We all have our own relationship with prayer, even if it is to avoid it. We might practice one of the many forms of prayer around the world. And if you pray in a way that is right for you, I wish you all the best in your prayer practice. But there are many people for whom that is not the case. Prayer can feel stale, hollow, or dry for people. Many have simply given up. They haven’t found a way to pray that feels authentic for them. So, they have dismissed prayer as being irrelevant to them. If that has happened to you, perhaps it is time to reinvent prayer for yourself. Whatever your current experience might be, I invite you to have a fresh look at prayer and, in the process, reclaim prayer for yourself.
A more secular word for prayer is intention. The word intention has the advantage of avoiding the aversion that people might have around the word prayer. But it may miss the depth of meaning that the word prayer carries.
There is a childish version of prayer that implores an all-powerful God to give us what we think we want or need. It reminds me of the children’s musical Peter Pan. Peter is teaching Wendy, John, and Michael to fly. He tells them to think lovely, wonderful thoughts and then blows fairy dust on them. When it is his turn to voice his lovely thoughts, the youngest, Michael, repeatedly says, “Candy!” And he stays earthbound. Peter instructs him, “Lovelier thoughts, Michael.” Before long, he is airborne.
Prayer is like that. If it is based on childish demand, a person remains earthbound. There is no elevation and little fulfillment of the prayer. But when prayer rises to partake of the transcendent, the experience takes flight. The one who prays finds themselves participating in a ritual of cosmic proportions. They realize that everything around them is in prayer in its own way. This is a mature, enlightened approach to prayer, expressing the authentic desire in our hearts for the well-being of all.
Think of the flower. It is reaching up to the sun. The flower faces the sun and opens to the warmth of the solar radiation. It is praying to the sun.
So are the trees. They spread their branches and leaves before the sun, asking for its life-giving light.
The sun is constantly praying over the earth. It is keeping us all warm. It is causing the flowers to bloom and the trees to grow.
Wherever you look, it’s all prayer.
As human beings, we play a remarkable part in this process. We are both the flower and the sun.
We are part of the Creation. We have a physical nature. And so, like the flower, we pray for the source of life to enter us, warm us, and make us grow. Like the tree, we grow taller day by day, not only in physical height but reaching up to touch higher and higher levels of conscious awareness. Like Wendy, John, and Michael, we take flight.
The power of prayer within the Creation is its innate desire to receive the animating force from within itself and from the forces of Creation in the world in which we live—from other people, the natural world, and from the cosmos. We crave the activation of all of who we are—body, mind, emotion, and spirit.
Our physical bodies are praying all the time. They are asking for something. They’re opening to something. That’s why our hearts are beating. That’s why everything is moving in our physical bodies.
Our feelings are praying for Love all the time. More Love, please. We yearn for its radiance to warm our emotional body.
We seek knowledge and understanding. Just as the tree opens to the sunlight, our minds pray for the light that brings insight, inspiration, and the next big idea.
Our spirit wants to soar, carried by the cosmic forces that lie deep within our Being. We want to be possessed by a Higher Power and a Higher Presence.
This is what is happening in us all the time, even though we, as human beings, can become disconnected from that experience. We can lose track of the fact that our emotional body is praying for Love, our mind wants to know and understand, and our physical body wants to live. We can become hardened to our own longing, and the prayer within us can die.
We are part of the prayer of Creation. We are also the prayer of the Creator. We carry within us the desire of the Creator: that the Creation thrives. We have within us the radiance of Love for the people and all the living things of this world, just as the radiance of the sun brings warmth to Planet Earth. Just as the sun constantly shines its light upon us, the light within us continually prays over our world, desiring its illumination.
We are Love, the prayer of the Creator. Love isn’t looking for a reason to be itself. It is not looking for a reason to Love. Love is the reason. That is who we are—Love, the prayer of the Creator. The reason for the prayer is Love itself without explanation, without rationale, and without having to fit into any human structure.
As human beings, we can get out of touch with this reality. We can look for explanations as to what is happening in our life and get lost in wondering what it is all for, forgetting the prayer in our hearts. We can become blasé, judgmental, and disconnected, forgetting how much we desire the flourishing of the people around us, forgetting how much we do Love the people around us––all of them, even the nasty ones, even the ones who misbehave so badly.
Underneath it all is a prayerfulness that we have for the well-being of all. Our prayer isn’t a moralistic thing. We can express it in religious terms, but the origin of it is not any human institution. It is how we are made. We are prayer machines!
A prayerful life is a heart-connected life because prayer moves through the heart if it is to have meaning. A prayer that is just spoken but doesn’t carry the power of emotion is impotent. The power of prayer moves through the heart. So, having a rich and deep prayer life is heart-connected with the desires of Creation and our desire as a part of Creation. And it is knowing and feeling the prayer of the Creator as our own.
Prayer is not just a hope. I really hope they get better. Prayer is an activation of Love, and Love is not just a hope. Love is a power. So, prayer is a power. It’s a vibration. It has influence. It is the desire of the Creation and the power of the Creator.
Attunement, as an energy medicine practice, is all about prayer. I’m not saying that the practitioner has to speak what might usually be considered a prayer. But the urge of the Creator to bring the activation of life to the situation is the power behind energy medicine. And a person’s receipt of energy medicine depends on their prayer—their desire for it and their opening to it.
Love is the impulse behind life, so when the practitioner is having an experience of prayer, they know the vibration within themselves that is born out of the desire of Love for all to thrive, and that vibration is moving through them. It is activating their own body, mind, and heart, and their energy field. And in the amazing reality of how we’re made as human beings, if that’s happening for you, I feel it. If you are vibrating and resonating with the prayer of Love, the prayer of life, I start to vibrate with you.
Prayer brings Attunement. And in that Attunement, a person overcomes the forgetfulness of what has always been present in the deepest regions of their soul. That experience is fresh and new, and profoundly familiar. It smells like home. We know ourselves and other people in a way that transcends separation. We know our original Being, what we were born into the world with, what I call our primal spirituality.
In the teaching of Attunement, we say that the truth brings all things to remembrance—not truth as a theory, not truth as a belief or a philosophy. That kind of truth doesn’t have this power. When we resonate with the truth of how we are made, it is deeply familiar, and we transcend our forgetfulness.
In the Attunement School at Sunrise Ranch, we teach technique, anatomy and physiology, and the underlying principles of Attunement. But more importantly, the teaching of Attunement relies on invoking a memory of what is authentic and real about us. It depends on invoking a memory of what we were born with and still have, but which we have this astounding ability to forget. And how else do you explain what happens in our world—and even to us at times? There is a great forgetting of who we are as individuals and who we are together.
Prayer is not just words. But words can bring the power of prayer into the world if the person speaking them connects to what is behind the words. Here is my prayer.
May we know that although we are so different from each other, we are not separate. We are part of one reality, one family of humankind. May we remember. May all people remember. May we move past our forgetting of who we are and what is within us. May we remember the prayer that has been in our hearts from the beginning.