photo courtesy of Pixabay
I recently wrote an article for Conscious Life Journal for their Spirit issue about Prayer. Entitled “As I Pray” I focused on how I use prayer in my daily life. I certainly live a busy one. My full time work is as the Executive Director of Unity North Atlanta, a Spiritual Community in Marietta, GA. So it makes sense that prayer be a large part of my day. Managing budgets and overseeing the day to day operations of a mid-size church lends itself to needing to pray…a lot.
Seriously, though, prayer can be an intricate part of any life, but why should it be? Is prayer really necessary in order to live an abundant life? I guess it depends on your definition of abundant. The word comes from Middle English and means overflowing. Overflowing with what? When you think of your life, what is it that you pray for? Do you pray only to get yourself out of a situation? To have more money? More time? More friends? A better relationship? A better job? Would your life be overflowing if you had all of this? Do you pray for others? For their well-being. For them to do things the way you think they should? Do you think prayer will fix it all for you?
We have all heard, and many of us believe, in the phrase made famous by Wayne Dyer: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change”. I have lived this principle for many years. However, in my life, prayer brings me to places I may not have looked at at all. It opens doors that I didn’t even know were there. Often, I am surprised to realize that what appears before me is even possible.
My current employment is a great example of this. For all of my career I worked in healthcare administration. Managing and directing medical practices. Many were small businesses. Service was the priority and managing revenue and expenses key to the growth of the practice. In 2011 I began to leave healthcare because I no longer felt like I belonged in that world. My life was meant for something different. But what? Healthcare administration was all I knew. Looking back, I see I was learning skills that would, eventually, bring me to this place. I believe I was being groomed to do the work I do today.
Did my prayer lead me to this? Did my anxiety about my job cause me to pray so hard that I created this new, wonderful opportunity? The answer is no. Yes, I did pray hard to get me out of the old job but it wasn’t until I went quiet and asked a very simple question that my life began to change.
“What do you think about this?”
Every step of the way to now, this is my mantra. When the old job became too much, when I was trying to figure out what was next, when this opportunity was presented, I asked, “What do you think about this?”
Ask the God of your understanding for an opinion.
Every time you say that you want “this situation” to be different, “this situation” remains but, it does become different – and, yes, sometimes it becomes worse. Your need may absolutely feel immediate, urgent, life-altering but it doesn’t have to be. The answers are there if you are willing to listen. As soon as you stop thinking the world is against you and that life sucks, and, instead, ask for guidance without attachment to an outcome, miracles will certainly occur. You are being asked, over and over and over again, to allow God to do God’s work. It’s time to stop fighting it.
So, what do you think about this? Test the waters of the question. Be quiet. Be gentle. Be open. Be patient.
From my heart to yours, Diane