I never thought I would come to a place in my life where I would be writing about the question, What is prayer.

It is my intention to develop a 10 Day Prayer Challenge which will introduce you to prayer as a practice that can revolutionize your way of BEING in the world.

The plan is to develop this challenge as a series of blog posts and then offer these as a collection of reflections sent via email over the said 10-day period.

So, to begin with I want to outline what I think will be the structure of this 10 Day Prayer Practice challenge as it stands around August 2021.

The idea is that this 10 Day Prayer Practice challenge explores the questions that I find being asked on the internet in relation to prayer.

What is Prayer Challenge Outline

  1. Prayer as Normally Understood.
  2. Prayer and Intention.
  3. How to Pray.
  4. The Gold Standard Approach to Prayer
  5. The 3 Steps to Heaven.
  6. The Further 3 Steps to Heaven.
  7. The Benefits of Prayer.
  8. Prayer versus Meditation.
  9. The Challenges of the Prayer Journey.
  10. Recommended Prayer Support.

This is the outline that I propose to explore in creating this 10 Day Prayer Challenge. It is likely to change as the process unfolds (as from 2nd August, 2021).

Once this 10 Day Prayer Challenge is written I will then create a sign-up form that will allow you to have this 10-Day Prayer Challenge delivered by email over a period of 10 days.

So, let’s begin this exploration into a practice that I think can and does revolutionise your life.

What is Prayer – The REAL Quest-I-On

what is prayer

Prayer is a poetic relationship with existence. – Osho

If you search the internet of the phrase “What is prayer?” you will discover that on average, there are about 6,600 people searching for this term each month.

To explore this question, let me share some of the characteristics of prayer that I think most people will agree is part of that everyday understanding.

  • Prayer is talking to God.
  • God is separate from the person doing the talking.
  • Usually engaged with at a time of crisis.
  • Most of the time prayer goes unanswered.

So, let’s explore each of these characteristics that are foundational to the understanding of prayer that is the experience of many or even most people.

This is were most of us begin our understanding of the practice of prayer.

Most of us never explore this practice in any depth and if we do the above approach is the one, we have been taught to follow.

I share with you in the 10 Day Prayer Challenge this approach is why prayer (for the most part doesn’t work).

Level of Prayer 1 – Talking to God

levels of prayer

The primary focus of most prayer is asking God for something that you want to happen or want to change in your life.

This is called petitionary prayer.  This is Level 1 prayer.

It is what most people understand by prayer. We partition, plead or beg God for many things that are clearly not going to be granted.

  • Prayers for victory in battle.
  • Prayers for the health of a nation state.
  • Prayers for economic advancement.
  • Prayers for a religious leader or head of state.

Sometimes it appears that such prayers are answered.

Victory in battle is usually because of the strength of the victorious forces rather than any intervention by that force given the name God.

The modern mystic Caroline Myss in her audio series from Sounds True on The Power of Prayer calls this the “Where’s my stuff” approach to prayer.

This is the 1st level of prayer and it is the level where we all begin.  When we begin to awaken to the flow of Divine Intention we move beyond this approach.

I cover the different levels of prayer later in this 10 Day Prayer Challenge. (3 Steps to Heaven).

Separate from God

why does god not answer prayers for healing

We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. ― Thich Nhat Hanh

This idea and feeling that we are separate from God is a foundational aspect of prayer for most everyone who has ever prayed.

This is the core reason why most prayer does not work. There is the idea that there is the one praying and the idea of the separate ONE being prayed too.

The analogy I like to use to describe this approach is that of an electric kettle.

The way in which prayer is practiced is the equivalent of trying to boil water in an electric kettle without ever plugging it into the electric socket.

To have prayer impact your life you must be willing to learn how to connect the kettle to the socket. You must be willing to connect to the Source rather than live your life separate from the Source.

The problem is that those who you have given authority for directing your prayer life have never learned how to plug into the Source.

It isn’t in their interest to have you do so.

If religious institutions that promote the practice of prayer were to teach you how to connect to the Divine you wouldn’t need them and their cashflow would dry up.

Wherever separation disappears, prayer appears. When you become one with the whole of existence, that is prayer. – Osho

Petitionary Prayer – A Time of Crisis

when god doesn't answer prayers for healing

Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart. – Martin Luther

Most people only turn to prayer at a time of crisis.

The invitation from this 10 Day Prayer Challenge is to invite you to make the practice of prayer a way of BEING in the world.

This way of BEING in the world according to the mystic Joel Goldsmith (The Infinite Way) will contribute to the reduction of around 80% of the problems that most people face within the world of time and space related to relationship, money and health.

This 10 Day Challenge will invite you to understand and live the strange invitation from St. Paul that says, “Pray Always.”

This doesn’t mean you go around talking to God all day. It means that you live as an energetic invitation to the flow of the Divine as it is intended to be expressed through you.

You as a wave on the Infinite Ocean of Love flow from the energy of the Ocean.

There is less and less doing and more and more BEING.  You ALLOW yourself to be created through in the way that LOVE always intended for you and as you.

This is prayer as the practice of casting your nets to the right where you experience an abundance that is in free flow.

Casting your net to the right means that you live and trust in BEING who you are created to be.

You live your life connected to the transpersonal and just someone who lives solely from the limitation of the personal.

The Why of Unanswered Prayer

when god doesn't answer prayers for healing

There are spiritual teachers who will assure you that every prayer is answered.  Its just that sometimes and even most times the answer is “No.”

Personally, speaking I don’t know how they can make this declaration.  How do they KNOW?

My view from the exploration and practice of prayer is that the reason why prayers are not answered is due to the disconnect from the Source.

Prayers are answered to the extent that you become available to the prayer that is being prayed through you from Divine intention.

Consider that last sentence as the KEY to experiencing prayer that works.

This is not a focus on crisis intervention but an invitation to living as a moment to moment invitation to grace experience.

This is what it means to pray always. You are always open to receiving inspiration (the action of being connected to Spirit)

It isn’t talking to God. It isn’t you as a wave dictating to the Ocean.

It is you recognizing that you are a wave on the Ocean of Eternal Love but never separate from the Ocean.  You are the movement of the Ocean of Eternity within the limitation of time.

To the degree you FEEL separate from God or Source or the Tao, whatever you wish to call it is the degree to which prayer goes unanswered.

This is not a punishment.  It isn’t a judgment.

It is an energetic experience based on your belief in your sense of separation from Source. We all have that sense of separation but this is the experience of being unplugged.

The practice of prayer as understood and taught by most religion is the practice of praying from the place of being unplugged.

Don’t expect to get much by way of results.

Prayer as a Way of BEING New

prayer for renewal

This 10 Day Prayer Practice Challenge introduces you to prayer in the way in which I have come to define it.

Prayer is a Way of Being in the World – Tony Cuckson.

This Way of Being in the World is the way of flow and allowing. It is a foundational way of living your life in communion with the Divine.

I will be sharing more about what this “communion with the Divine” means in that aspect of the challenge which is “The 3 Steps to Heaven.”

This is a turn around in your way of viewing the practice of prayer.

It is focused on BEING rather than doing.

It is focused on connection rather than separation. It challenges the fundamental belief that is the cause of most suffering in the world and that is the belief in the sense of the separate personal self.

It challenges the idea that you must earn the Love of the Divine. This 10 Day Challenge invites you to the understanding of what it means “to pray always.”

To pray always is where you live as an invitation to the flow of Divine Presence as it is intended to be expressed through you.  Most all the crisis disappears.  What remains keeps you awake.

You become a channel for the prayer of the Divine as it created you to express through you for its greater glory. This has benefits beyond belief for the way in which your life unfolds.

You become a flowering of Divine intention. It becomes your way of Being in the World.  It is not a way of words but a Way in which the Word (Divine Intention) flows and delights in you.

Journey of Prayer

effortless yoga

This 10 Day Prayer Challenge is being written as from the beginning of August 2021.  It often takes more than a day to write, edit and add images to one day of content.

Below are links to those days of the challenge that have been written as of 4th August 2021.

  • Day 1 – What is Prayer.
  • Day 2 – Ask and it Is Given.
  • Day 3 – Believe and Receive.
  • Day 4 – Prayer and Intention
  • Day 5 – The Premier Prayer Practice.