Prayerfulness is fundamental practice for spiritual nourishment in my life but it was not always that way....
Growing up in Catholicism prayer there were certain prayers that needed to be memorized and used to address specific needs and purposes. I studied the rosary and then my prayer beads simply hung on my bedpost. I found myself saying the prayers out of duty and expectation without really feeling the purpose of the prayer itself. It felt restrictive and lacked purpose for me. I read the Bible when I was 10-years old (seriously, who does that?) - searching to create some kind of relationship with God. I also seriously considered becoming a nun. I liked the idea of prayer and being close to God; it seemed like the ideal career a 'Good Catholic Girl' but being that I had already lost my virginity from being molested and raped, I did not believe I was worthy of the holy order.
I fell away from prayer early in my life and dismissed it from my life. Even when I began my own spiritual journey, it was still not something that I devotedly practiced. I set intentions. I worked Law of Attraction principles - I asked the Universe. I called in my angels and guides for support and guidance. I never actively prayed over my life; at least not on a regular basis. But then something would happen in my life where I would feel vulnerable, the instinct to reach beyond took over. It wasn't until I can across the book - Post Traumatic Church Syndrome, by Reba Riley that I truly became inspired to incorporate prayerfulness into my life.
In the book, Reba recounts her personal story of falling away from what she conditioned to believe and seeking her personal truth by studying and experiencing 30-different religions on her spiritual path. This is by far one of my favorite books! It truly changed my relationship with prayer and it inspired me to heal my religious PTSD.
I was also received guidance from my spiritual team to start a quest of my own - 40-days of prayer, 4 hours /day -
Challenge accepted! Even though I had no clue how I was going to do it, I was excited about the journey. It only took about 1-hour to run out of prayers. Feeling somewhat confused as to what to do from there, I began my own research and studies - Buddhism, the Taoism, Hinduism, New Age, Indigenous prayers, Wicca, and more. I began to extract the practices and teachings that spoke to me and let everything else fall away. And instead of sitting for 4-hours straight, I broke up the cycle. 1-hour of prayer for me. 1-hour of prayer for those close to me and whom I had promised to pray for. 1-hour of prayers for humanity. 1-hour of prayer for Mother Earth, and all her inhabitants. By about the 10th day, I realized that if I could train myself to be in a prayerful mindset, it would cut down on the amount of time that I needed to sit in prayer. This changed the game dramatically.... not just in the time of prayer itself, but in how my life began to transform.
I now take communion with myself every day. My prayers are affirmative and empowering - not only for my life, but for the lives of others and the greater good of all.
I learned that the practice and power of prayer can no longer be boxed exclusively into the category of religion. Prayer is more of personal expression that connects us to the Infinite (God, the Universe, Possibility, the subconscious mind, Spirit, Loving Intelligence, etc.) and the words we use are not important at all; as long as we pray, no matter how we pray, we become available for transformation.
Treat yourself to this book! It is funny, well written and perhaps it will inspire you to be more prayerful in your life too!