There are many forms of prayer, but the ones I most relied on in the past are the supplicant version, where I ask for something I don’t already have as if I was calling God’s request line, or prayers of gratitude for having already received something. Several years ago, I learned about a more powerful way of praying from friend and activist, Betsy Bickel writing in her HAWAP (Hearts and Wits Affirming Peace) newsletter. She shares Gregg Braden’s experience with a Native American friend ‘praying rain’.
“I did not forget the ‘for’. The ‘for’ is what makes it not work. Praying for rain is admitting that you don’t have it. This guy went to a place which for centuries had been used in ritual, considered a place where the skin between the worlds was thin. He honored and thanked the relevant spirits and ancestors and then he put himself in his imagination in his village in a rainstorm, feeling it, smelling it and being gratefully and joyfully present in it. It took maybe a minute. That evening a several months-long drought was brought to an end by a fluke turn in the jet stream bringing a flooding rain to this one particular area”.
Praying FOR something has us coming from a place of lack, of not having the thing we want. And the more we focus on what’s missing, the more we get that. It is important to intend what we want from the place of assuming we already have it. And to engage our emotions in feeling the outcome as if it we were living that experience. Adding the emotional aspect to prayer and intention to increase manifestation has been taught by many spiritual teachers.
It has also been demonstrated scientifically. The former PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomolies Research) project documented the importance of emotion in amplifying one’s intention. Established in 1979 by then Dean of Engineering Robert G. Jahn, PEAR conducted parapsychological experiments exploring how people interact non-locally with the world around them – from picking up information to impacting otherwise random events with their intention. I recently heard Brenda Dunne, the PEAR lab manager for 28 years, speak on a Humanity Rising session. Author of 17 books on the confluence of science and spirituality, she now directs the International Consciousness Research Laboratories. Brenda shared three significant findings from their work:
- Our intention sets the direction, our feeling sets the amplitude. Our emotion can affect the size and speed of the outcome; our feelings increase the results.
- People who saw the experiments as play had the best results.
- Collective emotional alignment (when people were in coherence with one another) produced greater results than any individual.
We can apply this to our personal healing as well as to the collective. If we want to effect change in our lives, relationships, work, our country, or the world we need to hold a clear vision of what we want and add the powerful booster rocket of practicing what that outcome feels like. I do know how challenging it can be to do this when one is feeling physical or emotional pain in our personal lives or in response to what we witness around us. This is not about being in denial. Be aware of what is happening, and then use this practice to focus on what you want energized with your passion for living it as if it’s already here and you are living it. And then invite others to join you so your collective prayer is magnified making the manifestation even more probable.
Praying rain card by Jane Norton
“The secret of our lost mode of prayer is to shift our perspective of life by feeling that the miracle has already happened and our prayers have been answered. Now we have the opportunity to bring this wisdom into our lives as prayers of gratitude for what already exists, rather than asking for our prayers to be answered.”
- What are your visions for what you want to experience in your life?
- What your visions for your country, and for your experience as a citizen of that country?
- What are your visions for the Earth and all her beings and your part in it?
Focus on the visions you articulated above and in each case generate the feelings you would have as if it was already happening.
For example, feel how you imagine you will when the forces for good win the U.S. election. I can recall screaming and jumping up and down with my friend Alice and thousands of others in downtown Durham when Obama won in 2008. I will be recreating that energy as I visualize the 2020 election outcome and inviting others to do the same.
To see a 10 minute video of Gregg Braden talking about learning to Pray Rain, click here.
The session with Brenda Dunne can be found here. Humanity Rising, a program of Ubiquity University, brings together amazing educators, activists, business owners, NGO and governmental leaders to share their passions and innovative strategies for creating a world that works for all and find ways to collaborate to increase the speed of transformation. They offer 90 min. sessions 5 days a week and record and archive each. You can find over 100 past programs here and sign up to be notified of upcoming ones.