Prayer: What Does It Mean To You?

  • By Gail Lynne Goodwin.

    Each day millions of people around the world pray for something… perhaps a new job, a relationship, financial independence, glowing health, to hear God’s voice more clearly, or like yesterday when it’s Super Bowl Sunday, perhaps even for their team to win.

    But how does God decide which prayers to answer and in what way?

    Watch the Oscars or the Grammy Awards and most people thank God for their success. Does that mean that God doesn’t like the ones who didn’t win?

    Prayer by mulmatsherm (flickr)

    A few days ago I was flying from Salt Lake City to New York City for a very important meeting that could change the way we look at cancer. The woman to my right was disappointed that the flight was on time. She shared with me that she’d been praying that the flight would be canceled, so that she could continue her ski vacation. I mentioned that I’d been praying for the flight to be on time, due to an important meeting. As the flight took off, she smiled and said, “I guess God likes you more than me”.  Obviously that’s not true, but just how does this work?

    If a loved one is sick or hurt, we tell each other that we’ll pray for them. Do only those who get the most prayers heal?

    On a day like yesterday when half the country prays for one team and the other half prays for the success of the other, is God counting votes? If the quarterback throws the perfect pass and the runningback catches it and scores, many will say, “Thank God!”. But if he misses the pass, is that God’s fault? I don’t think so.

    So, what it this thing called prayer? Could it be that WE change when we pray? (And maybe, that’s the whole point.) Maybe it’s not about anything more than connecting to something greater than ourselves and knowing that whatever happens, it’s for the greater good. Maybe it’s about having a conversation with God and developing a friendship, rather than just coming with requests.

    For me, prayer is the practice of connecting to the presence of God, Spirit, the Universe, or whatever you may call it. Asking in prayer for what we want in life, is an exercise in focus. We know from the Law of Attraction that what we focus on grows, and for me, prayer is simply focusing on that which we most want to create in life, in a close relationship with God.

    What is prayer to you? Does it matter how many people pray for you when you’re ill? What happens if two people pray for the exact opposite thing to happen? How does God decide, or does God decide what happens? I invite you to share your thoughts below and perhaps we can learn something from one another. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for being a part of our InspireMeToday.com community.

    Photo Credit: C. Jill Reed

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

    View all posts by Gail Lynne Goodwin.

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    4 replies
    1. Bonnie
      Bonnie says:

      I believe the act of prayer puts us in a higher state of consciousness. It makes us more aware of the oneness of us all and our spirituality. When we hear of someone praying for a certain outcome, I.e. game win or flight delayed, these are really just requests so that life can be happier from a very ego centered way of being. Spiritual prayers are closer to meditation. These prayers include gratitude and acceptance of life thus giving us a more peaceful existence which, in my opinion, makes us closer to God.

      Reply
    2. Eliezer Sobel
      Eliezer Sobel says:

      I like Brother David Steindl-Rast’s idea, expressed in his book, “Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer,” where he speaks of prayer not so much as an active expression of desires, but as an attitude of gratefulness and what he calls “prayerfulness.” For him, prayer = appreciation of what is, noticing the beauty already in front of us, as distinct from asking God for specific results or changes.
      thanks Gail!

      Reply
    3. Mazeena
      Mazeena says:

      Prayer to me is a way to connect with God, whether praying for yourself, your family, happiness or health, for a game, a cause or a goal, it’s submission to God. It’s a request, a hope, survival, gratitude, a feeling there is someone out there to listen to you and will answer your prayers in so many different ways..

      Reply
    4. iphie
      iphie says:

      Prayer is conversation with God.He hears all our prayers..He does not have a time out..nor does He need a coffee break. He is always with us, listening and talking back..hoping that we can also hear His own side of the conversation. He answers the prayers that are in accordance with His will at any point in time..not because we are the better prepared team or the holier man.Thats why when Jesus prayed He said ‘Let thy will be done”. and so, when our side loses or our loved one dies…its just because it is God’s will.

      Reply

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