There is a beautiful blog that you simply must see: Defining Spiritual Presence authored by Greenwoman. Each Monday she posts a “Monday Candle Moment” entry. Her reasoning? “There is great power in community prayer.”
A few years ago, I took a class on prayer and the facilitator said some thing that I had never — in all my years spent in church week after week — heard before. It was profound in its simplicity and changed my whole outlook and approach to prayer — and, ultimately, life. When I happened upon Greenwoman’s blog and read her philosophy, I knew that I had to participate because she echoed precisely what that facilitator taught me:
Each week, I’ll be lighting a ‘candle’ here of prayer and I encourage you to pray along with me about these situations . . . but I wish to urge you to pray in a certain way. That way is not to pray for specific outcomes . . . Instead, let’s pray for the help, health, strength and wisdom of all concerned. I say this because when we pray for specific outcomes, we limit our manifesting to a certain thing . . . which may not be the best thing in the long run. This is especially important when praying for others. We don’t ultimately know what’s best for anyone else and often don’t really know what’s best for ourselves. I’ve been awed when I’ve let go of my micromanagement of my outcomes and just let Spirit do It’s thing . . I’ve got outcomes that I didn’t even imagine and which were far better than my own ideas.
In the class I took, I heard for the first time that we should pray for those who are ill, for instance, to have “the best possible outcome” and one that is in alignment with God’s will for that person’s life. That facilitator noted that when someone becomes unwell, it may not be their destiny to be healed and make a full recovery. That is indeed a difficult reality, but by praying for that outcome all the time, we are bound to be disappointed. I believe that is why you often hear people say, “God didn’t answer my prayer” and they lose faith. I believe that God always answers pray, but sometimes the answer is not the one we were looking for. The answer is always in accordance with the Divine plan for our lives. But by praying for the best possible outcome for another person in whatever situation they face, we send positive thoughts and affirming, loving prayer out into the universe for them. If, for instance, a person is ill because they are on a path leading to their crossing over into eternity, by praying for the best outcome for that individual, we are really, I believe, praying that they not suffer or experience intractable pain, but, rather, experience a peaceful, dignified transition after resolving the issues they confronted in this life.
A subtle difference, perhaps. But it is one that has informed and guided the manner in which I have prayed ever since attending that class. And it has helped sustain my faith.
Greenwoman also wisely points out:
Likewise, we don’t know what lessons others need. Sometimes illness, tragedy and being downtrodden is exactly what a soul needs to grow and expand . . . removing that experience will not be in that person’s best interests therefore . . . This is why I pray for help, health, strength and wisdom for all concerned and send my loving energy to be used in whatever way is most needed to secure the best outcomes for all concerned.
So please pray with me each week. I encourage you to make your own candle vigil about what concerns you. Be that something in your own life, something in your community or something in the National news. . . let me know if you set your own vigil so that I can come pray with you and I can leave a link here for others to note and pray with you also…because there’s power in sang ha and there’s power in joined prayer. Let’s be strong together and help as we may.
For Christians, the concept has validity because the Bible is replete with references to folks gathering in groups to offer up prayer. After all, Christians are taught that there is tremendous power in prayers said when “two or three are gathered.”
But you do not need to be a Christian to participate. Everyone can offer prayer to the god, higher power or deity in which they believe. After all, Colloquium is a place where all persons and viewpoints are welcome and all visitors are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings.
So tonight I join with Greenwoman in holding up a candle and sending out prayers for the best possible outcome for anyone in need of assistance, healing, answers . . .
In my particular case, my little Mattie-Boo is on a school trip and will not be back until tomorrow, so I ask for the best possible outcome for him, his classmates, teachers and chaperones — safe travel home.
Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, The Random Yak, DeMediacratic Nation, Adam’s Blog, Big Dog’s Weblog, Webloggin, Pursuing Holiness, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Rightlinx, Right Celebrity, Wake Up America, Alabama Improper, stikNstein… has no mercy, Nuke’s news and views, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Planck’s Constant, CORSARI D’ITALIA, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.