Many people turn to prayer in their darkest hour, some on their death bed, and others use it on a daily basis to ask for things they want, or to give thanks for what they have. Many people subscribe to a religion because they say that they prayed to God and their prayers were answered. But aside from the religious aspect, is there any proof that prayer actually works? And if it does, is there any way to pray that will increase your chances of getting an answer?
People of all faiths practice prayer in some form, and even the occasional atheist will say a prayer when the chips are down. It’s not really a matter of who you think you’re praying to, whether it be a God, a group of gods, or just the Universe or some other energy form, the point is that you’re focusing your mind on a specific situation or problem, and this is where your point of power comes from. Real prayer should be done with your whole body and mind, and isn’t something you just mumble before you eat a meal.
Those that believe in prayer claim that it helps them get what they want, keep them safe from calamity, or just plain feel better about life in general. Religious people claim that it is their specific God that is doing the answering, and that’s who they are praying to. But prayer is not exclusive to any one religion, and is possible for people of all walks of life and all faiths, even those that don’t follow a faith. It’s something any human can do, and it doesn’t require that you direct your prayer to any outside force, you can even pray to yourself.
The hype comes from people that think they can simply pray and everything will work out fine for them. It’s a way of passing responsibility on to some other force, and can lead to a worsening of the situation if that’s all you rely on. It’s an insidious problem and leads to a nation full of people that just want a hand out and think that if they just let go of the wheel God and the rest of society will help them out when their car goes off the road.
Prayer is free, although some shady types want to charge you money in order for them to pray for you. Be wary of anyone that says they will pray for you and your family if you send them money. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, you’ll never be able to know for sure. If you send them money and your life improves, it was most likely because you believed they would pray for you, and is the power of your belief rather than the power of anyone else praying for you.
If you’re going to pray, you have to put yourself into it. You should commit to following a daily prayer time, or commit to praying even when things are going right in your life. Prayers of thanks can be much more powerful than prayers of need. When you pray, be sure you’re free of distractions, and that you concentrate on what it is you want. A good prayer should resemble meditation if you want your prayers to be heard, and answered.
It’s hard to deny the value of prayer, and it’s not just for the weekly trip to church, a synagogue, or a mosque. You can pray whenever and wherever you want, but most people only think to do it when they’re in a dire situation, or when they want something really, really bad. Some religions require their followers to pray every day, multiple times a day, and others seem to leave it up to the individual to determine how often they should pray, and what they should pray about.
The Power of Belief
The biggest trip up for most people that pray and don’t get what they asked for is because they didn’t really believe that they would get what they wanted. If you are praying for what you think is impossible, you probably won’t get it. If you believe that there is a way for you to get what you want, and you just need a little help, then you’ll probably get it. The reason for this is if you believe in what you’re praying for, you’ll probably pray for it a lot. If you don’t, you might pray for it here or there, but it won’t be with enough consistency to have it work. Your prayers need to be consistent and powerful in order to be heard.
Final Review of Prayer
True prayer bridges religious divides and is more a spiritual practice than anything else. You can use it all the time to clear your mind, feel more at ease, and bring yourself into the present moment. All of these side effects should at least provide relief to whatever you’re going through. Whether or not prayer works when you pray for material things or accomplishments is another matter. This is where a combination of prayer and right action will get you what you want.
Pray if it makes you feel good, but don’t expect that your prayers will be answered unless you take some inspired action to improve your own situation. Whichever God is out there expects you to meet them halfway.