Wrestling with Prayer

Wrestling with Prayer March 15, 2016

woman with prayer wheel

Turns out I’m not the only one wondering how to pray in a non-traditional way.

I was fascinated by your answers to two recent blogs when I asked how you pray if you consider yourself spiritual but not religious. (First one, second one.)

Some responses were in the comment section and others were emailed to me.

Here’s the gist of how you pray:

  • Meditating instead of praying per se
  • Listening for guidance more than asking or talking
  • Taking time just to BE
  • Setting intentions
  • Practicing gratitude

There was some angst about it, too:

  • Guilt about not spending enough time in prayer or meditation
  • Wondering who or what you’re talking to
  • Wondering why so many people still suffer
  • Wondering whether there truly is a divine plan

One woman dimly remembered someone in the Bible who wrestled with an angel, suggesting that’s what these uncertainties around prayer feel like.

And yes, that would be Jacob. (Genesis 32:22-31) Note: He wouldn’t let the angel/man/God go until he received a blessing. Hardship and striving bring gifts. But Jacob also went away limping.

So just to wrestle with this a little longer . . .



What I noticed in your comments was a reluctance to ask for anything in prayer, as well as doubt that anyone is listening.

“No supplication, no begging,” one man wrote.

“I don’t expect divine attention or intervention,” a woman said, “but I don’t assume it’s entirely impossible.”

Hm, so aren’t we allowed just to flat-out ASK for something in prayer? Healing? Money? Help with relationships?

One man said he has stopped praying for specific things and prays instead, “Your will be done.”

Nothing wrong with surrender. But there’s also a spiritual law that says we create our own experience. So if we aren’t specific about our desires, how can the universe respond?

It would be like going into a restaurant and saying, “Just bring me whatever you think best.”

I believe we’re allowed to make a choice and place an order.



I’ve come full circle on this, so I’ll share a bit of my journey in case it’s helpful.

I spent many years trying to go with the flow, not asking for anything, not expecting intervention. And I wondered sometimes, what’s the point? I mean, why pray or meditate if I’m not expecting results?

Prayer then was all about being and allowing.

Over the years, however, I have renewed my relationship with the divine by communicating with angels and spirit guides and, more recently, ascended masters.

Roll your eyes if you will.

Giovanni di Paolo (1403-1482)

But I am increasingly convinced that we have access to legions of divine helpers if we simply ask. They are eager to go to work on our behalf, but only by request.

That means the more specific we are about our desires, the more easily whatever we want can be brought into manifestation. Much like giving orders to a project team at work.

I balked at the idea of angels or guides for a long time because I’d been told over and over the divine is within. I’m not supposed to pray to anything outside of me or rely on supernatural intervention from some supreme being.

But I’ve relaxed about that as I have come more and more to see it all as One. Different frequencies or levels of vibration, perhaps — and the angels are at a level I can sometimes connect with — but all One.

All part of a responsive Universe.

It makes sense. If I have a soul or spirit essence that is always a part of the whole, no matter what my human circumstances, then I am always connected to the One Mind, to the divine.

And I have access to all the attributes of the divine – strength, power, wisdom, love – as well as help from higher levels of awareness that support my human journey.



I could be wrong about all this.

But it’s a lot less lonely communicating with unseen elements of the divine as if they were friends and helpers, rather than simply trying to affirm my way into good outcomes.

Hiring the Heavens coverI started down this path with a little book called Hiring the Heavens by Jean Slatter. She, too, was a skeptic but now commissions angel teams to work on her behalf.

Angels to fix the computer, to help with taxes, to assist the doctors – they have mad skills.

They just have to be asked.

I picture them delighted to hear from me, putting down their magazines to leap into service, grateful I’m paying attention and aware of their abilities.

Again, I could be wrong.

But prayer for me has become much more conversational, and I do believe I see evidence of their work on my behalf. Not so much things but guidance into what’s next.

I’ve been asking what’s next, and I’ll tell you about the answer another time.

Do be careful what you ask for. The guidance can be unmistakable.


Browse Our Archives