THE POWER OF PRAYER
Taking Spiritual Action
By Jack Allis
In my DVD 2012 & the Shift – the Power of Ceremony, I talk about how in the indigenous traditions ceremony is their primary tool to practice, develop and enhance their spirituality. Ceremony here is defined as anything that we do, either as individuals or in a group, with the specific intent of connecting with the world of the spirit or with the forces and frequencies of the natural world, which is where we find spirit. There are many different techniques for doing this, such as certain kinds of meditation, yoga and martial arts, drumming and other music, singing and chanting.
Prayer is another. The definition of prayer is very simple. Prayer is the words we say when we talk to the divine spirit, or to the Creator, or to whatever name we have for the unseen intelligence at work in the universe. For many of us, it is the words we say to our spirit guides, or to the elements and elementals and natural forces that make up the Creation, such as the Sun, the Moon, the wind, and the water that flows in the creek. We should also add that an important part of prayer is the vibration we send when we say these words. We always endeavor to pray with feelings of relaxation, joy, reverence, gratitude and trust. And there are many techniques to attain these states. However, in this article we are going to focus on the words we say when talk to spirit.
A common mistake people make in our civilized world is they believe it’s all about us, human beings, down here on planet Earth. They believe we have dominion over the Earth, and it is here to serve us. Just the opposite is true. We are not here to rule the world, but rather to serve it, and to live in harmony with it. It’s not all about us, but rather it’s all about the relationship we have with our world, and in particular, with Mother Earth. As spiritual people, we have a love affair with our world. It’s all one big happy, loving family. The Earth and the Sun are our mother and father, and all of the children of this union are our relations, our brothers and sisters, our ancestors. This includes all the plants, all the other animals, all the minerals, and every particle (or wave) of this incredible web of life.
And yes, we talk to them too when we pray. We also listen, and sometimes they talk back. They don’t always talk in words though. My spirit guide, the Council of the Grandfathers, rarely uses words, but when he does, he is very succinct, precise and powerful – no small talk here. And he sends continuous guidance in other ways, such as physical sensations that demand I pay attention and omens I must pick up and read.
Our focus here is the words we say, and why we say them. Just like with people, if you want to have a relationship, there must be communication. Our relationship with spirit and our relationship with the forces of the natural world are no different. We must talk to them too. And we must do it in words, preferably out loud. There are those who believe words aren’t important, and that it’s the feelings in our heart and soul that matter. There is some truth in this, and there are definitely times when it is fitting and appropriate to pray without words.
But there are also many reasons why it is essential for the primary basis of our prayers to be saying the words, out loud. Yes, this is not as easy, and it does take time, commitment and work. But that’s the nature of it. If anybody tells you the spiritual path is easy, don’t believe them. It consists of constant challenges, and “there are no shortcuts,” as Mayan Wisdom Keeper Erick Gonzalez is so fond of saying. We must never skip any of the steps. The universe receives the signals we send. This is what it responds to. When we pray, we must be very clear and explicit with the words we send, as well as the vibration and the intent. This is what crystallizes our vision, and this is what is reflected back to us. If not, the energy and the vision get scrambled.
Another important reason to say the words out loud is because this is one of the most effective ways we have to reprogram ourselves from the insane conditioning we receive in the old paradigm civilized world. In this context, we should also add that our prayers need to be repeated often, if we expect them to have a meaningful impact. At least a half hour to an hour a day is necessary in order for it to take hold. After years and decades of this, we form new scripts in our mind, which are a reflection of our spirituality and how we want to think, as opposed to the old paradigm craziness. After we have identified and worked through our mental and emotional issues, and when we are ready to let go of these dysfunctional programs, we replace them with the new programs that have been scripted in our prayers.
Our prayers evolve with time, like everything else. People often ask where our prayers come from. Do we simply repeat prayers we hear from others? Are they inscribed on some divine tablet? Do we make them up ourselves? Of course, we are free to receive our prayers from any source we like. The important thing is that it resonates with our heart and spirit. However, I feel strongly that the most meaningful prayers are those that express our personal relationship with the divine and with the forces of nature. Again, this takes more work, but it’s worth it. Since we’re creating our prayers from scratch, they may be a little rough around the edges at first, but with time they become refined and polished, and a thing of rare beauty because they reflect our unique relationship with the divine. And if our life is changing, as it should, our prayers too will be continuously evolving. And there’s only one place to start with all this, and that’s just to do it. Sit in your favorite spot. Light a candle. And start talking. You can start by expressing your gratitude for the blessing of this day and all the blessings of this world.
Prayer is our dialogue with the divine spirit and with the creation. It is one of our primary tools to make these relationships come to life. Prayer opens our channel to spirit and to the natural forces of creation. This channel is the medium through which we receive guidance, and it is our compass for following the spiritual path. This connection is also the source for what we manifest in the physical world. True manifestation springs from our relationship with spirit.
Prayer is a way to take spiritual action. It’s amazing how many people completely miss the boat on this one. For most people, like everything else in our civilized world, spirituality is something they do mostly in their minds, like a game for the purpose of entertainment. For a true spiritual warrior this is unthinkable. Spirituality means nothing unless it is the primary driving force in our lives, and it always comes back to the same thing – living in harmony with the divine spirit and serving the web of life. This is not a game we play in our heads. It is a lifestyle, and we live it each and every moment with the actions we take. And prayer is one of our most important ways to take spiritual action.