Does Prayer Really Work?

Prayer Opens Your Self to the Divine Source

Guest Author: Christine Jensen

Prayer is an opening up of our hearts to the source of divine power so that a flow of transformational love is able to express through you. Done properly, prayer can work miracles.

So what is missing when it doesn’t work?


Without being in the mood of love, prayer doesn’t move out from you. Love gives the prayer transformational power.

When we prayer for others, and especially when we pray for ourselves, unfortunately, we often want we think should happen. We are looking at the circumstances from a place of deep, personal opinion.

We all would love to make the world conform to our insights; but how unfortunate the world would be if that is how prayer worked.

You have to turn to your source, Essence, God or whatever term you are comfortable with and surrender up your personal opinion. Ask the source to reveal her opinion, her love, or her will. This practice leads to a much more powerful prayer and an attuned and happy life.

Go to your source in a humble, open manner in your prayer and offer up the situation that you are concerned about. Then be open to receiving the loving response you have asked for as this is a critical part of successful prayer.

As we learn to pray in this unassuming manner, we then become empty of resistance to source and instead become attuned and as a result, are open to receiving the results of the prayer.

If you have questions about what is the best possible outcome regarding the situation or person you are praying for, ask your source in prayer. “What is your will? Please show me what you want for this person or situation.” Then be still and receive with an open heart.

Let’s say you have feelings that are getting in the way. Maybe you feel guilty or frustrated because you have prayed before and have not seen the results you wanted. This means you are not clear and still in a state of “regular” consciousness versus a higher, more attuned state.

Sense your relationship with source as much as you can and then sense your relationship with the person you are concerned about and bring that person into your relationship with your source. “Lord please heal or help this person if it be your will.”  Don’t limit the situation by your own suggestions.

This kind of prayer requires you to go into a profound sense of compassion or empathy for humanity; a feeling of love for God and empathy with humanity so deep that you sense the other person’s being.

In other words, suddenly you feel like you are inside the person, like your face has their features or your body has their features.  Keep in mind that this is not the best practice for someone who is just learning to pray. It is possible to absorb someone else’s sickness or troubles.

If you are a beginner, start with feeling love. You care about someone so deeply you feel as if you are inside their body within their condition, then what you can do is take your hand, hold it as if blessing this person, or just think of the Lord holding her hand and blessing her. Use words such as, “May your love, blessings and grace be on this person.”

A great Indian saint by the name of Sri Ramakrishna used to think of the Lord as having form such as a loving Mother and he would think of himself as her child. He would then make an offering to the Mother of something that he loved. For example, once he wanted to pray for a devotee of his that traveled with him often and was not well so he offered Mother three ripe coconuts and said, “You know how I like coconuts Ma, who will I talk to when I go to Calcutta?”

Puja prayer is a way that enables people to sense the play, or what Sri Ramakrishna referred to as the Lila, between the individual and the Lord. Sri Ramakrishna felt this was a powerful way to pray for someone.

Invoke the Lord’s presence however it feels good to you. The offering should be something you care about and is symbolic of your love and offered up with devotion. Say something like, “I offer this up in <name> and may the benefits and blessing go to help her/him.”

Begin with deep meditation on the Lord of your heart and enter into a mood of love or communion. Feeling this love deeply say, “Lord I am enjoying life sweetly, but the people in Africa are miserable. What can be done for these people who are starving, sick or in harm’s way?”

Be still and often you will receive some kind of inspiration about what you can do to help. Bhava prayer is like a conversation with your source. If you lose the mood of love, then you have become too objective. Try to get back to the mood of love.

If the Bhava (mood of love) gets more intense, beautiful and sweet, then your prayer is not disturbing the process of this marvelous relationship. Mystics like to have a picture of the person they are praying for and touch it to their third eye.  This creates a spiritual tie with that person.

Since the Divine abides within you, you are unleashing that spiritual activity from within to participate in this work of creation.  When you are praying for someone else, you are letting the Divine within you express with your full cooperation in the life of that person. 

The source within us strives to express further creation through every individual, including you.  Anyone who willingly cooperates is an instrument of good. That’s how the Saints do it.