My mother was a spiritual healer and adviser. Her name was Alma Eugene Oxford. Every one who came for prayer called her Mother Oxford, her friends called her Jeannie. People would come from all over to be healed from illness and bad decisions.
When I was growing up, Mama would have prayer service for us at home at least twice a week. During prayer service, she would read and teach us from the Bible. We prayed, sang and testified about what we were thankful to God for. My 6 other brothers and sisters and I hated it; we would much rather watch TV or be outside playing! We’d try to get out of it by saying we were sick or tired but it never worked!
But I have to say now that these services were the most impactful part of my childhood. They laid the foundation for how I would make important life decisions, how I would lead my adult life and ultimately, how I would raise my own children.
If you google “How to Pray?” you’ll find over 150 million responses to this question! No matter what your religion or even if you don’t follow any particular belief system, I’ve found that there are some simple praying basics common to most prayers. And if you’re not a PRAYer, you may find that these 6 steps make sense for you and hopefully you’ll feel inspired to give them a try!
Step 1- Say Thank You:
Saying thank you is a common courtesy, it’s the least you can do! When you think about it, you have a lot to be grateful for and if you think you’ve made it all happen on your own, then I’ll be praying for you! You can make this as simple or elaborate as you wish. You can simply say, thank you for all things or be more specific, thank you for this day, thank you for life, health and strength, thank you for the food I’ve eaten, etc. It’s up to you. The more specific you are though, the greater sense of gratitude and appreciation you’ll walk away with. And the more grateful you are, the more you’ll have to be grateful for!
Step 2- Ask for Forgiveness and the Strength to Do Better:
You know you’ve done some stuff you shouldn’t have, so say you’re sorry! It’s ok, we all mess up from time to time. When you ask for forgiveness, its makes you feel better and gives you a sense of starting over fresh. This will also renew your hope in that you have another chance to get it right and make up for what you’ve done wrong. So, again keep it simple or go about it in great detail, either way will work.
Step 3- Ask for What You Want:
Now this can be a little tricky because your first thought is to probably ask for way more than you deserve but go ahead…ask not, want not! But just know that you reap what you sow, meaning you get out of it what you put into it. But God is merciful. And don’t get side tracked when “bad things” happen to good people. You can get discouraged when this is your focus so when this happens and it will, refer to Step 1!
Step 4- Pray for Others:
I’m sure you know someone who needs help; name them. Pray for what you know they need. This will also help to take your mind off of your own troubles.
Step 5- Pray For All:
We are all connected. It does the Soul good to pray for all mankind. Pray for animals, nature and the planet as a whole.
Step 6- Go in Faith, Truth and Right Intention:
After all this praying, it will do you no good to turn around and repeat some of the same things that brought you to your knees in the first place! Try hard to believe that your prayers will be answered. Be truthful and honest in your ways and remember the golden rule….do unto others as you would have them do unto you…it’s sappy but necessary.