end-point, even if the ‘goal’ is one of transcendence.
How to pray as a spiritual person
I don’t want to prescribe any specific steps for prayer as this is such a personal process once we move away from religion, but I can share some guidelines.
I approach prayer as a way to acknowledge what I do not yet know and practice acceptance towards it.
I like to phrase my prayers like this:
Show me where I can surrender further
Show me what I need now
I am ready to see x more clearly in this situation
I let go of outcomes
I am ready for something new
Some of these might sound like affirmations and could be used as such, but the intention is a little different.
Rather than pushing for something to grow internally or externally, consciously letting go of those expectations.
Prayer and regiment can both serve a role on the spiritual path, even if they have been used in a distorted fashion. Prayer opens things up. We can ask for physical things in our prayers but I don’t think this should be the focus.
We can put our hands in a specific position or not, but what matters most is the intention. To connect with our spirit, but also this wider collective consciousness, and to practice letting go.
Prayer isn’t for everyone but I do recommend it to spiritual practitioners who work outside of organized religions but don’t want to carry the aversion they might have to certain religious symbols or practices.
A big part of spiritual practice is facing fear. As so many of us went through religious trauma or control, prayer as a ritual can be a way to reclaim some of that power.
If you feel comfortable, think about the way you react to religious terminology like God, devotion, prayer etc. See what weight these words carry emotionally and energetically, and where you might want to let go of some of the heaviness.
I would love to know your experiences with prayer & the spiritual path.