Grace and Peace to you.
When I pray for someone I don’t ask God to do certain things. God is already doing more than I know. God does not need to be informed or convinced of anything, nor is God taking a vote. And I don’t know exactly what needs to happen, anyway—what the best outcome is, or the consequences of my desires. God is present with life-giving grace in every person, place and situation, and God will be present in the future. My prayer does not change that. What my prayer changes is me.
What I do when I pray is open my heart to others and to God. I am mindful of God’s gracious presence, the Loving One who dwells in each of us, and mindful of God’s blessing, God’s hope. I am mindful of the person I am praying for. I give them room in my heart, a place for their being to find blessing and rest. And I surrender my spirit to God on their behalf. I make my love and blessing available for them. I allow myself to be deeply connected to them in God, as if we are both children in God’s arms, or twins in God’s womb. I pray so that something might happen in the harmony of our spirits that couldn’t happen in them alone. In this way I can pray even for my enemies. I pray to be as lovingly present to them as God is. In fact I offer up my love for God to use in any way, even for some other person or purpose I know nothing about. I pray simply to be a part of God’s love, to participate in loving kindness.
I don’t know how this affects the person I pray for, or the world or the future, but I trust that it does. By a spiritual butterfly effect, my being lovingly present touches other spirits, which touch others, and the web of the world’s consciousness changes. As I become more mindful of the Loving Presence, and more lovingly present myself, I am changed. And when you change one note, you change the chord. When you change anybody, even yourself, you change the world.
So I pray, and trust the unknowable power of God. And grace happens.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes