Say a little prayer today…

May 9, 2016

“The best prayers I know are ‘Help me, Help me, Help me’ and ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.’”  (Anne Lamott) – from the Jack’s Wining Words blog.

world revolves around meMany times we may be saying “Thank You” for surviving things that we should have been praying “Help me” for in the first place. The free will that God gave mankind oft turns to a curse when it becomes an ego too big to ask for help. Sometimes it is our own insecuritiesrestless sleep that hold us back or make us afraid to even try to solve our own problems.

There is an old saying in education that there are no dumb questions, just those that go unasked. The same is true of prayers. A prayer unspoken or thought cannot be answered. It’s OK to say “A little help here”. None of us is so strong, so smart, so brave, so accomplished or so confident that we don’t occasionally need a little help getting through a crisis or overcoming an obstacle or maybe just dealing with a personal problem.

Some people turn to friends or family for help and advice, but many just hold things inside. At the end of the day it can seem that we are all alone with our problems. People of helping handsfaith know that they are never alone; that God is always there, willing to listen and to help, if only we ask. Most of the time the solution is already within us and what we should ask God for is help bringing it out – “Give me the strength to endure this, Give me the wisdom to make the right decision, or maybe give me the patience that I need to deal with this. Those things are all within us and God can bring them out. The thing holding them in is our own ego or insecurities and by way of prayer we lower those barriers and let God use what we have within us to resolve our problems.

One often hears, after the fact, people saying things like, “I didn’t know I had it in me to do that.” We all have “it” in us and faith and trust in God can bring those things out. Perhaps we should be praying; “Please God, let your power be shown through my actions.”

Try that prayer out this week and see what God can do through you. You may be needing the “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You prayer a little more often, too.

What do you want?

September 29, 2015

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear!” – Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is an author and motivational speaker on the topics of personal and business development and success. Among Canfields book is the well know “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and “The Success Principles”. Like most motivational writers and speakers, Canfield focuses mainly upon helping people overcome the obstacles to success and getting the things that they want in life.

turtleMost of the advice from motivational speakers might double as half-time speeches from sports coaches. They tend to focus upon techniques like visualizing, planning, prioritizing, perseverance and being accountable, which are all good things. The fear that Canfield speaks of is usually self-inflicted and grows out of uncertainty or doubt. We tend to fear the unknown and the uncertain outcome. We have doubts about our own abilities or worth that hold us back. Motivational speakers like Canfield promote seemingly simple and logical approaches to overcoming those fears and doubts.

The message of these speakers is aimed at helping people achieve things in life, like getting ahead at work, or to get what they want in life, which is normally defined in material terms – the bigger house, the better car, the exotic vacation, and the best schools for their children. In sports it is always about winning the championship, whatever that is. It is about defining a goal in terms of achieving or acquiring.

There is a whole different cadre of speakers who focus more on what might be called the spiritual side of life. These girls huggingspeakers focus upon maintaining a balance in life between the work life and the goals and rewards of that and the interpersonal side of life – your relationships with those with whom you share your life. Sometimes, especially when one is younger, this side of things takes a back seat to the focus on accomplishments and material achievements. This focus on things other than the material often stays buried in our priorities until we have reached many of the goals that were driving us and realize that we have still not achieved the happiness that we thought would come with them. We may then start paying attention to the messages of the speakers who urge us to take time for ourselves and to spend quality time with those we love.

Sometimes, after we have achieved some level of balance in our lives, we also re-discover a faith that was also suppressed by our focus upon success and accumulating possessions. As we slow down a bit and start really thinking about the lives that we are living and what is really important to us, we may find that reconnecting to the message of faith is something that we want, maybe even something that we need. We may discovery that there is a hole in our lives, a need that no amount of things can fill and a role that none of our loved ones can play. When you come to that point in your life, I would offer a single line answer that is similar to Canfield’s. For, if as Canfield has advised; praying“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”, I would advise that-

“Everything you need is on the other side of prayer.”

Three little words that can change your life… Let us pray. (15 of ?)

April 6, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

praying handsThis post will temporarily end this little series of posts on three word sentences or phrases that have the power to change our lives. I will probably resume this series at some point, but I want to move on and explore some other thoughts.  It seems appropriate, given that I’m writing this on a Sunday, to finally get around to the three little words that I hear every Sunday, but not often enough during the regular week – Let us pray.

Everyone has times in their life where they find a need to appeal to some greater power external to themselves, though I sometimes wonder to whom the people who claim to be agnostics turn in that time of prayer. Praying is both an act of admission that we cannot solve everything ourselves and one of faith that there is something there, some God in heaven who can hear our prayers and help us in times of need. Let us pray.

Prayer is also liberating because it is a moment of personal surrender of the idea that you don’t need help, that you can do it by yourself. Once you let go of that idea you can get help. One way to let go is through prayer. I have found in my own life that the very simple prayer, “Not my will, but thy will be done” is the key to both letting go and getting help. It is an admission that what I am facing is bigger than I can handle and I need help from a bigger power; plus it is an act of letting down my shields and welcoming that help. Let us pray.

Most religions teach prayer as a way to both communicate to God and to ask for His help with things in our daily lives. While prayeranxious
is usually not resorted to for trivial things, even the Lord’s Prayer contains the line “Give us our daily bread” which is to say take care of our basic needs. In a previous post – Bring it on – I ended with a little prayer that would probably be a great way to start each day – “Lord give me the strength today to do what is right, the courage to resist doing want is wrong and the wisdom to be able to tell the difference between the two.” Let us pray.

So, as we look for that thing in our lives that might inspire us to be better people, that will allow us to do better in our lives and with
our lives, that will make us happier and more content with what we have ad who we are, that will enable us to be able to open up facing new dayand receive love from others as well as giving love to others; we will probably not find a better way to start to achieve those goals than to stop, humble ourselves and turn to the one source of power that can help us. Let us pray.

I do know some people who make a big deal out of the act of praying in public places and I wonder how much of that is directed not at their God but at those around them as a show of their piety. There are places and events at which having someone say a prayer is appropriate and there are other times when quietly saying your own little prayer with sharing it out loud with others is better. The ideas isn’t to show others that you are praying but to show God that you are praying and he is pretty good at hearing your silent prayers. Let us pray.


The Real Secret to Awakening the Giant within…

January 30, 2013

Today’s quote from the Jack’s Winning Words blog was –   “There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change.” (Rhonda Byrne). Jack discovered that she’s famous because of her New Thought book, “The Secret.” So, what’s Rhonda’s secret? Beethoven, Einstein and Henry Ford knew it. Finally…The secret is revealed. “Everything’s possible, and Nothing’s impossible.”

I remember viewing the video presentation of The Secret several years ago. There was enough skeptic in me to temper the message; however, I found it to be generally uplifting and a positive experience. One would certainly like to believe that anything is possible. I also went through the Tony Robbins course based upon his book “Awaken the Giant Within” many years ago, which is another anything is possible message, but with some training on how to take steps to make the possible come true through careful observation and modeling techniques. The basic Robbins message was to be successful look to see what the successful people do and do the same things.

Both Byrne and Robbins stress that you can’t get what you want by sitting there going “woe is me.” You first have to realize and believe that the key to changing things in your life lies within and starts with the belief that you can do it. Both rely on visualization techniques – see yourself winning and you will win.

I’m almost sure that, if Jack had to base a sermon on this saying and the personal success themes of Byrne or Robbins, he would conclude that in order to believe in yourself and visualize your way to success, no matter which method you choose; you must start by having a strong underlying faith.

I have concluded more than once in my life that I could not solve things by myself, only through the power of my own thoughts or actions or visualization. It is during those periods of introspection that I always end up back at the same place, in prayer. A good, honest prayer session puts you in touch with the original author of the “Everything’s possible” message. Once you have Him back on your side, “Nothing’s impossible.”  So, start off with a little prayer and then visualize yourself having a great day; and, it will happen!