Got prayer?

Dear GodThere is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is unique and idiosyncratic because prayer is predicated on our very human, one-to-one relationship with the divine. And, as we all well know, relationships may have similar patterns but they are forever individual.

Prayer is certainly a common phenomenon. From the beginning of time, humankind has sought to make and maintain connection with the divine. At a young age, children are taught prayers. We pray formally in houses, temples, and churches of worship. We pray informally in our conversations with God. Prayer can be part of daily devotional acts, a spiritual discipline, a weekly routine, intermittent ritual as well as a spontaneous reaction to wonder or horror. Prayer can also be reserved for those “foxhole” moments when nothing else seems to work.

Once upon time long ago, very early in my private practice career, I found myself beseeching the Gods for help. I was working with a new client. I had obtained all of the initial history and assessment information. I had asked every question I could think of, and if you know me, you know I can be a regular quiz-master and ask many, many questions.

I found myself stymied. I couldn’t think of another question. I asked for clarification and amplification, but this new, and still rather shy, client was no longer forthcoming. Talk therapy without the talk? Yikes! I was in trouble.

So, I did what I normally do when I am in a jam, I started to pray. “Please God, help me with this client. I don’t what else to ask or what to do. Please, please, please help me now,” I begged. No guidance was forthcoming; no insight was lobbed into my cerebellum. I was still blank and stalling for some inroad into my new client’s psyche.

I was asking my new client repetitive questions from another angle. Panic was just beneath the surface of my supposedly calm and professional exterior. I prayed harder and faster. Here I was, a brand new therapist in private practice without the safety net of the clinic, and I had already hit a wall. I was beginning to sweat. And I noticed that my right arm was beginning to hurt for no real reason.

I kept praying, and my right arm kept aching. On and on this prayer-ache-dismiss-the-ache cycle went until I finally understood. I, then, said to my client that I had a strange question for her. “Was there anything about her right arm?”  As the Gods well knew, there was certainly something about her right arm. That question opened up Pandora’s Box and, happily, a good run of therapy and resolution followed.

Over the years, I have heard — and come to believe — that our every prayer is heard and that our every prayer is answered, but not necessarily in the manner we envision. Often, the responses to our prayers are for the highest good and serve the Big Picture.

The Gods had answered my prayers, but not in the manner I expected or anticipated. I had placed myself conceptually in a small, tight box. My answer would come, I thought, as a new idea piped directly into my brain waves, instead the Gods gave me a response in my body. The new sentient-based question opened the door for my client, and the manner in which I was given the information opened the door for me into a whole new way of working with my clients. Clearly, the Gods knew best.

Being human, we can forget the power of prayer. The results are often invisible and ineffable. With that in mind, here is my very favorite prayer story courtesy of higher consciousness teacher, Caroline Myss and transmitted via my memory:

One weekday morning in Chicago, there is a very serious car accident on one of the major highways. The other drivers and witnesses to this accident all know this will take a very long time to clear. This was bad accident that will require many rescue vehicles.

The trauma of the car accident forces the woman injured to leave her body, and she floats above her mangled car. She could hear the disgruntled words of the nearby drivers forced to a stop behind the accident. The injured woman hears comments like, “Geez, how long will this take?” and “Damn it, I will be late for work.” Everyone around her appears to be angry, frustrated and furious at this unexpected delay to their morning commute.

Well, almost everyone …. The out-of-body woman notices all of this light radiating from the fifth car behind her accident. In her body-less state, the woman travels to the fifth car and hears the woman driver of that car praying for whoever was hurt in the accident. The injured woman is profoundly touched and maneuvers to see the license plate number of this car with the praying woman. Then, abruptly, the injured woman is pulled back into her body and taken by ambulance to the hospital. (The injured woman had experienced a near death experience (NDE), but it was not her time to die.)

The injured woman endures surgeries and rehabilitation. It takes her a good year to get back on her feet. And however it is possible, the once-injured woman, via the license plate number, procures the name and address of the woman who prayed for her.

The recovered woman goes to the florist and buys a huge bouquet of flowers. She goes to the home of the woman who prayed for her and knocks on the door. When the praying woman answers the door, the once-injured woman hands her the flowers and says, “Thanks for your prayers.”

Every time I remember this story, I well up with tears. Every time, I hear an ambulance or witness an accident, I say a prayer.

Prayer not only connects us with the divine; prayer connects us with one another’s soul. Prayer is a fast way to communicate; it’s a form of high-level energy. Prayer illuminates the oneness of us all. Prayer is a light path on the grid of the matrix.

Have you considered a prayer today?

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3 Responses to Got prayer?

  1. Terry Parese February 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    Hi Adele,
    Thank you so much for reminding me of this story you told me many moons ago. It is still one of my favorites and you will be happy to know when I encounter a traffic jam,I usually remember to send a prayer to anyone who may be hurt or suffering.

    I have recently begun my journey (again) of mindful prayer. I am attempting to incorporate comments to my HP on a daily basis and remember “help” is as powerful a prayer as any.

    As you know, my spirit can be tossed this way and that when very strong opposing powers are surrounding me. Last week, my body was overwhelmed with panic and fear, causing a physical panic attack. I realize now this was a major tap on my proverbial shoulders, to pay attention, put your prayers where your fear is.
    You know, stop want to f— everything and run! Which I have fantasized many times over.
    When the panic attack happened, I had no choice but to stop all other thoughts, fears, insecurities, self defeating mantras and the need to control events around my most beloved. The only choice was to go inside and focus on “survival”. As I write this, I “feel” lighter and clearer (once again) almost certain that my angels, hp, and surrounding spirit relatives, are nudging to me put my fears and doubt in the hands of the divine. The cliche, if we have our health, we have everything, is no nonsense.

    Today I have been reminded of faith in motion because of the following:
    This past January, I was searching everywhere in my home, for gift cards I had been given last Christmas (2012),to a ski mountain in upstate CT, I seriously felt pain about losing these special cards and turned everything upside down in a fit of anger and disappointment while looking for them. I was obsessed and distraught. How could I have lost them!? Finally, after my stint in the hospital last weekend,and my successful EKG and stress test, I decided to let go and let whoever wants to take over my world with positive, spirit energy, can!

    Today I finished a project that I needed to repeat for work a few times, finally, off it went with my sigh of relief. I took down the last of the Christmas lights, one last nutcracker and could breath even easier within open space, ahhhh.

    As Luke and his friend played a came shouting and telling me every 15 minutes they are hungry, I opened my email and found a message from Ski Sundown about the mountain conditions. It finally occurred to me that I could call and inquire about the lost gift cards. I was expecting the pleasant woman on the phone to give me a kind response of, I am sorry, there is no way we can replace gift cards, ya da ya da ya da. But, she did the opposite and said, “I can help you with that”! The new cards are on there way and I can’t explain the happy feeling that flooded my brain and heart.
    Lesson, Breath more, stop more, eat more chocolate, realize I am perfectly imperfect and no one is judging me more than me! (I sound like a replica of you and that is super good)
    Watch out Sochi attendants, I am going up the Mountain!
    I pray I can keep this deep breathing and attitude of, how important is it and remember that when I let go, the space is cleared for more minor miracles to occur.
    Thank you again Adele,
    Love and hugs to you always.
    Terry

  2. Adele Ryan McDowell February 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Thank you, as always, for being so faithful in acknowledging and responding to my posts. And to the Little One, I say, what a loving heart! PS I think we might just have that snow day!

  3. Na'ama Yehuda February 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    As always–a great post, a straight-to-your-heart conversation of souls.
    Thank you for you!
    A little one told me today, “I pray for a snowday tomorrow,” then she paused, and said, “but maybe not everyone likes snow because then they get too cold if they don’t have a home …” She thought some more and asked me, “do you think I can pray for a snowday anyway?”
    To that I smiled and said, “I think prayer is never wrong, and I think that what you pray for will be understood, and what needs to happen, would.”
    She thought it made total sense, which more made me ever so glad…
    Amen.