A few weeks ago, I was emailing with a well-known author and speaker. At the end of our exchange, she wrote that she had “added me to her prayer list.” She wrote what she would pray for, and what she was affirming for me (as well as for my dad, who has been in the hospital). I was on the road in the lobby of a hotel when I read her email. Instantly I was filled with a deep peace and gratitude to know that I was being included in this amazing woman’s prayers.
Prayer is powerful. It is not about magic or “making things happen.” It’s about miracles and knowing the deep truth about any situation or person. It’s not wishful thinking. (“I’ll pray you win the lottery!”) It’s a recognition of the highest and best. (“I am praying and knowing that you are always taken care of, that you always have more than enough, and that you are abundant and at peace.”)
Prayer is not woo-woo or froo-froo. It is not owned by ministers or priests. It is not owned by any religion. It is a necessity in the everydays of almost every person to whom I am close. It is the most grounded activity of my day, besides writing. (And hiking with my dog.)
I love prayer lists. I am on the prayer list of a wild and remarkable minister here in Asheville. (She has a “powerful women” prayer list that is part of her morning routine, and I am absolutely honored to be on that list.) I think we would be wise to each start prayer lists and add people to them.
But remember: not everyone wants to be on your prayer list! And watch out for your own “stuff!” In other words, if you think your co-worker should be married and you feel so sorry for her that she’s still single at 34 — that’s your “stuff.” When you say, “God, please give Margie a good boyfriend so that she can feel happier,” what you’re really saying is, “God, please give Margie a good boyfriend so that I can feel more comfortable around her.” Maybe you should pray instead that you become more comfortable.
After all, maybe Margie wants a girlfriend!
Adding someone to your prayer list because you feel “sorry” for her brings a lower level of energy to the prayer. Prayer can realign and reconnect each of us our with own deep power, and in so doing, take us out of our victim state and propel us into our truth. We are all, every single one of us, powerful and creative beings. Knowing that truth alone can help you understand that there’s no one who benefits from you feeling sorry for them. And it will do wonders for your prayer list!
In all instances of prayer lists, the person who has prayed for me has asked me if they could add me, and has checked in about the language of their prayer. This is a good thing! I wouldn’t necessarily want any random person praying for me to get what they think I should get.
So, this is an invitation to you. I am facilitating another women’s retreat this weekend. We convene on Friday afternoon, October 27. At these retreats there’s always a small altar where the women place pinecones, acorns, candles, buddah statues, drawings, rocks and poems. If you would like to be on our prayer list throughout this weekend, I’ll be placing a list of names on that altar. Your being and presence will be a part of the weekend. And when we do pray, I will include you in that ritual. (Don’t worry. I won’t be shouting out any personal baggage to 20 women: “And LORD, please bless Annie May and her dark and terrible obsession with those Little Debbie Snack Cakes!” First of all, I don’t pray like that! Second of all, I’ll be discreet!)
Men are invited to be on the list as well. As are pets. (Though, if a dog actually places the request himself, then I may have to tell the women about it…)
So that you don’t have to review every detail about what you want or don’t want us to pray for, I’ll just let you know that the prayers we do are pretty basic, but very powerful. They are about intent and affirmation and knowing the truth about each and every person and situation.
If you’d like to be on our prayer list, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be the only one who reads these. If you feel comfortable enough to leave your request in the comments below, I will print those out as well. And then you will be a part of this amazing group of women and you’ll get to benefit in subtle happy indescribable ways.