Intention and Prayer: Two Superpowers for Healing and Transformation
For centuries the word “prayer” has been embedded in human conversations around the globe. While some cultures continue to uphold the tradition of prayer work with the same vigilance as their ancestors, other cultures are adopting new words to express spirituality. One word in particular, “intention” serves as a meaningful addition to the list of how we generate transformative moments.
A basic definition of prayer is a conversation with the Divine that involves asking for help, forgiveness, gratitude or praise and listening for the answers. Intentions align energy with purpose or attitude to bring it into reality. For those of us who wish to use a hybrid of prayer and intention to guide our way, here are suggestions to strengthen your spiritual efforts.
Blending prayer and intention
Meredith’s marriage of 15 years to Patrick has ended in a bitter divorce. Exhausted from the years of fighting and living in constant tension, she turns to prayer and intention for comfort and wisdom.
Direct energy in specific ways.
Prayer: “I pray for peace in my heart and ask for the courage to forgive myself and Patrick.”
Intention: “I am stepping out the past and heading into the present with a calm outlook.”
In this scenario Meredith’s prayer has combined her search for peace with Divine help and personal will. She identifies courage, forgiveness and calm as a means of achieving the outcome versus wallowing in weakness and fantasy.
Illuminate an idea or possibility. so that it assumes a new form.
Prayer: “May all suffering turns into understanding, pain turns into strength and sadness into the promise of a better day. Every part of me believes I shall get through this experience.”
Intention: “I trust my intuition to lead me to good decisions.”
Divine help is here to shed light on Meredith’s circumstances and commit to exercising her inner voice. She is clear that understanding, strength and promise are assured when she trusts her intuition instead of ego.
Facilitate transitions from brokenness to wholeness.
Prayer: “May I find loving responses to say when others question my decision and judge my actions.”
Intention: “I fully accept who I am and the journey I am on.”
With a desire to offset the weight of gossip and external chaos into her world, Meredith seeks love and acceptance as better ways to silence the noise not anger and failure.
Embrace the unknown.
Prayer: “For so long I’ve been feeling guilty, lonely and afraid of change. May this big and unexpected change in my life teach me compassion and honesty.”
Intention: “I welcome grace, patience and humility into my next chapter.
Gathering up this prayer into one powerful message looks like this:
The story of Patrick and me represents completion. We are no longer a couple but humans on a journey to fulfill separate dreams. For so long I’ve been feeling guilty, lonely and afraid of change. May this big and unexpected change in my life teach me compassion and honesty.
May suffering turn into understanding, pain into strength and sadness into the promise of a better day. May I find loving responses to say when others question my decision and judge my actions. I pray for peace in my heart and ask for the courage to forgive myself and Patrick. Every part of me believes I shall get through this experience.
Praying and setting intentions for others
It is not easy to witness suffering regardless of whether or not we know the person or animal. At least once a week we are exposed to a story in need of Divine intervention. As the witness to these stories our impulse to pray is immediate and visceral. If we are unable to solve the problem something inside us wants to do something valuable, but what?
In uncertain times few choices seem accessible to the mind and heart. Prayer emerges as a tender option. Tapping into logic and rational thinking may not ease tense and unpredictable emotions. In these challenging times, prayer brings gentle comfort the suffering parties and the witnesses.
Whether we are giving or receiving prayer it is helpful to learn a method we can apply to any situation.
- Close your eyes and imagine the person standing right before you.
- Let love and light transfer from you to the other person.
- Choose a word or image that you would like to offer her/him. For example the offering can be Peace, Love or Joy. It is better to pray in a general way because it covers more “territory” than praying for what you deem important.
- If you’re using words say them out loud and with sincerity. (You can have a crafted prayer in hand or speak from the heart.) If you’re using an image hold it for as long as you can. Once you get distracted with a new thought or image surrender the prayer for this person’s highest good.
- Unless you truly feel it will make a difference to this person, it’s unnecessary to tell the her/him you are praying on their behalf.
- Close the prayer with a form of gratitude.
- Optional: clasp hands together or open them up in gesture of receiving, play music with no words, light a candle
Example: Meredith’s friend, Eloise, offered this prayer.
Meredith, may the Divine fill your heart with great peace as you begin your life. May you experience joyful adventures and discover healthy relationships. May you realize you possess everything you need to live a rich and happy life. Blessings be upon you Meredith today and always. Thank you for being a gift in my life.”
Intentions for others
Most of us feel helpless when it comes to helping humanity and the environment. Can we affect change in Africa? Make a difference in global warming? Intentions carry focused energy directed towards a person, place or cause. When we believe our intentions are powerful we imbue them with great potential.
Author Marla Tabaka says:
“Remember the butterfly effect: A small change can result in large differences. Setting an intention to make a difference can open your mind to ideas and opportunities to do so. It may shift your perspective on the impact of even the smallest contribution to your cause. Just saying out loud that you intend to be a part of the change is empowering.”
A ritual for setting intentions
- Choose a person, place or cause.
- What is the energy you want to manifest right now? Intentions are present moment expressions.
- Close your eyes and open your heart.
- Be clear about your intention. Write it out ahead of time.
- Say intention out loud and with conviction.
- Options: place hands on heart, light a candle
My intention is to create a world full of possibilities for all beings.
I am a catalyst for positive change in the world.
Every human being is beautiful, successful and fulfilled.
Dedicated with love to Leslie M.