“How’s your prayer life?”
Such a seemingly simple question that Iya asked me after a spiritual appeasement. “Uhhh, It could be much better.” With that question, my awareness was raised to how little I pray. Other than the obligatory “Thank you, God, for waking me up” and my prayers to my Ori, my Higher self, I must admit that my prayer life needed a makeover. I never have been much of a prayer warrior. I admired people that could go to all-night prayer services or that could pray a prayer so emotionally moving that people would weep and I just knew their life was changed just from the utterance of the prayer. I, on the other hand, was one whose mind would wander during such life-changing moments and would often have to refocus and pay attention during prayer ceremonies.
The exploration of my relationship with prayer began with that inquiry. I do know that prayer is the way that I communicate with Spirit and the foundation of any relationship is communication. How could I form a true relationship without talking?
During this exploration, my relationship with faith was also brought forward as an extra bonus, and as I sat with myself, I realized that my faith is challenged as well. Is this spiritual work working? Do my ancestors really see me? How does this all work? These are just a few questions that have circled around in my mind as my walk on this path has deepened. I have had many revelations to all these questions as a resounding yes and yet I still question. Why is that? Is it a lack of faith that leads to a lack of prayer or vice versa?
Well to me, Prayer and Faith go hand in hand. It's like a sacred dance. Prayer connects me to the Spiritual realm and faith stretches my earthly, human belief. Prayer feeds Faith and Faith feeds prayer. I’m learning that the more I pray, my faith deepens and as my faith grows, the more impactful my prayers will be. That’s how the dance cuts across the dance floor and a practice is formed. It is with this sacred practice that I can rest my mind on these questions and just trust in the guidance and trust that I am heard.
How could I enrich my prayer life? I had to let go of expectations and just be me, communicating with Spirit. I had to let go of the self-imposed expectations to “say the right thing” and just say the things. Say what’s on my heart and what’s on my mind. I had to ask for forgiveness. I had to ask for certain desires within me to be strengthened. I just had to be Nicole and speak how Nicole speaks. I also started praying out loud. This helped me focus, be intentional, and stay within the act of prayer. I had to commit to praying all day. Now, that’s not to say I’m on my knees every other hour, but I had to realize that breathing is a prayer. Being thankful is a prayer. Clocking into work is a prayer. I give thanks and ask for guidance all day and sometimes I have to get quiet so that I can hear the answers to these prayers and honestly, sometimes that is the hardest part. Getting quiet.
Since I started doing these simple things, I have seen a shift. I constantly have to ask God for the desire to be committed, the desire to sustain my practices, and the desire to step into my power because that is where I am at this point of my journey. As I grow, of course, my prayers will change and evolve, but for now, I am praying strongly for the desire to commit to my well-being, because I easily fall off track.
I have been blessed to see my prayers answered and I have also seen how my prayers have not only been about blessings, they have also been conversations around gratitude and surrendering. I have been learning to accept what was and what I hope things will be, as Spirit leads. I’m still maturing on this Faith/Prayer journey and while I am maturing, I do realize the transformative power of prayer and the relationship with faith. My ancestors dropped a scripture in my Spirit as I began to get my prayer life together. James 5:16 states that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Fervent means having or displaying a passionate intensity. These are the types of prayers that I am working towards. My prayers have become more intentional and I know that I will only become more confident and faithful from this point on. Prayer and faith will continue to nourish me on this path and this connection will continue to feed my relationship with God, my Higher Self, and my Ancestors.