“I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”

Mother Theresa

Prayer is a controversial word in some camps. Simply because it suggests religion. Or because it suggests that the divine is outside of you, and that you need to speak in a certain, formalized way to get (his) attention. Or because it’s considered a childish, or even desperate, way to relate to the divine. You know, clasping your hands tight and pleeding to God to give you what you want.

I suppose it could be like that. Or it could be something entirely different.

It could be the most direct, intimate connection that you’ll ever experience. Connection with whom? Yourself. The divine within and without. Life.

It could be a gentle shift into truth and wholeness. It could be the most sincere and radical act of surrender.

When everything else falls away, when I can’t bring myself to meditate or adhere to any kind of structure, I can still pray. Because it’s dead simple. There’s nothing there for resistance to grab hold of. Just a moment of me closing my eyes, taking a deep breath and speaking my way back to my heart.

Zero formality. One hundred percent sincerity.

The words vary, but if I start where I am (not where I think I should be) it always seem to lead me to the same place, and quickly.

Yes, I ask the divine for what I want, but in praying, what I want changes. The surface hopes and wishes fall away and I’m re-connected to the deepest desires of my being.

Help me step out of the way.

Change me into one who knows that it’s safe to give freely.

Change me into one who is fully open to receive.

Let whatever I do today come out of love.

Until I reach that point of surrender where all I can say is take this work, take this life, take everything that I am. Make use of it. Make use of me.

Your will be done, not mine.

The leap from my everyday, proud, strongheaded self is so huge that I gasp every time I find myself making that offering. It’s a kind of death. The ego cannot survive that level of surrender.

Your will be done, not mine.

For the longest time, I couldn’t have spoken those words. They sounded like humiliation to me, like self-denial. I could not see the difference between obediance and true surrender. I saw weakness where, truly, there was only courage. Those words, when spoken sincerely, represent a breathtaking act of courage.

Remove everything that is not serving my soul, even the stuff I think I want.

Let it burn.

So that what is left can shine.

So that love can come through.

I step into prayer with fear, anxiety, stuckness, rage, obsession, or just a scattered mind, and I walk out changed.

I walk out with a heart on fire. I walk out in peace. Ready to face it. Willing to act. To live.
To love.



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