People often ask me why their prayers seem to go unanswered. To answer this question, we first have to ask ourselves, what is a prayer? A prayer is a thought that possesses the quality of directed intention. It’s holding a specific outcome in our minds with the objective of connecting to a greater power for assistance. Because prayer and faith tend to go hand in hand, we next need to ask ourselves, what is faith? We could say that faith is believing in thought more than anything else—more than the current conditions in our present-personal reality or any challenges in our external environment. The intersection of faith and prayer probably needs to be addressed at this point. When used together to produce a specific outcome, we could say that when we get up from our prayer as if our desired outcome has already happened, we are in the right state of mind and body—in other words, we’re in a new state of being. Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at the process of prayer.
Let’s say that we see certain circumstances in our life, or someone else’s life, that seem to be undesirable. When we anticipate a familiar scenario, we’re able to forecast a predictable outcome. In fact, we begin to expect a future worst-case scenario in our mind, and as we do this, we can feel the negative emotions (emotions based in the hormones of stress) before the actual event occurs. Now we’re anticipating a future outcome based on a past experience, but it’s not the possible outcome that’s upsetting us. It’s the correlating emotions of fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, suffering, sadness, or pain that really make the biggest impression on us. At times like this, many of us turn to prayer.
For most people, prayer begins as a thought in our brain. That thought then creates a stream of thoughts, and because the brain is an anticipation machine, we can see a highly probable reality unfolding, so we begin to see a better alternative outcome in our mind. As we do this, we start to imagine a better future experience. Because our brains are wired to create, we can naturally do this. This is called an intention. Next, when we put ourselves in the scene of our prayer, we start to feel the emotions that correlate to the fruition of that prayer (the thought in our mind becomes the experience, and the end-product of that experience is an emotion). As a result, our brain and body start to live in the future—in the present moment. Humans can do this so well that we can feel the emotion of that reality ahead of the experience. This occurs because we automatically start to create scenes and images of what we may experience when our prayer comes to fruition.
The problem starts when we open our eyes and don’t immediately see our prayers answered. And so while we may initially live in the emotion of our prayer while we’re praying, when we come back to our senses and open our eyes, we see that our prayer has not yet materialized, or worse—appears to be unanswered. This is when we start to feel doubt, lack, and separation from that very thing we’re praying for. As a consequence, we try harder, pray harder, force, wish, beg, hope, and plead with God, source energy, or whatever you want to call the creative energy of all that is. We do this because that’s what separation creates. Our senses fool us into believing that we are separate from our creation. Now we’re not only separate from our creation, but we’re separate from the very intelligence with which we are attempting to connect.
While many people possess the intent of their prayer, many others miss the corresponding emotions that go with it. Once they have lost the feeling or emotion, they are back in lack, and each time they do this they are creating from a state of separation—instead of a state of connectedness, wholeness, love, and oneness. If thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body, and how we think and how we feel creates our state of being, it makes sense that mind and body are in opposition. The mind is holding the intent but the body is saying, “It’s not happening.”
So how do we change that? It requires us to really open our hearts and feel gratitude as if our prayer has already been answered. Why? Because gratitude is a state of receivership. We give thanks when we are receiving something or have already received it. When we do this properly and enough times, we start to feel the emotion of our future, and the more we feel that emotion, the more our body becomes conditioned to that feeling.
The result is that each time we get up from our prayer as if our prayer has already been answered—that is to say, in the feeling of the fruition of our prayer—the aftereffect is that we try, force, and want less because now we are in a new state of being. In a sense, we feel as if it has already happened.
What is happening in this process is that we are moving closer to wholeness, instead of lack or separation. Now we are no longer trying to predict the when, where, or how the answer to our prayer is going to happen, because we feel like it already has happened. This is how we make room for the unknown. Now a new possibility that we haven’t thought of can manifest in our reality. This is how we move from living in the Newtonian world of the predictable and the known to the quantum world of the unpredictable or the unknown.
In this work, we don’t pray to have our prayers answered; we get up as if they are already answered. The key to this skill is to maintain that state of being independent of the conditions in our external environment. To remain in this state independent of past habits and emotions stored in the body—which have been programmed to be the mind—and to maintain that new state of being independent of time, is to move beyond the illusion of what our senses are telling us and into in a whole new reality in our mind. In short, it’s not so much about saying that prayer as it is living the prayer.
To read Part II please click here.