How to Pray and get a Real Answer

I was raised as a Christian. There are many things about Christian faiths in general that I love. For example, I loved learning the teachings of Jesus as a child, of the prophets throughout the ages. I felt truth there. I loved learning the discipline of praying every day.

As a young boy, I had many spiritual experiences–the culminating of which was seeing Jesus appear to me when I was seven years old. That was wonderful.

But then came the great dark.

I was a good kid, but I think one of the problems with the culture was its emphasis on guilt and shame and on never being enough. This is simply untrue and not how God works. So I think that when I did mess up, there was such an emphasis on never getting back to that pure place as a child that somewhere along the way I lost that beautiful connection I had as a boy.

When I was twenty-five, I began seriously questioning everything. The standard answers I received in Sunday school didn’t answer the questions in my soul. One of the things I wondered was why it was so hard to connect to God. Why when the scriptures promised “Ask and ye shall receive” was that simply not happening?

Well, I think a big part of it had to do with what my own personal beliefs were. I didn’t realize at the time that there’s a difference between worthiness and purity. I didn’t realize at the time that worthiness has nothing to do with it; everyone is worthy to talk to God and receive answers. There were a few others, but those were some of the major ones. The other component was I needed to come to a place where I was willing to completely drop everything in order to come to God (there is an exception and that is dropping my wife and children–that was a place I was not willing to go–and God was good with that). I was willing to drop my religion, my career, my dreams, everything in order to connect. I craved that connection as much as I craved food and water. You have to understand, being willing to drop my religion wasn’t an easy thing. The culture I grew up in taught that if I did that, I would be damning myself for eternity. Eternity. Not only would I be damning myself, I’d be damning my wife (unless she left me), my children, their children, and so on. For someone who has taken spirituality very seriously throughout my entire life, this wasn’t an easy place to get to. But, there were too many things in the religion I grew up in that contradicted each other. So I got asking questions. Lots of them. I didn’t set out to prove anyone or anything wrong. Nor do I now. I set out seeking for truth. And once I was willing–just willing, mind you–to let go of pretty much everything, magic happened.

I started actually getting answers. At first the answers came in the form of feelings and impressions, which wasn’t all that unusual, since that’s what I grew up with. Only, what started happening is I began sensing a real connection. I experimented with various techniques, and eventually discovered what I’m about to share with you.

It’s been awesome.

Now, with almost every prayer I have, I have a real, two-way conversation. It’s wonderful. I’ve been given exact prescriptions of what to give my children so that they would become well, with a daily account of what would happen each day for ten days during their healing process. For example, two of my children came down with rashes. We didn’t have money or time to go to the doctor, and so I prayed and asked what we could do. I was at work and went off where I wouldn’t be disturbed for a few minutes and said my prayer. I was told in plain and simple English to give them food-grade diatomaceous earth for ten days, tapering it off as the days passed. I was told to give my son either a teaspoon or half a teaspoon on the first day (it’s been awhile and I don’t remember now exactly) and then to cut that in half for the next two days, and then cut that in half again for the remaining days. My daughter’s was similar only she needed the heavier dose for a couple days longer. With each, I was told there would be a marked improvement the first day, and that by day three most all of the symptoms would be gone and that by day five they would be completely normal, but to keep it up for the remainder of the days so that it would give their systems time to essentially reboot. There were a few more details, but everything played out exactly how I was told.

When I sprayed protective coatings on industrial buildings for a living, there was one particular job where it was clear we were going to run out of product and needed to order more. We had only a few minutes to get the ordering done so that the product would be there without days of interruption. We also weren’t at the site to estimate, and we didn’t know the dimensions off hand, and even if we did, we wouldn’t have been able to calculate what we’d sprayed and what we hadn’t unless we were there and didn’t have the time constraint. It took me a few minutes to calm my nerves because this was going to be a real test, right? If I got the number wrong, we could be out thousands of dollars. The product came in five gallon buckets. Once I was able to connect, I explained my situation and asked and was told, “Order eighteen. With eighteen you’ll be able to finish and Tom will be able to finish his touch-ups. Your brother will say eighteen to twenty (he was the one ordering; I work for him), and Hal (the manufacturer) will give you some extra.” I told my brother in a text “18.” It played out exactly as I was told. Hal sent us twenty-four buckets. We used seventeen, and Tom, the project manager at the site, would use one more bucket to do touch-ups after we’d left. My brother thought we’d need forty buckets of product, and I thought we’d need probably ten. We were both wrong, but God knew. And he told me.

There are a ton of other examples I could give, but I hope you get the idea.

The question now is, how do I connect?

Well, it took months of experimenting. Probably six months. It’s entirely possible that those months were required in order for me to build a conscious psychic link. Or, it’s entirely possible that I needed that time to focus. Or it’s entirely possible all those months were just me doing it the wrong way for me. I don’t know. I don’t even know if my way is the way for just me or if it’ll work for everyone. But here’s what I do know, when I pray now, God talks back to me. I hear his voice inside in plain English, feel his peace and love, and have a conversation. It’s great.

The secret here is that I didn’t have a time-line of when I had to connect, and I sought understanding. I didn’t think, “Okay, I have to have profound spiritual experiences within six months.” I enjoyed the process, and I continually experimented. So basically, I measured my success by how much I understood rather than measuring it by the results per se.

Here’s how I do it:

The first thing is to breathe for a moment and relax. If you’re too stressed or anxious or lust for the result–it won’t work. So relax. I then entwine my fingers so that my thumbs are parallel with each other, and then I place my thumbs against my heart center. If you’re not familiar with it, look up heart chakra. It’s basically on the sternum between the nipples, though I’ve found that I can go a bit higher over the thymus and still feel a connection. It’s not essential that your back is straight, but I’ve discovered that if you straighten your spine, it’s typically easier to connect.

Next, there’s a distinctive feeling you get when you’re actually talking to someone. Take a moment and feel for it. What does it feel like to talk to someone when you’re on the phone? You know you’re talking to someone; you just know it. There’s also a feeling associated with it. Focus on the feeling, because when you pray, if you’re not actually talking to God, you can’t connect. Before, when I’d pray, I’d thought I was praying to him, but essentially, discovered that I was talking to the great void. I suspect most people do as I had done, because most prayers I’ve heard, I haven’t felt that special connection. This isn’t me being judgmental or rude or arrogant at all. When I’m honest with myself, I haven’t felt it with most prayers. But, once I learned how, I noticed the difference; others noticed the difference with my prayers too. With that said though, it doesn’t matter what others notice, so long as you notice the difference.

Next, while I say his name–I typically say “Heavenly Father” or “the true God”–I imagine lightning striking me. Why lightning? Ever noticed how often lightning is associated with divinity in holy writ? Whenever an angel shows up, there’s some sort of reference to lightning or thunder. Whenever deity shows up in the Bible (or at least a lot of the time) there’s an association with lightning, whether that be voice, or eyes, or raiment, or countenance. Now, there may be a few times when the writers didn’t mention it, but that’s not the point. The point is that it happens so frequently that I began paying attention. Quite literally, when lightning strikes, it’s connecting heaven and earth. In mythological theory, lightning is a symbol of divinity. So, it made me think, what if I imagined lightning striking me when I said his name? The effect was almost instantaneous. I definitely felt a connection and knew, just knew, my prayers were being heard. Even before I had actual conversations with God, I could feel the connection and couldn’t deny it. Before I learned this, I’d wondered if he actually heard me. I really wondered. After doing this, I always knew. I also throw in a feeling, like a little zing as the lightning strikes me and returns (because that’s what it does in real life, it strikes and returns and it’s the return trip that we typically can see). Sometimes, I imagine the lightning coming from the sky; sometimes, I imagine the sky with storm clouds; sometimes, I imagine a celestial city before hand, and the lightning’s coming from it. I’m not sure which method works the best, but I have found that if I imagine the lightning striking me while I’m saying the name and also feeling it strike, I can make the connection. Also, when I close my prayer and say “Amen” I imagine lightning connecting my heart to God’s heart.

The word “Amen” means to seal into God. Most use it now simply as an agreement, but it’s actually a word of power. I’m serious. Even in the Bible, the resurrected Lord is referred to as “the Amen” (that’s Rev. 3:14 btw). So not only is it a word of power, it’s also a divine name. Don’t use it lightly. If I don’t agree with something someone is saying, I definitely won’t say amen–because now I understand what the word means. In my church congregation, it’s common courtesy to say “amen” after every talk, ever sermon, every prayer–without giving the word a single thought. Well, if there are things that that person is saying, and you don’t agree with it in your heart of hearts–don’t say amen to it. Don’t. Because, again, the word “amen” means to seal into God. So if someone says “we don’t see big miracles today,” and you don’t want that to be your experience, don’t say ament to it. After you’re able to connect to God, and if for some reason you can’t (too stressed or whatever) don’t say amen after your prayer.

Alright, so then the next thing, and this is probably the most important is after you do the above steps, let the image of God come into your mind and let his voice come into your mind. You don’t strain; you don’t force; you allow and surrender. This is probably the most esoteric of the steps, but there is a big difference between forcing the image of God to come into your mind, and allowing it. Simply think of God, again don’t force just think, and then let him come. He will come. I typically will allow the image of him to come into my mind, and then I’ll ask “are you there?” And I’ll wait for a response. I remember I was sitting at my dining room table in my old house, saying a prayer, and I surrendered, really surrendered, and all of a sudden, God popped into my head. I was shocked, but there he was. Once that initial connection is established, it becomes easier and easier to connect. And if you’re wondering if you’ve connected, you’ll know when you do. You’ll feel it. Also, remember, the more you trust, the more you let go of your lust for result, the faster and easier you’ll be able to connect and form a wonderful relation with God. If you constantly doubt and be skeptical, you can’t connect. Connecting to God requires trust. I can’t stress the above enough.

The last thing is that when you ask him for something, even during your conversations, after you’ve asked, feel–really feel–the relief of having what you asked for. So, if you ask to be healed, feel and imagine the relief that you actually got what you asked for. It’s a good feeling, and it’s peaceful. It’s also easy because you know what relief feels like, you know what it feels like to have received something you’ve asked (anyone) for. Trying to figure out what it would feel like to be smarter or prettier or what have you can be so abstract that it becomes confusing. But if you just imagine the relief of having your prayer answered, and then fuel that imagination with feeling, you’ll get it.

That’s my process.

To recap:

Relax.

Entwine fingers so that thumbs are together and parallel, then place thumbs against your heart.

Imagine lightning striking you at the same time you say “God” or “Heavenly Father.”

Surrender. And allow the image of God to come into your mind.

I can back up all of the above steps with passage after passage of holy writ, except for the hand position. If you’re interested, I can provide several references. However, putting my hands in such a way activates the heart, which is one thing (activating/opening the heart) scripture talks about over and over and over and over. There could be other ways, this is just the way that I know works for me.

Now, it’s entirely possible that this way only works for me, and that another way will work for you. But I hope that by sharing this, it can give you something to try and also hope. I don’t have any high church callings or offices. I have a BA in English–does that count? 🙂