The Power of Intent and Prayer
Years ago, when I was attending Hilda Charlton’s meditation classes at St. John the Divine in New York City, Hilda told a story that resonates deeply in me to this day.
She hadn’t eaten all day, and decided to make herself some toast. Before going to the front room to eat, she unconsciously took a corner of the toast and popped it into her mouth. As soon as she became conscious of the toast in her mouth, she took it out, threw it away and said to herself, “Hilda, if you can’t control your appetite, How do you expect your students to? ” Hilda was working with hundreds of students, many of whom were trying to get off drugs, or to break more subtle patterns of addiction, and she was holding the Light for their success.
She then took the rest of the toast to the front room and ate consciously. Hilda emphasized that a spiritual life was created by doing the “Little things” with integrity, and that the big things would then be easier.
In my own life I’ve often learned to become more conscious by seeing the results of being not-so-conscious. This nitty gritty part of awakening is aided by honesty, paying attention, and a sense of humor. I am grateful for the following memory, and for my friend who ‘called me’ on an unconscious action:
One time, I was setting up my keyboards to play for a regular solstice and equinox peace meeting, when I grabbed the nearest chair from the front row to sit on. My friend who was setting up the sound system pointed at the chair and said, “That’s thievery.” After asking him to repeat himself, I swallowed my pride, replaced the chair and went to the back of room to ask the set up crew for a free chair.
The next day I received a copy of a photograph in the mail from a family member. It was a picture of our back yard taken from the upstairs back window, complete with a tree house and fort my father had built for us kids. The photo looked familiar except that I didn’t see the brick fireplace we used to cook out on. When I called to say thank you, I asked her if she had another similar picture with the fireplace.
She went to look at her picture book and said that she had that picture and it was one I had sent to her on her request to make copies. She had sent me a copy and kept the original.
Well I was primed from the night before, and I told her as nicely as I could that that was stealing. She apologized and we then traded the photos by mail. I was grateful to have become aware of and mature this consciousness in myself and in my family.
Intent creates a line of force directed by the purpose intended. When one creates an intent which is not harmonious with the intent of another, interference patterns result. So it is useful to consider carefully what one wants, and to set intent that one’s desires are fulfilled in harmony with all concerned.
Desires, supported by belief and consistent thought, with spoken word and appropriate action, manifest into physical reality. The speed with which a desire manifests is affected by several factors.
1. Alignment of the desire with the ‘highest good’ for all concerned. If the desire is in harmony with desires of other people, or the good of the whole, manifestation will be smoother.
2. Alignment within. When the thoughts feelings and actions of the person desiring the end result are in alignment, the desired result manifests quicker and more certainly. Any inner conflicts make manifesting more difficult.
3. Intensity of the desire. Enthusiasm towards the envisioned result brings the result more rapidly. This is not to be confused with the emotional intensity of cursing the seeming impediments to one’s desire – such frustration points to nonalignment of thought(and belief), word, and deed. One can use the frustration to find the interfering belief and to choose to let go of it or replace it.
4. Faith in the desired outcome. Faith that “This or something better” will happen leaves the door open to best possible outcomes.
When one is praying for another, there are additional factors that can affect the manifestation and timing of the desired outcome.
1. The person’s alignment in readiness or willingness to receive the result: Free will is a Universal Law, and it is wise to include “If it is for the Highest Good”, or simply ask for the Highest Good for the situation.
2. The ability of the one praying to “walk a mile in the other’s shoes”, to understand and to be able within oneself to overcome any seeming obstacles to the desired result for oneself. Thus a prayer for peace will be most effective when the one praying is at peace oneself.
3. Non judgment, or unconditional love towards those for whom one is praying.
4. Permission from the person you are praying for is helpful and necessary to avoid invading the person’s personal space.
When praying for the world or humanity one can be more free in expressing desired outcome through specific visualization, since the one praying is part of the whole. Each ‘vote’ or thought form inserted into the collective consciousness shifts the whole.
Here is a story which showed me the power of prayer.
During the years I lived in Brooklyn, I often visited the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, deriving much pleasure and peace from the beauty there. One day as I wandered through the garden, I came across a Succah, which is a harvest booth built during the holiday of Succoth, which in the Jewish tradition is similar to Thanksgiving.
The Succah is normally filled to overflowing with the fruits of the harvest, but when I found it, there were only a few small gourds left hanging on strings from a cross beam. The holiday was over, but the joy of the celebration still hung in the air. I lovingly touched one of the gourds and started singing the Sh’ma to myself. The Sh’ma is the central prayer and tenet of Judaism, and translates as “Listen people, the Lord your God, the Lord is One.”
I felt the joy of the prayer and continued singing it as I walked along the path by the pond. Joy lead to greater joy until I suddenly heard myself saying “Angels, join in!” As surprised as I was to hear myself say this, I was doubly surprised to sense an opening in the heavens and to hear thousands of angels singing the Sh’ma with me. I continued to sing and walk in ecstasy until I stopped in front of a large tree by the path.
As I looked at the tree, I was able to see the life flowing in the tree. I saw that the tree was a living, fluid being, underneath it’s seemingly solid form. I stood for a moment in awe of the Life that lives in everything. Then an intense plea/prayer came out of me. I said with all my intent: “I wish Lynn could have this experience!”
Lynn was a close friend with whom I had had some very intense discussions around fear, relationships, and God. She had recently visited me, and she was in my heart.
As soon as I expressed my prayer, the experience ended. I wondered if I had done something wrong by praying for her, but nevertheless, I was grateful that I had had the experience. I never said anything about it to Lynn, but kept in touch with her over the years, occasionally visiting with her when I was in her area.
Many years later when I was visiting, she told me a story of a mystical experience she had had in the woods. She had been meditating when suddenly her perception opened up and she went into an ecstatic state in which she had seen Life flowing in the trees. I told her my story, and how I had prayed for her. We figured out the dates and found that her experience occurred seven years after mine.
I realized then that my experience had happened not just for me, and that it had not been a mistake to pray for Lynn.
So every prayer brings forth results, and it is good to pray and then trust that the outcome will manifest in it’s own perfect divine timing. As we stay in alignment with our knowing that we are created in the image and likeness of the Creator, as beings who create, we can see and work with the results of our personal and group creations. I believe that Life brings us what we have created (prayed for) in the past, and as we uplevel the prayers and thoughts which we empower, we are creating a happier future, moment by moment.
My friend Sage introduced me to a song which speaks beautifully of this creative process. Here are the lyrics:
Our thoughts are prayers,
And we are always praying.
Our thoughts are prayers,
Be aware of what you’re saying.
Keep a Higher Consciousness,
of Love and Thankfulness,
And Know that God is always here.
And every thought remains a prayer.
Composed by and © Lucille Olson.
Our Thoughts Are Prayers is on the cassette, Awake, Arise, Ascend by Connie Stardancer Hanham, now out of print and available through RichHeart Music, 1-888-699-3682 only by special request.