Wishing and Praying

Often when I’m praying it ends up resembling a wishlist. For instance, when I’m looking for a  new place to live I’ll say, “Higher Power, please help me find a place to live that’s safe, quiet, fits all my belongings, in ____ neighborhood, with laundry onsite, plenty of storage space, and where I can see trees outside my window.” And then I start visualizing and fervently praying – or more like begging – saying “please, please, please” over and over again like a mantra.

And then I get what I asked for. Maybe not exactly – usually the neighborhood is a little further afield than I’d like – but all the other things are there. However, I get things I didn’t want either, like overprotective dogs, loud neighbors, poor insulation, or something else that compels me to leave. The trouble is, I don’t have all the information, and I won’t ever because I’m not omniscient. That leads me to believe that perhaps I don’t know what’s best for me after all and maybe I need to leave that up to an all-knowing entity.


This photo seems to encapsulate my idea of a prayer. Not sure why, but it does.

According to my beliefs, Higher Power, God, Brahma, the universe, whatever label you want, is omniscient, so it seems to me the best thing I can do is to align my will with the universe’s. One of the things that’s different about where I currently live – besides the impossible way it came about – is instead of having a wishlist, every morning I said, “Higher Power, please place me where you want me. I want what you want for me. I don’t know what’s best for me, only you do, so please align my will with yours.” And this apartment is what showed up. It’s everything I wanted and more, like being next door to a friend and within walking distance of a pool. I’m finding that when I leave things up to Higher Power, my wildest dreams are ant-sized compared with what lies ahead.

I have to believe because I did things differently, this living situation will turn out differently. Thus far it has. I moved in less than a week ago and already I’m more unpacked than I was in my last place. It’s not because I have more energy or more help, rather it’s because I want to unpack. I already feel settled in energetically so I want to settle in physically. With my last places, a part of me obviously knew they wouldn’t work out so why bother unpacking? I have to admit I’m still gun shy; I’m still worried something will be horrible about where I’m currently living that will compel me to move, but at least I can say I wasn’t trying to force my will. That instead I was in a state of surrender, acceptance, and openness. That it came about not through wishing but through praying.

I dream of a world where instead of prayers being wishlists we pray to align our will with a power greater than our own. A world where we understand we don’t know all the answers and we won’t ever, so we can’t possibly know what to ask for in the future. A world where we each live in a state of surrender, acceptance, and serenity.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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