Prayer as Self-Expression
Hands in the air if you think prayer is BORINGGGGGG.
I really appreciate formal prayers today but that wasn’t always the case. For most of my uber-religious upbringing, my eyes glazed over at the mere thought. On a good day, I recited prayers mechanically, suppressing giant yawns, and running the words together to get through them as quickly as possible. On a bad day, prayer felt like punishment; droning on like a mind-numbing riff on water torture. It’s a shame because what I realize now is that I didn’t really hate prayer, I just hated praying with someone else’s words.
Here’s the thing: God/Source/Spirit doesn’t need your prayers. The Divine transcends language and already knows everything you want to say! Prayer is for you. It should be an act of self-expression; a practice of sharing yourself and being vulnerable. It’s a beautiful way to build trust with a Source who is uniquely yours.
So let’s toss out everything you’ve learned about prayer and go off-script. You’ll be surprised how much intimacy grows when you speak from your heart! Try expressing yourself with these three templates:
Prayer #1: Hi God!
I call this the “Hi God!” prayer because it’s literally just casually checking in and telling God/Spirit/Source what’s on your mind. This may not seem like much, but the whole purpose of prayer is to allow you to feel seen and heard by the Divine, so expressing yourself in this way is actually a really important building block. Talking as a friend in ordinary moments is a practice of showing up to God/Spirit/Source exactly as you are and being fully loved and accepted in return. Start small and just share your unedited thoughts; The more you normalize your spiritual connection, the more closely you will feel it!
Prayer #2: Help Me
This prayer is my go-too pretty much any time I’m having a feeling, and it’s the perfect prayer to graduate to after developing your conversational relationship. Once you feel comfortable letting the Divine in as a friend, play around with asking for what you need. Again, make it authentic to you, asking in your own words and expressing what’s on your heart! No request is too big or too small. As you grow more confident with it, challenge yourself to identify your emotional needs and ask for help that isn’t bound by specific results. For example, instead of “Please make this person I’m attracted to call me!” you could ask “please help me release my fear”, “please help me feel worthy and whole” or “please help me believe that romance can be easy and abundant.” These open requests help you practice vulnerability and leave space for the Divine to create the best outcome for you.
Prayer #3: Thank You
There’s nothing quite as simple or powerful as a prayer of gratitude, and it’s such a fun one to express in your own way! You can begin by saying thank you for anything that comes to mind. Then practice noting any people, things, circumstances, and coincidences that make you smile or improve your day.
Acknowledge times when God/Spirit/Source answers a need that you have, exceeds your expectations, or surprises you in some wonderful way. Using your unique voice to express gratitude infuses joy into your relationship with the Divine; you’ll find that this is a prayer you can’t help coming back to again and again.
And, finally, don’t be surprised when you start rolling all of these into one. “Hi Spirit, help me, thank you” is pretty much a daily practice for me! Just remember: The best prayer is one that’s all yours, one that allows you to fully express yourself, one that helps you feel seen and heard. If it’s true for you, it’s music to God’s ears.
Can I get amen?
Love and magic,