We are forever being pulled outward into the world of position, possession, pleasure, and away from any kind of inner experience. Prayer is intended to be the deliberate, conscious inner work to help turn us in an inward direction.
The seven simple but powerful prayers that follow are ways in which you may begin working to become inwardly active in your life. This new kind of prayer-in-action changes your perception by turning your attention from constantly looking for ways to fix life by struggling outside of yourself, to where the real problem –and the real solution — exists: within you.
- Refuse to defend yourself when anyone else wrongly accuses you.
- Deliberately dare to slow down your life when everything in you — or around you — is screaming “rush!”
- Do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it.
- Walk away from shallow social circles where gossip, sarcasm, and one-upmanship is the coin of the realm.
- Allow that uncomfortable silence to remain unfilled in any embarrassing moment.
- Give up the last word to someone else who is obviously glad to take it.
- Purposely create difficult tasks for yourself that heighten your inner awareness.
There’s nothing like going against what “you” want in the moment to help keep you awake in that moment. Pressure makes you jump in and act against yourself (and others). Don’t jump in. Turn around instead.
The key to these seven prayers-in-action is to use the events in your life to become an inner-oriented man or woman. And here’s the real reason why you should be willing to make these seeming sacrifices of what you take to be your self-interest: Inward is where upward begins.