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Creating Sacred Space for Prayer

Ritual is a part of our everyday life. Most of us have some form of routine. We have a time we wake up and go to sleep. A favorite sport team or television show to watch on a given night. We have a go-to CD when we want to lift ourselves out of a funk.  Having a prayer practice means ritualizing and making regular the practice of prayer. Preparation 1: Intend your space to be holy. Space for prayer supports or ritualizes the practice of getting quiet within oneself, centering, and spending time Spirit. Preparing an external space for prayer requires first and foremost internal intention. Intention is a strong power that directs energy from within outward. When we intend a space to be sacred, it is. It’s that simple. We can be in the middle of a supermarket and realize it is holy. You and I determine the quality of and the way we receive space. Preparation 2: Choose your space. We can really stop there, but we’re not going to because we are beings that like beauty and enjoy creating. We can choose anywhere within our home to be our designated prayer space. It can be a corner, a chair, a room, or an outdoor sanctuary. I have done each. My home now boasts a subtle altar in each room with one room dedicated exclusively for prayer. A friend of mine had a garage built on her property as a personal and community temple. Preparation 3: Choose reminders of what you value and love to go into the space. If you aren’t sure on the “where,” don’t rush yourself. Try praying in different areas of your home and see if there is a spot that calls out to you. Once you’ve chosen the “where” then determine that only that which you deeply love is in that space. Sacred means holy, blessed and connected to God. I interpret this as that which I feel with my heart and deeply love. I have a favorite red prayer chair with a comfy cushion and large arms on each side that my father gave me in my sacred prayer corner. I have an antique bookcase with my favorite meditation books in it and a carved table next to the chair. On top of the bookcase is one of my mini-altars with carved figures and favorite stones. I have the Buddha to remind me to be compassionate with all. I have Mother Mary and Qu’an Yin reminding me of the feminine presence of God and all that each woman stands for. And, I have a quartz rosary I purchased when I visited John of God to remind me of the power of Faith. Preparation 4: Evoke the senses within the space. Now think senses. I train my senses to point toward God. I think sight that I satisfy through the altar, furniture, photos and statues of what I love. I think sound. I may include sacred music in my prayer area. My go to preference is silence, which is a form of sound, and yet there are moments I am deeply transported through inspiring music. Smell is invocative. It is the first sense we have as a child. To light a scented candle, burn sage, or essential oil shifts the energy of...

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Affirmative Prayer Technology in Brief

When I was a child I talked to God. I told God what I was doing, asked Him questions, contemplated what it meant and felt like to be Infinite. At age five I felt God’s Love surround and embrace me. As I grew older I learned to pray to God in a formal way as though he were separate from me and to be addressed with respect. “Dear God,” I’d begin and “Amen” would be the salutation. My heart’s desire was very sincere, yet the style of prayer was one of a plea. A prayer may have been “God, help me to not be mean.” Or, “Dear God, please give me confidence in making my presentation third period.” Or, “Dear God, make them like me.” Somewhere between my childhood innocence and my learned prayer, the communication style changed and the sincerity remained. I was introduced to Affirmative Prayer. It is a five-step process blending meditation, contemplation, and affirmation, with the ownership of a feeling within my body of knowing the answer is born within me and the request is fulfilled. It is a form of developing into becoming expanded within me. I took to this practice quickly and immediately began to experience its power. I wrote a book on this process Affirmative Prayer: Becoming Your Own Prayer Answered after investing over 10,000 hours in this practice. It is now how I pray. I use it with my clients and it continues to teach me and reveal to me more of its power as a structure. The five steps are below, and are in brief. If this process is of interest to you I highly recommend you read my book, take a class, or have a private session . Step One: Recognition. The first step in Affirmative Prayer is connecting with The One, The Only, God. This is the contemplation, meditation part of the practice. I can invest hours in doing this, or seconds. The amount of invested time isn’t as important as actually experience the recognition that God is All There is. In the first step I may identify a quality of God that I desire to express more of. A quality of God is an Eternal Truth spoken of God within most all religions since the beginning of time. Such qualities include Love, Joy, Faith, Abundance, Wisdom, Truth. Step One: God is. Step Two: Unification: Once connected to the Allness of God and the quality I am cultivating I unify with this One. God is It. It is Love. By logic, default, definition, then I must be love, loved, beloved, and loving. Step Two: I am. Step Three: The third step is realizing the feeling of this in my life and possibly how it may out-picture. This step stokes the internal flames of memory. I often call it the “therefore” stage. God is Love. I am loving. Therefore …. As I sit and I pray I may say “therefore it is natural to see, feel, taste, and touch love throughout my day today.” Or, “therefore, I bring love with me into work and leave it behind in all of my transactions.” Or, “therefore, the Divine Love in me guides me through the day showing me how to demonstrate love to myself and others.” Step Three: Therefore … Step...

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Creating a Prayer Partnership that Works for You

Imagine the feeling of your favorite holiday or birthday moment and times that times ten. That is the feeling of a powerful prayer partnership. It consists of love, surprise, recognition, intimacy, delight, and the visceral knowing someone has your back. Contrast this with the feeling of being bogged down in complaints, disappointments, anger, unhealed messes … placed at your feet to fix. This is the heaviness of a prayer partnership that is misdirected. Prayer partnering can change your life or can be a waste of precious time. I’ve experienced both. As my Prayer Partner (PP) and I are defining and playing with our partnership, I thought I’d share my notes and insights with you. 1. Choose a partner who has the same level of commitment to their spiritual practice as you do to yours. Now remember, I am a reincarnated monk and nun many times over and I can and have invested all day in prayer. To be with a praying lightweight isn’t a fair exchange and creates a disproportionate relationship. In choosing my current partner, I actively looked for over one year to find a dedicated minister who values prayer as a transformational tool and lives from her spiritual beliefs. 2. Establish logistics beginning with the date and time. We determined weekly for one hour and chose a consistent day. 3. We begin with an opening prayer. We ask each other who feels it is theirs to do, then that one of us does it. 4. Each one of us has about twenty minutes to give an update and make our request. Updates are not complaints. They are insightful recognitions of the internal alchemy that is happening within us coupled with our desires as we move forward in the week. 5. Should one of us have an insight, we may ask if we can offer it. We are not about fixing, coaching, helping, or teaching. We are about standing witness to Soulful revelations and being the Light of Go(o)d for the other. We are partners and equals. This practice of allowance invites Grace shows up between us. 6. We finish with prayer once we’ve completed the sharing. This typically takes ten to twenty minutes and one of us prays for the other and then we shift. As soon as we say “Amen,” we hang up. 7. We decided that mailing throughout the week is okay for us. We don’t call each other and “chat” about things like girlfriends. Our relationship is driven by and exclusive to prayer. The benefits of being a PP and having a PP are numerous. Scripture speaks of the two or more gathered together as a potency in which God’s Presence is revealed. Sitting on the phone, awake to the presence of Heaven as the location of our connection brings about all kinds of innate treasures. The best is I become more of me. This appears to be a small investment for such a grand...

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Prayer Challenge

“The word for prayer in Aramaic is slotha.  It comes from the root word sla, which literally means “to trap” or “to set a trap.” Thus, prayer in its initial sense implies “setting your mind like a trap so that you may catch the thoughts of God – in other words, “to trap the inner guidance and impulses that come from your inner spiritual source.” Rocco A. Errico, Setting a Trap for God, The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus I take it as a given that prayer heals my body, reveals my Soul, and guides me into right action and aligned relationships. And, I have all kinds of proof of its efficacy in my own life and the lives of my clients. I went on-line with the intention of gathering research statistics to demonstrate its power. However, what I found was a mess. Some reports say prayers heal. Some say they make conditions worse. And others say results are neutral. This leads me then, to a prayer challenge. Prove to yourself that prayer works. Take any desire or concern you may have and sit with its solution until you can feel the solution in your body. Let’s use some examples. Let’s say you desire to stop grinding your teeth. This is a process I actually did with myself and got terrific results. I was a forty plus year grinder and within two months I ground no more. The issue/desire: To quit grinding my teeth. Sit with the solution: Teeth that gently rest upon each other without friction. Feel it in my body: I imagine within my body the feeling of a mouth that is free and rested. Then I pray. I pray this that I know and feel is so, now. I revel in my new identity as someone who rests his or her teeth upon themselves. I invite in my Invisible Healing Team of angels, guides, The Holy Spirit and I ask that the Without supports me as my Within has said yes. I stop throughout the day catching myself NOT grinding and I reward myself with words of praise and gratitude and thank my Invisible Team for their support. Prayer to me is an Inner/Outer and Outer/Inner experience. I recognize the Presence of God as everything and in everything. As I pray I align my actions with my intention. Prayer is a full-bodied experience. In my prayer practice, I have supported many clients in finding right work or growing their business. First, together, we become real clear about the desired outcome. Below is an example from work I did with a client. I am writing in the first person to experience the power of this request. The issue/desire: To grow my client/writing/speaking business using my gifts and talents fully, loving the people I work with, and being paid well. Sit with the solution: I may imagine any part of this solution. The more I can apply my imagination, or right use of imaging, the more powerful the feeling tone becomes. As I feel the crescendo within me knowing the right work is possible, I then dwell within this feeling. I may see my desk were I write three hours a day. I envision my calendar with three hour blocks which read “writing” and client names filling the rest...

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