"Oh lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
Isn't this how you were taught to pray too? You know---you want something and so all you have to do is be good and ask God for it. He's up there behind the pearly gates on his throne deciding which prayers he's going to grant and which he isn't. Based on whether you're good.
As if prayers are about getting something, having more, or being saved. (As if I need saving).
As a kid, I got really confused about the difference between Santa and God. But that's another story.
Growing up Catholic, I liked the idea of prayer, but I only ever used it when I was in deep shit. I begged, pleaded, and made promises. I didn't really get that there was a value in being connected with Spirit beyond those moments.
Fast forward through a lot of years of ignoring God, spiritual striving, practice, and spiritual bypassing to now. I pray every day, but not for a Mercedes Benz. In fact, I rarely ever pray for something.
I even feel awkward praying for the water protectors, or the animals threatened by wildfires, or a friend when she's going through something rough. I do it anyway, but it feels kinda weird to me (as if I'm asserting my agenda and not trusting Life). I found that if I pray not for a particular outcome but for them to have a certain supportive experience---say to feel safe, comforted, or loved---then it feels like a prayer that connects me with Spirit rather than disconnects.
Even though I pray every morning, my prayers are basically the same:
I share gratitude. And then I pray,
Let me feel you with me. Let me not try to do it on my own, but let me act with you at my side. Let me feel connected. Let's do it together. Help me feel your support so I don't overwork.
Essentially, my prayers are about aligning myself with my spiritual nature and acting from there.
You'd be surprised how many variations on this prayer there are! It never gets old and the words change everyday to address whatever I'm working with.
After that, I ask specific questions about current issues in my life and draw some cards, which always provide clarity and guidance.
When I pray, I'm not asking. I'm claiming.
I don't know how to describe it, but it feels like I'm doing something. Like I'm aligning myself with the truth that I'm made of who I'm praying with (Spirit, Goddesses, Helping Spirits). I'm remembering that this Presence isn't something/someone outside me, but IN me and I dearly want to live and create from that place.
Every single day.
It's actually something I can feel. Life feels different from the godplace. Divine, open, connected, not alone, and somehow...safe. Even when really hard things happen, the godplace helps make it feel somehow doable. Like the problem isn't bigger than I am.
Personally, I call her SHE.
If any part of this resonates, take it and leave the rest. And please, hit share for your people---the spiritually hungry ones.