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Rosemary Ellen Guiley

How to Make Prayer More Effective
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, PhD

Prayer is effective when we establish sound prayer habits. These habits include praying daily in an affirmative manner, disciplining our thoughts, applying virtues and the principles of Truth in our lives, and living our prayers. When we live as we pray, we pray without ceasing, as St. Paul taught.

Prayer Works by Rosemary Guiley

Prayer is a means to know God, and through knowing God we receive the blessings and abundance that are ours. We should pray joyfully in trust, for when we do so, we connect fully with the zest and true purpose of living. We awaken new trains of thought. We unleash powerful healing forces.

Here are ways to strengthen the power of prayer in your life:

Pray in affirmation

Affirmative prayer acknowledges, accepts and give thanks for what we have faith will come to us. Affirmative prayer is in direct opposition to begging prayer, which pleads for lack to be filled. An affirmative prayer for health might be, "I enjoy the blessing of perfect health." An affirmative prayer for finding work might be, "I have the perfect job which is right for me." Affirmations declare the ideal and desired state of being as though it were already obtained. Through affirmative prayer, we set in motion the forces that enable us to manifest what we pray for.

Prayer is ineffective when it is accompanied or followed by negative thinking, or the mindless repeating of affirmations. We have to put power and intensity into our thought, change our thought, and believe in the guidance we are receiving. If we spend energy on negative beliefs and feelings, we will get negative results, even if we and others pray daily for us. For example, if you pray for a job and then complain to others that you have no job or can't find one, you are undermining your prayer.

Follow Truth

Truth is all that is good. God is Truth, and thus Truth is Creator of all that is real. The virtues and God's moral laws are Truth. Our unique understanding of our relationship with God is Truth.

Jesus talked about the Spirit of Truth as a force that represents God and dwells within. "If you love me, you will keep my commandments," Jesus said. "And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him or knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you." (John 14:15-17) When the Spirit of Truth comes--that is, when we awaken--we are guided into "all the truth," he said. (John 16:13)

No one can make us see or understand Truth. Rather, is it something we come to know through our prayer and spiritual study. Prayer lifts our consciousness so that we naturally inclined to live according to the virtues.

Pray for the highest good

We often think we know what is in our or somebody else's best interests, when in fact we don't. We might be short-sighted, intent on immediate resolution, or even have misplaced values. Praying for an outcome that is in the highest good of all is open-ended, does not limit possibilities, and ensures harmony and balance in life.

Pray in faith

Faith is the foundation of successful prayer and the spiritual life, and is our most important power. Faith connects the realm of spirit with the realm of matter. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith "is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Through faith, we see the possible and know we can make it real, no matter what circumstances are in front of us. Jesus told us that through faith, even a tiny amount the size of a mustard seed, we can accomplish anything--we can do all of the great works that he did, and more. "According to your faith, be it done to you," he said. (Matthew 9:29) No matter how dire our circumstances, faith enables us to create and transform anew.

Regardless of what happens in the outer world, we are always guided to perfect our expression of God. When we pray in the faith that there is a flawless pattern for wholeness within every person, we enable that pattern to be expressed. The highest good always manifests when we are open to receiving the answer that is right for us.

Be open to possibilities

Jesus told us, "Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened unto you." (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9) If we ask, why do we not always receive? Understandably, we then wonder if some prayers are answered and others are not. Why is one person helped through prayer, and not another? Does the way we pray make a difference? Is God simply selective about his answers?

All prayers are answered, and are answered immediately. Psalm 139:4 tells us, "Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether." God hears our prayer in the moment we conceive it. And in that same moment, the answer is given.

There are three fundamental answers to all prayers: "yes," "not yet," and "another way." God never gives us a "no" and leaves us hanging. God always gives us the opportunity to manifest our highest potential, whether it be through accomplishment, love, forgiveness or even sacrifice.

Our answer may be in a form unexpected to us. We often have a desired outcome in mind when we pray, but the answer that is in the highest good may be something else. Thus, we may not see the answer when it is presented to us.

Sometimes our answer takes time to manifest because circumstances must come together first. Or, perhaps we are not ready because we have not done sufficient inner work.

Blessings by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Be alert for answers

Answers to prayers come in many ways. God can respond directly, and we hear or understand the words in the mind. Answers can come through dreams. The old saying goes that we should "sleep on it" when we are faced with a vexing problem or a decision. If we pray before retiring, the energies set in motion by prayer can clear the fog during sleep. We may dream about an answer, or a resolution may be crystal clear to us upon awakening.

Answers to prayer can come through the words and actions of other people, through opportunities that open or close, or through things we happen to read. God is constantly feeding us guidance. If we are open to all possibilities, we see that many events of synchronicity, or "meaningful coincidences," are really purposeful messengers for us.

Our intuition can prompt us to take action that may seem mysterious to us at the time, but which reveals the answer to a prayer.

Give thanks

Every time you pray, remember to be thankful. Give thanks for all that you are blessed with in life. Give thanks for the answers to your prayers, even before you know them. Acknowledge that the answers are in concert with divine order, working out for the highest good of all concerned.

In our challenges and trials, prayer helps us to restore balance, and to find God. Once we discover the power of prayer, it becomes the guiding beacon in all matters--truly the light that shines for all.

Copyright © Visionary Living, Inc. 2001.  All Rights Reserved. 


Breakthrough Intuition Encyclopedia of the Strange Dreamspeak The Encyclopedia of Dreams

Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Ph.D.
is the best-selling author of 30 books on visionary living and experience, including prayer, dreams, intuition, miracles, angels, saints and other topics. This article is adapted from Prayer Works, published by Unity House. Ms. Guiley has additional articles and a complimentary e-newsletter on her website, Visionary Living, at www.visionaryliving.com.


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