What do you do when you’re happy, sad, angry, or desperate?
Well? Without knowing it, you are reflecting your emotions onto the people around you, so you should probably be conscious of it.
Who do you turn to when you know what you seek is outside of your control?
I’m not going to tell you WHO you should speak to, but I will tell you this whole “prayer” thing can be pretty powerful. Whether you are praying to a specific God, the Universe, or a vague higher power, the simple act of praying can be a game-changer in your happiness.
Not JUST the asking part….
Or the “Thank you for this meal” type of prayer. Although that’s important! (Especially if you just had Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash like I did. YUM.)
I mean taking the time to make sense of your thoughts, actions and desires, and releasing your intentions to be received!
There is a reason that every religion I have ever heard of is linked by this practice.
The simple act of putting intention behind your thoughts can have a very powerful effect. Some might even call it miraculous.
You may have never found a way of praying that resonated with you growing up, but now is the time to establish your PERSONAL method. Find your voice. Are you solemn or passionate? Experiment with prayer beads. Try prayer in the morning. Try it at night. Out loud or through meditation. Try a mantra! Get crazy with it!
The entire point of these happiness experiments is to sift out the things you do because they make YOU happy from the things you do because you were told they would make you happy.
Before we dive into the experiment, let me preface by saying, there is no right or wrong way to pray (or eat a Reeses), but this I can GUARANTEE: If you are not attaching emotion to your prayers, you are not going to receive the full benefit of praying.
Don’t just say your prayers, sink into your prayers.
So here goes. The Three-Fold Prayer Experiment:
1. Start With Why. Why are you praying? In my research, I came across the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). While I don’t think that your conversation with the divine has to fall under an umbrella category, this might help you start the conversation!
Adoration. Pray because you are simply in awe of the wonderful things around you. The world is an incredible place, made up of miraculous beings and places and concepts.
Confession. Even if your moral compass doesn’t align with a religious creed like the Bible, Torah or
Quran, you should still be able to recognize when you are not acting as your HIGHEST SELF would act. If not, use prayer as a means of acknowledging where you have fallen short and grow so that you can be better in the future. If you have real guilt, it’s important to acknowledge that you feel remorse so that you can move on and continue to serve others!
Thanksgiving. Gratitude is not something you feel, it’s something you PRACTICE. Prayers of gratitude are the surest way for you to tell the universe that you received and appreciated its blessings and you are open to more. This kind of prayer has immediate and long-term benefits. Get after it!
Supplication. Supplication is humbly asking for what you desire. It is NOT selfish to ask, want or wish. The universe is abundant and you are going to be met with what you ask for and take action on. Putting intention behind your hopes and dreams is your way of telling the divine source that you are ready to receive all the glorious things God has to offer.
2. Make Your Prayers Limitless. When it comes to the “asking” part, there are no limits. Don’t insult the universe by asking small and for the love of God, stop acting like you are bothering “Him” with your insignificance. No matter what you believe, when you pray, you are praying to the source of everything you know. THE CREATOR OR SOURCE OF EVERYTHING GRAND. The stars. The planets. The mind of Albert Einstein. As Joel Osteen would say, make sure to “Pray God-size Prayers”.
If you find yourself asking for cleared debt, a stable marriage, or to pass your next exam, think BIGGER! Pray for the FREEDOM that money will bring, a THRIVING marriage, and a WEALTH of knowledge. Pray for everything and anything that you desire.
3. Be Open to Receiving. Prayer is a spiritual practice that can be solemn, emotional, or even fun. But what good is putting out your intentions and requests if you are not open to receiving the blessings and answers you seek. Try closing your prayer with a notion of reception. Your personal version of:
“I have opened myself up to receiving all of the blessings and wisdom that come my way. So, please, feel free to bring it on.”
You should give prayer a try even if… scratch that, ESPECIALLY if you’re uncomfortable with religion. I can promise it won’t hurt you to experiment. And hey, it may just help you shift into a higher state of living.
Can I get an Amen to that?
Did you use ACTS? Did you find you were limiting your prayers? Post your experience with The Prayer Experiment below.