Most people who practice prayer, whether it be daily, weekly or once in a while, believe it to be a positive force – something that is beneficial, helpful, healing – and indeed there is much to be said for the power of this spiritual support system.
However, there are times when prayer can in fact have the opposite effect – it can actually be a hindrance, be detrimental and negatively impact the person for whom that prayer is intended.
I came across an example of this the other day when I was giving a client of mine an Intuitive Touch Healing. She is working to heal a possible recurrence of cancer. As I worked with her, I noticed a large ball of white energy out in front of her stomach and abdomen and I became aware of all the people – friends, acquaintances, loved ones – who are praying for her.
On first appearances, you might think of this as a good thing – that she is receiving support and assistance from those who love and care for her. However, this ball of energy was filled with so much fear, pain and anger – the emotions of those praying for her – that it was essentially preventing my client from being able to connect with and heal her own body.
Which brings me to the intention behind the prayers. Intention is the energy that can create a negative impact in the prayer process and have a detrimental effect.
Perhaps you have experienced a visit from representatives of a church or religious order whose mission it is to spread the word of their faith, to recruit parishioners or followers, or to offer salvation.
These church and religious groups routinely hold prayer circles, meetings, vigils and the like in order to pray for those who they believe need assistance and need to be shown the path to heaven.
Even if you politely refuse their assistance when they visit your home, you may well end up on their prayer list, whether you want to be there or not.
Although they believe the intention of their prayers is in your best interests, it is exactly that intention which can interfere with your free will and spiritual freedom. The intention of their prayer is based on a judgment they have formed about you and where they believe you need to be, which is usually to come into alignment with their belief system.
This kind of prayer is not created from a space of recognizing your individuality, your personal spiritual growth, your autonomy or your ability to create your own path. This kind of prayer is actually an invasion of your space and can get in your way.
So, when you decide to pray for a friend, loved one or group of people, even if you simply wish to help that person heal, become well or overcome the challenges and obstacles they are facing, it is important to be mindful of your intention and where your prayers are coming from.
If possible, ask permission to pray for them, and ask how they would like you to pray for them. Create a conscious awareness in your prayers. Be mindful of whether you are in fact praying in support of what that person wants, or are your prayers more about what you want. In other words, are you praying because you fear for them or because of the pain you feel when you learn of their situation?
The most important aspect of any prayer process is to be conscious that each person you are praying for is a unique individual spirit on their own path and seeking their own answers. Prayer can be a powerful support mechanism and great validation when practiced with consciousness, and when spiritual freedom and free will are at the heart of your prayers.
Unconscious, unsolicited prayers created out of judgment or fear interfere with free will and deny an individual or group of people their personal spiritual growth and freedom.
It is this kind of prayer that has the potential for harm.