How To Pray

February 2, 2010 by · 11 Comments 

Prayer is an effective way to communicate your intention to Divinity. Unfortunately, however, some of us never learned how to pray, and some have been put off by the dogmatic approach of religion and are confused about prayers. So here is the basic of how to pray. (Photo credit)

Format of a prayer

In The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief, Gregg Braden analyzes the three-part sandwich format of a prayer:

  1. Opening
  2. Body
  3. Closing

He explains how prayer works as the command code in the matrix, just as a piece of computer code works in the computer software. (For more about the nature of this matrix, you might want to read his The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, too.)

I know a few very basic codes. For example, when I want to bold words in this blog, this is what I write:

<strong>the text I want to bold</strong>

As you see, it has three parts:

  1. Opening: <strong>
  2. Body
  3. Closing: </strong>

The function of the opening is to signal the system that I am going to make a certain request. Then I state what it is in the body. Finally, I mark where my body ends with the closing.

Prayer has the same format. In the opening, I call to the Divinity to signal that I am going to make a certain request. Then I state my request in the body. Finally, I close my prayer to signal this is the end of my prayer.

Asking requires faith

Prayer is not just chatting with Divinity or spirit guides. When we pray, we make requests. And let me assure you there is nothing wrong about asking for what you sincerely desire. In fact, the Universe is waiting for you to make requests.  (The key word here is “sincerely”.  I am not talking about satisfying every whim you feel when you go to the mall.)

Why doesn’t the Universe (or God or Matrix or whatever you want to call) just give you what you want? Is it too dump to figure out what you want? Why do you have to bother and pray?

Because you have a free will and all positive beings respect free will. God / angels / spirit guides are not going to shove you what they think is best for you. It’s your responsibility to decide what you want and ask.

Asking requires at least some faith. If you absolutely don’t think you can get what you want, you won’t bother to ask. Even a very hungry little boy won’t ask for a candy if he absolutely knows there is no candy in the house and his family is so poor that there is no way his parents can buy him a candy. Asking for something you know you won’t get is stupid and no one would do it.

So prayers — not the prayers you just say out of habit or sense of obligation, but the real prayers in which you ask for something — require faith, the belief that you would, or at least might, get it. This is the beauty of prayers. By praying, you reinforce your faith in a power greater than yourself.

Name of Divinity

So, a typical opening is the calling of Divinity. If you are comfortable with the word “God”, you can use it here. You can also use the name of God you believe in such as Jesus.

But what if you don’t like any organized religion and not comfortable with the word “God”? Can you still pray? Definitely. Prayer is simply a request to higher power. You can be creative in the way you call your Divinity. Here are some ideas:

  • My higher power
  • Creator of all beings
  • Universe
  • Nature
  • Great spirit(s)
  • God of my understanding
  • Divine intelligence
  • Divine mother / father

You can also call multiple names of Divinity, such as adding the names of saints you like.

The body of a prayer

Then you state your request, or your intention. Make it clear, straightforward, and complete. Don’t beg nor bargain. Your prayer can be long, and you can take time “listening” to the response to your request before closing, or you can “hold” the intention for a period of time, but don’t nag.

Begging means you don’t really believe in the benevolent nature of God nor your own self-worth to have what you are asking for. Perhaps you had to do that to get a candy from your parent, but God is a bit different from your parent. Begging in the prayer defies the basic point of praying, that you have faith in the chance you will get what you want. Same with bargaining — you don’t do that if you believe in the infinite wisdom and power of God.

Many people have problem communicating in a clear, straightforward and complete manner even with people, so I know this takes practice. But it’s worth practicing.

Closing the prayer

Closing can be quite simple. In my case, I say either something like, “I entrust this prayer to be answered in a way that is best for me and for all beings everywhere.” or simply, “Thank you. Amen.” You can also repeat the name of Divinity before saying the gratitude.


Then comes the challenging part. You need to release the prayer. In other words, you surrender. You don’t hold your breath watching out when and how your prayer is answered, or even if it ever be answered.

Some prayers are answered immediately. Some takes time. And some appear to be never answered. For instance, you may pray that your loved one survive a terminal illness and they may die after all.

I believe prayers work in a way that is best for all beings involved, not just for my personal (and often temporary) satisfaction. In the aforementioned example, perhaps it is time for your loved one to go. Death is nothing to be ashamed of — it’s a transformation process. Of course it’s sad because it is about separation, but maybe you have grown strong enough to go through this sad experience. So the request you made in the prayer is not granted, but if you are open, you would be comforted. And years later, you may be surprised how the loss contributed to your spiritual growth.

We don’t always know what is best for us. This is why we want to surrender our prayer to Divinity. You want to express what you desire, but you don’t want to control it. God cannot work on your prayer if you keep holding onto it.

Do you pray? Do you have any questions about prayers? Please let me know in the comment. Thank you.