No matter who you are, I believe that everyone requests guidance or ‘prays’ to someone or something at some time in life. It doesn’t have to be about religion or religious beliefs either.

Rather, for me, that act of praying is an opening up to say that you need help and no one and nothing on earth can give you that help. So, as you read further, please know that when I use the word ‘prayer,’ I use it in the broadest of terms.

When I was young, I said prayers anecdotally, when a situation would arise that needed some guidance. If a friend had an accident or a family member was really ill. When I was in church. Then I grew up and got married and had children and prayed a lot more often.

Then, about halfway through the life of the marriage, when it began to be clear that it would likely not stand the test of time, I began to ask for help even more.

I asked for myself and my children and my husband. Every night I asked for a miracle to save our family. And, when I left my husband, I cried and prayed every night that I would get through this and come out alive on the other side. If you have been divorced, you know the feeling.

Of late though, my requests for help have changed in content, tone and urgency. I still pray, but I have added some structure that has really helped me end each day feeling settled and complete and at peace. I say my prayers in three ‘acts’: thank you, please, and oh, by the way.

Thank You

I start my prayers with my children, saying thank you for their safety, happiness and health. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Then I go down the list of thanks for the day.

Thank you for my friend’s surgery going well, and thank you for helping me find inspiration for my blog. I have many things to say thank you for, and I try to get them all in. I am a grateful girl.

Please

Now that I have given thanks, it is time to ask for some help. Please help my daughter do well on her exam. Please allow my son land safely.

Please help the homeless lady on my block stay warm tonight in these frigid temperatures. Please help my friend get over the pain of her extreme loss. Please let my car start tomorrow.

The request can be light or heavy, but it is still a prayer and I am asking for help. I am asking for a little extra attention. Please give me the courage to face a difficult situation. Please give me the patience to spend time on something that I would rather forget.

Oh, By the Way

Now that all the really important people are in place and taken care of, I use my reflection time to ask for guidance for myself. It is kind of like a chat.

If I am mulling over a decision, or if I need help figuring out a monetary issue, this is when I mention those things. It is big picture time to chat with a higher power. Critical thinking time, I guess.

Then, I am ready to hit the hay. I can put away the day and get a good night’s sleep. I’m sure you have heard that it is a good idea to keep a pad of paper and a pen next to the bed so if you think of something you might forget you can quickly write it down and take it off of your mind.

Well, this is a similar concept. For me, praying in an organized manner gives me a sense of peace. It takes some of the worries off my mind and helps me relax. Like everything else in my life, the older I get the more structure I like to have. So this routine falls right into place with my more organized lifestyle.

I would love to hear how you pray or ask for guidance and help. Would this three-step program work for you? Do you agree that asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness? Please share your thoughts below!

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