The Power of Prayer …… by Kamal Tolia
Part 1 Prayer
For those who believe in God, Prayer is an act of communication with God. For those who don’t believe in God, it is an act of communication with the Universe or Higher Being.
Prayer is common to all cultures and religions. Regardless of which culture you come from or what religion you practice, or if you don’t practice any religion at all, when you pray, you share a common bond with all of humanity.
Prayer is an equalizing force, for in the holy moments of praying, all beings are equal. It also does not matter which God you pray to or if you pray to many Gods / Goddesses. Each one prays to God as they know Him / Her.
So why do we pray? According to a study conducted by Wendy Cadge, a sociologist, prayers fell into one of three categories: 1. Prayers to make requests of God 2. Prayers to both thank and petition God 3. Prayers to thank God. We pray for big things — to keep our jobs, for good health, strong relationships, a happy family, enough abundance, etc. We pray also for little things —- to find parking spaces, missing keys, for our favourite team to win, etc. We also pray for favours received.
Then there is the occasional case when people pray not to ask God for something or to thank Him / Her, but simply to complain. They may even blame God for all that is going wrong in their life or when things don’t go their way or when they do not get what they had prayed for earlier. Even though these examples do not sound like prayers they are classed as such because they are communications with God.
When everything is going hunky – dory in man’s life, he may not remember to pray. But come times of distress or economic down turns, almost everybody remembers God.
For those who pray, there is a familiarity, a closeness with God. They do not consider God too far away to care. For them God has the following qualities: He / she is immediately accessible and a perfect listener. He / She does not criticize or judge us, hence we can bare our soul to Him / Her. He / She is a source of tremendous emotional and psychological support. And He / She may even answer us back. Above all, He / She is Real.
God is even addressed in familiar terms. In Hindi, we say ‘Aap’ (suggesting a respectful distance) when we address seniors and our elders. But for God we use the word ‘tu’, a term we use with our close family members and friends. No distance between us and God! This enhances the closeness between God and us, encouraging us to communicate with God freely i.e. pray without reservation. We often talk to Him / Her as if He / She were our companion or friend, which is actually very true.
Part 2….. Rituals and Prayer.
Praying is usually accompanied by a ritual. The simplest ritual is that of putting our hands together while praying. The hands can be held with their palms and fingers touching or the fingers of one hand can be interlaced with those of the other hand. Nobody knows when this ritual was first started, but the ancient of ancient scriptures depict people communicating with God with their hands joined.
Then there is the ritual of sitting cross legged before praying or spreading a prayer mat on the floor and prostrating prior to praying. Offering flowers, sweets, food are other kinds of rituals followed by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. Lighting a candle, a lamp, incense, or camphor are also classed as rituals. They are performed before, during or after praying.
Some rituals can become very long drawn out leading to utter boredom for the participants who then begin to see them as meaningless. The matter is made worse by the fear put into us that if we do not perform the ritual absolutely correctly, our prayer will be worthless and / or fruitless.
What then is the use of rituals in prayers? They have a calming effect. They help us focus on the task at hand: Praying. That is All. The following is an example of the power of prayer and how rituals help.
Rohan used to learn the recorder in school. When students reached a certain level of proficiency, their music teacher used to sign them up to play in an amateur orchestra. This was a rite of passage for the students.
When the day came for Rohan to play on stage with the others, he started to panic. Although he had practiced enough, he was terrified of facing the audience. Gathering backstage with the others he was extremely nervous and was sure he would not be able to play even a single note properly. He looked around at the others. They all seemed so relaxed and confident! Seeing this, he felt even more hopelessly out of place and mentally prepared himself for the public disgrace he was sure would soon follow.
But then, something saved him! Before their turn to go on stage, all the players formed a circle with their teacher. Holding hands, they prayed. They asked for God’s blessings for each player and for the success of the show.
This simple act had a magical effect on Rohan. Calmness replaced his jittery nerves. The solemnity with which the prayer was said, imparted to him a feeling of solidarity with the others. He was not alone, they were in it together, and they were there for each other. Confidence restored, he walked on stage. As the performance started, his fear vanished completely and he played through his parts with ease.
Did the prayer accomplish its purpose? For sure it did. Did the ritual of holding hands help? Yes, it did. It helped him to divert his mind from his fear to the immediate need of the moment which was to pray.
Part 3 …. Rituals Continued …..
The story I am about to write here is so old, nobody can remember when it was first told. Long ago, there was a village in India where people lived in total harmony. They were proud of the love and happiness that flowed in their hearts and they attributed it to a weekly prayer ritual they conducted. The whole village took part in the event. This prayer ritual had been practiced for generations —- this too was a source of pride for the villagers.
Once a week, every man, woman and child gathered together to pray. With great enthusiasm and community spirit they went about gathering fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers as offerings to God.
One of the compulsory rituals was to tie a black cat to a tree before starting the prayers. The villagers believed that the cat’s presence was necessary to attract the Almighty’s blessings. After the ceremony was finished, the cat was set free. Over the years, the villagers began to believe that a black cat was absolutely necessary as it served as a medium to connect with God, and without whom the prayers were not complete.
One day as the villagers went about preparing for the weekly prayers, they realized that a black cat was not to be found. As the time for the prayer ceremony was approaching, they started to worry. What could they do? They would have to tie a cat of another colour!
They went to the oldest man in the village and asked: “Since we cannot find a black cat, can we tie a white or brown cat? Will the gods forgive us this transgression?” they waited with bated breath for him to speak. The old man looked at them and said: “When I was a young man, a black cat used to come at our weekly prayers and try to get to the offerings of food. We tried to shoo it away, but it always came back. So someone tied the cat to the tree so it would not bother us when we prayed. After the prayers we set it free, gave it food and sent it on its way.”
The villagers, it seemed were blindly following an age old custom, a ritual which had no connection with the prayers. It was not necessary to tie a cat, black or any colour, or to even have one around for their prayers to bring peace and harmony in their village!
And so it is with many rituals we perform. Re-examine your rituals. Are they really necessary? Remember, rituals have their place, but when you carry out a ritual, do not become so engrossed in it that the original purpose of prayer is forgotten. Do not make rituals the driving force, for Prayer comes with its own driving force!
Nor do rituals take the place of prayer. Remember, God does not rate our prayer by the ritual that accompanies it. It is the intention in our hearts as we pray that reaches God and to which God responds.
Part 4 …. Research and Prayers
Much research has been done in America on Praying. The results are astonishing. Here they are in a concise form.
Those who pray find personalized comfort during hard times. Those who pray on a weekly basis do so to manage a range of negative situations and emotions like anger, illness, sadness, trauma, depression, etc.
According to Shane Sharp, a graduate student of Sociology at UW Madison, victims of violent relationships with intimate partners obtained succor through prayer. Praying helped them deal with the situation and emotions by venting. Those who were boiling with anger found ‘a readily available listening ear’ in God. If they vented their anger to the abusive partner, it would result in more violence. But they could be angry at God without fear of reprisal. This is how prayer helped them manage their pain.
In interpersonal relationships, eg with their abusive partners, victims are always considering how they look through the other’s eyes. When they pray, they are considering God’s view of them. They come to see themselves as they believe God sees them —- which is always positive. This helps raise their sense of self worth that counteracts their abuser’s hurtful words.
For some, praying is a handy distraction. Simply folding their hands can help ease their anxiety of an abusive relationship. Even those who didn’t believe in any particular God, prayed and found it effective.
But some of the most amazing findings are those of Florida State University’s psychologist Nathaniel Lambert. He carried out a study to find out what happens when we pray for those who have wronged us. The people taking part in the study were divided into two groups. Group one said ONE SINGLE PRAYER for their partners’ well being, the other group simply described their partner, no praying.
They then measured forgiveness in both groups. Forgiveness was defined as the diminishing of the initial negative feelings that arise when you have been wronged or remember being wronged. The results showed that those who had prayed for their partner harboured fewer vengeful thoughts and emotions. They were ready to forgive and move on.
If ONE SINGLE PRAYER can have such a huge positive result, what could be the effect of long term praying??!!!
In another study, the researchers had a group of men and women, pray for a close friend’s well being every day for four weeks. Another group simply reflected on their relationship, thinking positive thoughts but not praying for their friend’s well being. They then measured the level of ‘selfless concern for others’ in both groups.
Can you guess what they discovered? You guessed right …… the praying people showed increased selfless concern for others … not for any one particular person, but for other people in general.
Clearly, PRAYING HELPS! It helps us heal. It helps us forgive. It increases selfless concern for others. Can you think of a better path for promoting self growth and spiritual growth?
Part 5 …. Praying for Others
Last week we saw how praying for others helps us to forgive and move on. But does praying for others help them? Most definitely it does, as praying for others is equivalent to invoking blessings for them.
Some religions have specific prayers for specific problems. Other religions have a general prayer for all problems. In still other religions, you make up the prayer as you go along, beseeching God to heal / protect / solve problems / remove adverse conditions etc.
Praying for others is often more fruitful than praying for oneself. How is that? I do not know the reason why, but I guess praying for others shows unselfishness unlike praying for oneself which the universe might see as selfish especially when we ask for this, that and the other, for ourselves. It may end up as an ego feeding exercise, devoid of devotion. The Lord may see this self request as not needed and even harmful to our spiritual progress, therefore the prayer is not answered. In comparison, a prayer for others may be seen as a genuine request and at the same time promoting in us qualities of unselfishness and care for others and are therefore honoured by God.
And what is the effect of many people praying for others? The power of prayer increases exponentially. Let me explain this. When one person prays for another, the power of the prayer is only I unit. When 2 people pray for the same person, the power of the prayer is not twice that of one person praying, it is 2 to the power 2 which is 2×2 = 4 times the power of one person praying alone. If 3 people pray for the same person, the power is 3x3x3 = 9 times the power of one person praying. If 10 people pray for the same person, the power is 10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10 = 10000000000 = 10 billion times the power of one person praying alone!! A tremendous force indeed!!
But there are a few conditions to be met for the above Law of numbers to be effective. Let us suppose Kishore needs prayers to get a job.
1. First state your request and then follow with the prayer and not the other way round!
2. All must pray for the same thing, i e Kishore must get a job. The effect is reduced if different people in the group pray for Kishore, but for different things for him! To get the maximum result, even the wordings of the request must not be changed.
3. All must pray at the same time. The effect is reduced if the members of the group pray at different times in the day.
4. What does not matter at all is which religion you belong to and in what language you pray!
So what are we waiting for? Let us start praying for others. Let us pray in large numbers. Let us gather together to pray. Then sit back and watch the miracles happen as our prayers are answered!
Part 6 …. Usefulness of Prayer Groups
A Google search on Prayer Groups will bring up a number of such groups in the world. Their websites record lots of stories of miraculous healings, difficult situations resolved smoothly and relationships healed, etc. —- all through the intervention of Prayer.
At the age of 40 years, Suman had a heart condition which needed an operation. After the operation, she was given a strict regimen to follow to prevent a relapse of her condition. Despite following the regimen to a ‘T’, Suman suffered a relapse within 2 years and had to be operated again. This time the doctors could not assure her that she would be free of the problem. Having lost faith in conventional medicine, Suman turned to Prayer. To date, 35 years later, Suman is free of the heart illness. She leads an active life, is a member of a vibrant prayer group, and is very, very happy!
But in this day and age of great medical strides, cloning and nuclear science, how much can we attribute to Prayers and Prayer Groups? How much can we expect from Prayers?
For some, just the thought that so many people who you don’t even know are praying for you gives you a wonderful emotional boost. This in itself is tremendously healing! For others, the knowledge that so many strangers are praying for them gives them the courage to take charge of their own recovery in their own hands.
Prayer Groups are useful in other ways too. They start each session with a round of self introduction. Each person who has come to pray gets a chance to talk about themselves and their problems. This often results in an emotional release which is a healing process at a deep level. Unburdening before others is cathartic and the person is then very receptive to the Prayer healing that follows.
Other benefits we can get from Prayer Groups can be of a practical nature. When one puts in a prayer request in a group, a range of solutions may be offered by the others —- home remedies, alternative medicine solutions, more information about the illness, doctors, support groups, job offers, advice, connection to other Prayer Groups, and most important of all — a kind word, a loving pat, a sympathetic ear.
Then there is another wonderful outcome of Prayer Groups. When you have been prayed for and benefitted from it, quite naturally you would want to return the favour by praying for others. This is true exchange: A Prayer for a Prayer! In this way, Praying becomes contagious! You become a carrier of the bug of Praying!
Thus it is that Prayer Groups become communities of well wishers. They foster the spirit of sharing and caring. They serve as beacons of hope and help for the desperate and the sick. They are much needed in our times where everybody is in a hurry and nobody has time even for themselves, let alone their neighbours.
Consider joining a Prayer Group. Better still, start one of your own!
Part 7 …. How Does Prayer Work?
Are Prayer Groups successful because they boost morale, give support, encourage cathartic release, or is there something else, something intrinsically healing about the act of prayer or the prayer itself?
Rono was my driver a few years ago. When he developed a skin condition which gave him a rash and boils on the back of his hands, he found it hard to carry on his work of driving. In spite of many conventional treatments, the rash continued to spread to his arms. After many doctors’ visits, he could not afford it anymore. A group of people in his community decided to pray for him. And lo and behold! After just two praying sessions, Rono was completely healed! The disease left, never to return!
I am sure many such success stories abound in healing circles. BUT HOW DOES PRAYER WORK???
When we pray, we generate positive energy within us which gets transferred to the person we are praying for, filling him with positive energy. This removes tension and anxiety, and relaxes him. The ground is now perfect for healing to take place and so it does.
Praying in a place of worship or in your prayer room amplifies the healing power simply because these places have hugely positive vibrations of their own.
Then of course there is group dynamics to be considered. As explained a few weeks ago, Group prayers increase the healing power in the order of hundreds of thousands of times. They constitute a huge influx of positive energy at one go. A walloping boost of energy reaches the recipient. No wonder healing happens quickly! A comparable example is the difference between a lone individual pleading for a cause and a group of demonstrators lobbying for a cause!
But over and above positive energy and group power, there are two other very important contributing factors, without which healing is severely compromised. 1. The person who is praying must have the intention that the sick person be healed 2. The person who is ill must have the intention of being healed. In other words, both the one praying and the one prayed for must want the healing to happen.
What is an intention? It is nothing but a thought and all thoughts are energy patterns with certain wavelengths. An intention to heal and an intention to be healed have the right energy wavelengths to attract and promote healing. How we pray takes second place to our intention to want healing for the other. Even our prayers get charged with our positive intention to heal.
Then there is one final ingredient which ensures and establishes perfect healing like nothing else. It is called Faith: Faith in the people praying, Faith in our ability to be healed, and Faith in the power of the Prayer itself to heal. When we have Faith, miracles can happen and often do …….effortlessly! Incurable diseases get cured, situations get sorted, relationships are healed etc. Truly, as the saying goes: Faith can move mountains!
Part 8 …. Prayer and Reiki
Prayer works because of pure selfless intention. If you are moved by the suffering of people, and have a genuine desire to heal, you too can become a healer. If you truly want a person to get well, your intention can result in healing.
Having said that, practically we know that is a tall order. If all that was needed to heal…..simply think it and it will come true ……well, then why are so many people in the world suffering? Clearly, although intention is a primary requisite, there has to be more to achieving healing than an intention to heal.
First let us understand why we fall sick. All living things, animals, plants and humans are ALIVE AND WELL because of an unseen life force in us, called Prana in Sanskrit and Chi in Chinese, Ki in Japanese. When this life force is interrupted in us, it does not reach some parts of our body which cannot function properly and we become sick. This interruption in the chi happens due to various reasons: wrong lifestyles like bad eating and drinking habits and no exercise, stress, worry, infections etc. To return to our ‘well’ state, we need to re establish this Prana/Chi/Ki in us.
Towards the end of the 18th century, A Japanese gentleman called Dr Mikao Usui had figured this out and after prolonged meditation, could access this healing life force and direct it to heal sick people through his hands and with his thoughts. He called this healing power REIKI which is Japanese for Universal Life Force. He found that Reiki heals not only at the physical level, but also at the emotional and mental levels where the root cause of the disease lies. He taught Reiki to others before he died.
Today, there are many Reiki healers in the world. They direct Reiki through their hands to the sick areas of the body and healing takes place. But they can do more. They can direct the healing life force through their mind to the place of need without placing their hands on the body. Even better, they do not have to be with the person to be healed for the healing to take place. The Reiki healer can be in one part of the world and the person to be healed in another, and the healing will still happen! This is called Distant Healing.
The same is true for Group Reiki Healing. For Group Prayers people have to gather together physically in one place. With Group Reiki, Reiki practitioners can gather together physically in one place OR they can be in their own houses and ‘send’ Reiki together at the same time. Both methods are equally effective.
The other advantage is that you don’t have to know any prayers to use Reiki, for Reiki is not connected with any religion.
So which one should we use? Should we Pray or should we use Reiki? I say do both. Use Reiki AND say Prayers! The healing results will surpass even your wildest expectations!
Part 9 …. Prayer and Medicine
What does the medical world think of Prayers? For that matter, do Prayers have a place in modern Medicine at all?
Dr. Larry Dossey, a renowned medical doctor of Internal Medicine in the US has carried out a great deal of research and written many books on the role of Prayer and Medicine. According to him, our healing intention, prayer, our loving thoughts and empathy etc. have astonishing results, even for people who are physically far from us. All sorts of things happen, which can be measured – Disease often goes away, heart attacks heal up, etc. He calls these non local changes, which implies that they are not localized to where the person who is praying is.
Another surprising finding of Dr. Dossey is concerning attitude. It does not matter whether you have a positive mental attitude or are less spiritual, you can still be healed with prayer. It will be harder, but not hopeless. He asserts that what we call positive attitude nowadays is what was called faith before and what doctors describe as ‘placebo effect’, empowers any sort of healing whether it comes from prayer or from penicillin. This radical theory is borne out by the fact, that most of the studies Dr Dossey talks about have been double – blind ones, which means the ones who prayed and the recipients did not even know each other! The healing intentions worked anyway, and with fantastic results too!
To prove his point further, Dr Dossey describes a unique experiment done on bacteria in test tubes. For one set of bacteria in 100 test tubes, Prayers were said to multiply faster. No prayers were said for the second set of bacteria in another 100 test tubes. The bacteria that were prayed for DID grow faster! Now, do bacteria have positive or negative attitudes? Presumably not!
What helps is how connected to his/her Higher Self / God is the person who is praying, or how spiritually inclined s/he is. The result is also enhanced by Group Praying and by praying more than once.
In one of his books Healing Words, Dr Dossey talks about a study carried out by Dr. Sandolph Byrd at San Francisco General Hospital. Heart patients were randomly selected to receive prayers from volunteers. Another group, also randomly chosen received no prayers. The results were amazing, to say the least! The patients who were prayed for were five times less likely to need antibiotics, and three times less likely to develop fluid in their lungs than those in the control group. And the best part of all …. Unlike the patients in the control group, NONE of the ones prayed for needed to be on artificial ventilators!
So when all is said and done, does medicine accept the healing power of prayer? Not yet, but the process has started. According to Dr Dossey, 60 out of 125 medical schools have courses on the role of spirituality and prayer in healing.
So all is not lost. Prayer may still get its rightful place in the area of healing!
Part 10 …. Prayer and the Morphic Field
The Hindu Vedas talk about the connectedness of all things in Nature through the common consciousness which runs through them. What we say, do and think can instantaneously affect every other being, animal, plant and even stones.
What are the mechanics through which this communication happens? Rupert Sheldrake, an English Biologist developed a keen interest in Eastern Spirituality during his stay in India. He has put forth his theory of evolution based on what he calls Morphic Resonance. According to this theory, each species has a morphic field in which every behavior of the species is stored, and from which every member of the species can access the knowledge of this behavior. This is done by a process of non – local resonance. For eg. When a group of mice in a New York Laboratory learn a trick, mice of the same species anywhere in the world will display knowledge of the trick much faster. They can do this because they download it from the ‘collective mind’, a data bank, of the species.
In his paper, Prayer: A Challenge for Science, Sheldrake uses Morphic Resonance to explain how Prayer works. He writes: “The key to understanding prayer as a scientific phenomenon requires, in my view, getting away from the idea of the mind as somehow inside the brain. If we think our minds are confined to our brains–the standard view–then since what goes on in our brain occurs in the privacy and isolation of our own skull it can’t affect anyone else. However, I see minds being field-like in nature (part of my general view of morphic fields), and I see mental fields as the basis for habitual patterns of thought. Mental fields go beyond, through, and interface with the electromagnetic patterns in the brain. In this way mental fields can affect our bodies through our brains. However, they are much more extensive than our brains, reaching out to great distances in some cases.
As soon as we have the idea that the mind can be extended through these mental fields, and over large distances, we have a medium of connection through which the power of prayer could work. We are no longer dealing with a purely mechanical system in the brain, with absolutely no way of connecting the brain and the observed effect–for if that were the case the phenomenon of effective prayer would have to be dismissed as delusion or coincidence. With a mental field, however, we have a medium for a whole series of connections between us and the people, animals and places we know and care about–with the rest of the world, in fact. When we pray, those extended mental fields would be the context in which prayer could work non-locally.”
This then, is how I believe prayer works: Once our Prayer intentions for healing others leave our minds, they get automatically uploaded into the Human Morphic Field. From here they get automatically downloaded onto the person we prayed for, wherever s/he is. The result? Healing happens!
Simple, isn’t it?
Part 11 …. Prayer and the Larger Picture
So there is a Morphic Field in place through which our prayers are transmitted. There is also the Law of numbers in place which improves the success of our collective intentions expressed as prayers when directed at individual problems.
The same method work for sociatal, and even world issues. Certainly in our Hindi movies this is amply demonstrated. One movie that comes to mind is Lagaan, where the villagers look with despair at their parched fields, and turn to God, beseeching Him to send them rain, and dramatically, it rains, almost immediately!
What if we are not suffering, but others are suffering in another part of the world. Let us say there are floods or an earthquake in a certain part of the world. That our prayers will reach them and we can ease their pain, there is no doubt. The only limiting factor is whether we care enough to want to pray and ease their suffering.
Let us not stop at easing the pain of a few people. Let us aim higher. Let us include all of humanity in our prayers. Let us not stop here. Let us pray for the whole world ….. people, plants, animals …… Go even further. Pray for the whole universe. For in the world of Prayer, even the sky should not be the limit! There is indeed no limit to what one can pray for.
We are all in agreement that our world is lacking in Peace. How many of us want Peace in the world? I can imagine all your hands going up in a show of the affirmative! Yes we all want Peace. And I tell you, we can have it too, if we so choose Now! With the Power of Collective Prayer, nothing is impossible.
But we need to remember one thing. Since the world is nothing but a reflection of the collective consciousness and minds of its people, conflict and struggle in the world only means conflict and struggle in individuals like you and me. In order to have peace in the world we have to eradicate it from its root, which is in us. If we want world peace, then peace has first to be established in each individual. This may sound like a like a mammoth task, even impossible. But with collective Prayer, it becomes very easy! And if every heart and mind experiences peace, there will be no room for violence and conflict. This will help birth the new peaceful world!
We have the Power to Pray. Let us match it with the Will to Pray! The future is literally in our hands … the hands which God gave us to pray with.
Let us not waste any time. Let us put our hands together —- not only to applaud and welcome celebrities on stage —- but also to pray. And let us do it often. Let us do it for small things and for big things, for ourselves and for others.
Part 12 …. Living a Prayerful Life
Prayer is pretty much a part of most Eastern and African traditions. Sadly in the west, few people can claim to have prayer as a constant force in their lives. In some western societies, even using the word God is taboo!
I know two wonderful brave ladies, cancer survivors of more than 20 years. They have this to say about how prayer gave them succour during their illness. Helen Anyango: “I prayed. I found solace. In the moments of praying, in front of God, I felt normal, disease free. I would then carry this feeling of normality, of being ‘whole’ with me throughout the day. This no doubt helped me to heal completely. And today, look at me —– 24 years later, I remain healed!” And Lila Mehta in India: “Krishna is my savior. In the darkest of moments during my illness, I called out to Him and prayed and prayed. I surrendered completely unto Him, over and over again. Today, cancer free for 30 years, I still live in a state of surrender unto Him.”
Blessed indeed are the Helens and Lilas of this world, for they have found the secret of Praying. For them life begins, continues and ends with a prayer.
If you are not the praying kind, it can be hard to bring prayer into your life. Reciting the standard prayers might even make you feel hypocritical. There is however, another alternative to bringing the blessings of prayer in your life.
To begin with, know that we do not know everything, we cannot control everything, and lastly, we cannot fix everything. Next, know and accept that there is a God / Higher Being / Universe, call it what you will, who can help us. We only have to put our ego aside and start a conversation with Him / Her / It.
Start with a conversation of Gratitude. It not need be any set words. It can be easy flowing as with friends. Think of all the things you have and all the things you know and give your thanks eg. A roof above your head, food in your home, a job, a car, your education, even eyes to see with, legs to walk with, friends, family ….the list can be endless. We must not take these ‘gifts’ for granted, for a little inspection around you will show you that not everybody has these gifts. In America, being grateful culminates in the wonderful annual tradition of Thanksgiving (24th Nov.) when family members get together to give their collective thanks for their blessings.
If you are a parent, you owe it to your children to foster a culture of praying. Praying at mealtimes and bedtimes is a good way to start. Remember, ‘A Family that Prays together, stays together’ — Anonymous.
Lastly, I leave you with the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, a famous English poet of yesteryear: “More things are wrought by Prayer than this world dreams of”
I pray for the Blessings of Prayer in your life!