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More Faith; The difference between 'fear' prayers and 'faith' prayers

Do you consider yourself someone who knows how to receive answers to your prayers? And to take it a step further, do you want to teach your children how to build confidence in their ability to pray? Then this post is for you. . .


I’ve been teaching my  19 year old son who is on a mission and experienced a lot of illness. My daughter who is away at college in a very competitive music Arts program. And my youngest son who is figuring out how to plan his future, he’s a junior in high school and he has a difficult health diagnosis. 


And I’m serious here. I want my kids to know how to pray in a way that accesses the powers of heaven. I believe the powers of heaven are real, and that we’ve been given everything we need to access those powers, if we have the faith to do so. 


I also believe that God is bound to answer a prayer of faith, that God operates through spiritual laws that are scientific principles that govern the Universe. If he doesn’t operate within those laws, then He wouldn’t be god. But he does. And that is why he is god. 


But what I want for my kids is to have a high sense of self worth, and a high self esteem. But even more than to think highly of themselves, I want them to be brave, to have courage, the kind of courage it takes to have more faith - both in themselves, and in the world and future they will be navigating.


And I want them to have more faith in accessing the powers of heaven.


So here’s how I’m going about that, and I wanted to share with you, my dear listeners. 


What I’ve been helping my kids understand lately, is that 'primary' prayers are good and God will always be pleased that we take the time to talk to him. But there comes a time when we need to grow in our prayer ability. 


We need to move past primary language and use more affirming language where we notice how God has already helped us in our time of need. 


And even though there’s no wrong way to pray, or think or feel, there’s definitely more effective ways to pray. 


One of the most effective ways I know to pray is to pray from the feeling of courage. To let my heart take courage. 


So let me explain:


I tell my kids that we each have an inner voice.


That inner voice that is calling to us is what I like to think of as our Inner Being - and it is already courageous. 


What do we mean by inner being? 


There are a lot of rivers that run to the ocean. In this metaphor, your Inner Being, your highest self, is the ocean. The river is how you tune in, or tap into, the wisdom of your Inner Being, the current, the flow that helps you tap into your highest self. 


There are a lot of rivers that run to the ocean. you have an Inner Being that is your sacred, highest self. We are spiritual beings having an experience in a simulation. 


And when you tap into your inner being, it is very wise,it is loving, it knows what you need. And it is very courageous and brave, already. 


We talk about courage sometimes like it's something that some people just have and some people don’t. But I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t have courage inside of them. And it is already inside of you. 


Because there is courage inside of you to face your biggest fears, and to face those fears that aren’t so big as well, like baby steps outside of your comfort zone. 


There are a lot of ways to tap into your courage. There are a lot of rivers that run to the ocean. 


Is there something you’d like to do that you feel called to do but you’re afraid? 

What are the things you want but need help with and pray for?

What are the things you wish would be different?

How would courage, if you could step into being a little more brave, how would it help you get what you really want?


There’s a lot of different styles for tapping into your Inner Being, your highest self. 

What most of us experience, when we try to tap into our Highest Self, let’s say you pray and say the words, “help me with this hard thing, will you please?” , but then we experience resistance. 


You say, Help me with my energy. Please give me more energy to do such and such. And you kneel down and you say it a few times. And after five minutes, a voice answers back and says, “ Who are you kidding?” Have you ever experienced that before? That’s resistance. 


But Inner Being, your higher self, that isn’t her that’s saying, “who are you kidding?” 


And so the important thing to know is that if fear is propelling you to say, “please bless,” that fear is the juice motivating the thinking and the action of saying the prayer. And it won’t work. It is a prayer of fear. 


If Fear is fueling the action, then the prayer will be focusing on what you lack. We have to focus on what we already have inside of us, so it can expand. Because what we give energy to, what we focus on, grows. 


It’s okay for fear to be there. I’m not saying don’t let yourself be afraid, or don’t have fear. Feeling the entire range of human emotions makes us more like Christ, not less. 


But what I am saying is that the crappy thoughts Fear is telling you - they don’t mean you don’t have courage inside of you. You’ll probably always have crappy fear thoughts that your brain offers up to you on the regular. 


And so, an effective prayer can sound like this: “I’m not feeling energy lately, and it’s messing with my belief that I can do this, I feel discouraged, but my Inner Being is courageous, my higher self is courageous, I know this because you’ve told me so, and so because I have courage in me, bless me to tap into it right now.” Do you see the difference in how it feels to speak to it in this way, versus asking and hoping but your energy is stuck in fear? 


You are stepping into a different level of belief, a different level of knowing. And that is a prayer of faith versus a prayer of fear.  When you say as your prayer, “Right now, I’m feeling shy, but my Inner Being, my highest self is courageous, so I am going to trust her. I know I have courage inside of me.” then your energy shifts. Maybe it’s a big shift. Maybe it’s subtle. Either way, the shift in energy is everything. And it propels you to act from a place of courage versus a place of fear. 


When you find resonance again and again and again and again with your Inner Being, with your higher self, before you know it, you are operating in the energy of courage more than you are operating in the vibration or energy of fear. And then you are a match to the thing you are wanting, you are a match for the success you are wanting. A Positive plus a Positive equals a positive. It’s math. 


A positive plus a negative equals a negative. It’s also math. 


So, when you’re adding affirming words to what you already have inside of you, the courage that is already there,  then more ideas flow to you because your Inner Being trusts you to take action and create for yourself what it is you are wanting, and it is a beautiful circle of awesomeness. The Universe, or God, or the Muse, whatever you like to call it, starts to present you with even more opportunities to step into your courage, because you have earned some trust to receive inspiration - to act upon what you’ve already been given, and you’ve learned what you have needed to learn from previous calls to courage, you have tried, and maybe you’ve failed, but you keep answering the call anyway because there is a level of trust you’ve established with yourself to act from courage versus fear. 


I think prayer is a very interesting thing. It used to be so confusing to me. Are we supposed to sit around and say them over and over until we believe them? No. The answer is no, that’s not how it works. 


Instead, we’re supposed to affirm what we already do know or have an inkling toward knowing, or even hope to know. Let me give you an example:


Let’s say I want my kids to have a certain outcome that I feel is outside of my control, let’s say I want my son who is experiencing a health challenge that will affect his future to believe that he has what it takes to create a good life for himself, but I can’t make that happen for him. 


I can start with what I already do know to be true: and it’s this:

  • Whenever he’s faced a challenge in the past, he’s been watched over. I can find all kinds of evidence for that. And so I let my mind soak in all those memories of when God helped him or helped me with words of what to say, or what not to say in the past, the people that came into his life to help him through previous challenges, and I can focus on my gratitude for those people, those instances. 
  • Then, I’m going to want to affirm this with my words and say something in my prayer like, “my son always receives exactly what he needs, when he needs it.” 
  • As I affirm this to be true, and I’m feeling grateful, then my energy shifts, and I start to feel more brave in my faith for him that he can handle his challenges, that I can trust things to work out. 
  • And my heart starts to grow in courage for him.
  • For me, that’s how prayer works. They aren’t just far-fetched sentences I say into the ether but don’t really believe deep down. No. I have to go on a little inward excavation for the right words to affirm that feel true to me, and then I know how to take the next leap of faith into believing for what I’m hoping for or wanting. 

And so when you are working in a receptive mode of believing in yourself, of stepping into your courage, which remember, it’s already there inside of you. When you are tuned in and receptive to acting or stepping into your courage, and then you say words like, “Bless me with courage, courage is already inside of me.” it is powerful. And you actually believe those words. And ideas start to flow. There is clarity. 


But if you are on the other end of the stick, if you are feeling dis-couraged,  sadness or depression or fear or not enough-ness, and you are affirming or saying words from that point of view, then you are affirming where you are already standing, but your heart isn’t aligned with your words.  They don’t match up. And if your heart is full of fear, You are a match for what you don’t want, not for what you do want. The math equation is working how it's supposed to. A positive plus a negative does not equal a positive. Positive words plus a negative feeling such as fear, will not produce a positive result. That’s what I mean by the math. 


For example, going back to the example of my son, if I say the words: “my son always receives exactly what he needs, when he needs it, but my mind can only recall the times when he’s been deep in his challenges, and my mind catastrophizes or imagines how terrible it was and churns on the negative, then my energy is going to be fear, and worry and anxiety, and I’m not a match for what I DO want for me or him, what I DO want is for him to muster the strength to work through his challenges. So I have to recall times he’s already done that before, and step into THAT energy. 


You want to know how you are really feeling and be honest about that before you start praying. That’s why it’s so important to do your Thought Work and your Emotion Coaching, to give yourself permission to be petty, to acknowledge what you’re really thinking, even though you know better, or you think you should know better. We have to be honest with where we are before we start praying for what we want. And we have to take small steps in our thinking and in our believing, it works more gradually than it does with leaps. 


There are prayers of faith and there are prayers of fear. 

Fear prayers are better than no prayers. God is always happy when we talk to him. But fear prayers are elementary prayers. God wants us to mature in courage as we talk to him in prayer.


Faith requires courage. And sometimes we have to get creative with our faith. Creativity requires faith. Faith requires that we relinquish control. And doesn’t that take courage? You better believe it does. This can feel so frightening and we resist it. Our resistance to our creativity is a form of self-sabotage. We go into our favorite buffering behaviors. Why do we do this? Because we want to maintain an illusion of control. Some of us buffer with anxiety. Or spin in confusion. Or distractions. We all do it. 


And so recovering our sense of courage will ask more of us.


Prayer is an amazing way to tap into your courage. And it’s a wonderful thing to ask for what you want in prayer. Anytime you ask, it is given. 


But then people say, “well then why aren’t my prayers being answered?” I’ve pondered this ever since I was a little girl. 


And what I’ve learned in prayer is that there is a difference of being in real need of something, and praying from that place of not having, praying from a  place of lack. Praying. Asking. Pleading. Begging from a place of not having. When we pray from that place,  this puts us in that fear energy and puts us in a place of fear, which puts us at greater odds with our Inner Being, our highest self. It is not a prayer of faith. And we know we should pray, so we ask and we say the words, but if we’re afraid, we’re just adding to the resistance. We’re giving energy to our fears. Think about that.


When my husband had his stroke, because I’d already learned from the experience of losing my first child, and then my fourth child, my youngest son, almost died, my prayers changed over time with those experiences. I went from fear prayers to courage prayers. When my husband had his stroke, I prayed, and I genuinely felt so much appreciation for the years we did have, and if it was meant to be that he was to die, then I knew I could be courageous in the face of that. I knew the courage was inside of me to handle it. And I knew I could tap into it. I affirmed those words in my prayers. So that’s what i mean by prayer of faith.


And I expressed appreciation for the things I’d learned up until that point in my life. I said things in my prayers like, “I appreciate you giving me the experiences to learn courage. I know I can handle this because you strengthen me and you always give me what I need exactly when I need it,” and I meant those words.  


And then, think about praying from a place of appreciation. A prayer of thanksgiving. A prayer of thankfulness. A prayer of already knowing. A prayer of Affirming. A prayer of Enough-ness. Because when you are focused in your life on something for which you are already truly thankful for, the talents you’ve been given, the teachers, the mentors - whatever it is, and then you’re making your statement of thanksgiving, it’s a sure way of locking into that energy of having what you want, and then extending it further, and you become a match for more of what you DO want. Your heart opens and expands and it finds courage. Courage is faith. Faith is courage. They are very intertwined.


Our highest self, our Inner Being knows our value. It knows our desire and the joy we will have at being alive at this time, in the body we are in, and figuring it out, and aligning, and resonating in the awesome experience it is to be alive. 


What we focus on will expand. And so we learn to focus on the courage that is already there inside of us. And then the courage expands.


This is how we handle the bad things that come into our lives with courage.

I don’t know how random the Universe is or not. 

And I’m learning it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to try to control the Universe, the things that are outside of me, that are outside of my control. 

My only job is to control what I have stewardship over, which is what I choose to think. 


The truth is, I CAN handle anything, because I already have. 

That is the truth. 


What is the alternative? 


Deciding ahead of time that I can’t handle it?

What is the upside in deciding ahead of time we can’t handle one more thing? To protect ourselves from pain? Do we want to protect ourselves or prepare ourselves?


And same with our children. Do we want to protect them or prepare them? 


And so that’s what I mean by more faith. 


It takes courage to raise kids. 

It takes courage to be a mom, to be responsible for another human being. 

It takes courage to say yes to your creativity, or to live with chronic pain, or a diagnosis that changes the way you thought life would go, or to heal from seasons of grief and loss. Or to be a musician. Or to write a song. Or to remodel a house, to knock down a wall. To pick out a paint color. To drop your kid off at college in a new city. 


And lots of moms have anxiety in their roles as parents. I get it. 


If this is you, 

Ask yourself this really great question: What am I really afraid of? 


What am I REALLY afraid of?

And my question for you, if you are afraid, is why does your growth have to be on a timeline? Where is that coming from? Where has that become a rule? And is it evidence based or a Truth? Most of the time, when we fact check, we’ll find that there’s no evidence that we should be learning faster than we are. When we are in the comparison trap, it robs us of our joy. 


And what if your fears are based on worst case scenarios? People who are dis-couraged are really good at imagining worst case scenarios. 


As you do this work, you are learning how to Be the Boss of your brain. Tell it what to think, versus letting it think on default from fear. 


We want to notice the fear sentences in our brain, what are they saying? Fact check them. The fear feeling might always be the initial call of courage. 


The goal isn’t to not feel fear. And Waiting for the fear to go away before you feel courage is like waiting for the grass to stop growing before you mow it. Whatever it is that you want to have courage for, it’s never going to feel perfect enough beforehand. But when you tap into your inner being, she is very wise, she is loving, she knows what you need. And she is very courageous and brave, already. 


Find evidence for the times you’ve already been brave. You’ll find those times, if you pause and take the time to remember. Let yourself resonate in the good feeling that comes from recalling those times. Then act, speak affirming words, pray and go forward from that energy. 


This is how you dare greatly and answer the call to be a liiiiiittttle more brave with what life is asking of you. This is how you grow in more faith. I love you my friend. Thanks for being here.


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