One of the most powerful ways to pray is to practice gratitude. Gratitude affects our consciousness the way windshield wipers affect a windshield in a blizzard. It clears away confusion and helps us see the world more clearly.
Practicing gratitude as a form of prayer is very easy and is immediately rewarding. All you need to do is acknowledge and thank the Universe for all your blessings, whether they are good health, family, friends, or simply being alive.
I personally keep a gratitude journal. As a family we keep a gratitude bulletin board in the kitchen on which we post photos of happy experiences and appreciative acknowledgments for the things we have received. It's amazing to realize just how much we all have to be grateful for -- once we begin to notice.
Practicing gratitude instantly lightens the heart and helps us remember how much we are loved and supported by the Universe. Whenever my children or I are restless, irritable, anxious, bored, uneasy, or fearful, I suggest we think of as many things as possible to be grateful for to change the energy. We list our blessings one at a time, trying to name at least ten things. Every time we do this our fear subsides and our hearts and intuition open.
Practicing gratitude keeps a child's awareness focused on the abundance, support, and love that the Universe has for him. It focuses his heart and awareness on receiving all that is available to him and reminds him to remain in a state of receptivity and peace.
These are only some ways to pray. You may have an entirely different way. All ways to pray are valid.
Your prayer style is very personal, and all styles are valid. Use whatever approach and tradition you prefer in asking for divine help, and know that Divine Spirit, God, is love and that the Universe loves you completely and unconditionally, as you are, faults and all. Whether praying by yourself or with your child, realize that the Universe wants to help, would love to help. But first you must ask.
The great teacher Jesus Christ taught the importance of prayer when he was questioned about miracles. "Of myself I do nothing," he said. "It is my Father in Heaven who works through me." Or as the saying goes, "If God is with you, then who can be against you? After all, there is no power greater than God."
The most powerful prayers are those prayed with the full awareness of being a beloved child of God. Prayers prayed with a deep sense that the Universe wants to help you, guide you, support you, delight you, and love you unconditionally are the prayers most quickly and satisfactorily answered. Prayers prayed with others who share this knowledge are yet even more powerful.
Create a time when you can pray as a family. This can be at dinnertime or bedtime or after family meeting time. It is also important to encourage your family to ask each other to pray with and for them whenever they are feeling upset or concerned or need a little extra help. As Jesus said, "Whenever two or more are gathered in my name, I will be there also."
©1999, published by Three Rivers Press,
a division of Crown Publishers, NYC, NY 10022.
This article was excerpted with permission from the book:
The Wise Child: A Spiritual Guide to Nurturing Your Child's Intuition
by Sonia Choquette.
How can I help my children to thrive and prosper? How can I ensure that they will not become unhappy and frustrated as I have been? These are the questions that inspired Sonia Choquette to write this profound and accessible book explaining -- through spiritual principles, modern-day parables, and practical exercises -- how even busy parents can help children connect to their own source of divine guidance.
SONIA CHOQUETTE Ph.D. is the author of The Psychic Pathway and Your Heart's Desire. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children. She can be reached through her website www.soniachoquette.com