I use prayer as my way of setting intention with the Universe, my higher power. I never felt comfortable “worshipping” a long-bearded man sitting on a cloud and calling that my god, so I formulated a spiritual concept that I truly believe in instead.
Prayer is like an affirmation, a way of affirming what kind of spiritual course I want to live by. Aligning my thoughts with the energy of what I do believe in helps shift my energy, and I find I can meet calamity with serenity more easily. The tiny annoyances stop picking at me, and I feel myself at one with spiritual truths more easily. I don’t react; I can pause. It doesn’t change my circumstances, but it can help me be open to changing the way I think about them and how I feel about them. That’s what prayer does. It lets the Universe guide me.
When I first got sober through AA, I quickly and judgmentally noticed that the prayers were Christian and I shuttered. I didn’t want to revisit the doctrines of a religion I didn’t believe in, specifically because my Catholic school and church interpreted the concepts of Christianity in a way that upset me as a child. Eventually, I found a spirituality I believe in, and can now clearly see the spiritual messages in these religious prayers.
I’ve found countless sponsees and friends felt the same way, and that the language of these suggested prayers barred them from connecting with their higher power. If AA asks me to formulate my own concept of spirituality, why not prayer, too?
So here are two common prayers I translated into spiritual terms to help anyone who gets stuck on the Christian-based language of the originals. They’re written with messages found in philosophical Taoism and A Course in Miracles, both of which I study as my spiritual foundation. If these resonate with you, I highly suggest reading some of that literature. I hope they help you get closer to what you believe in! (Lines of the original prayers included in parentheses).
If you would like any other prayers translated to spiritual terms, e-mail me (email@example.com)! Whatever you’re struggling with is probably what someone else is struggling with, too.
My higher power, who exists everywhere and works through everything, (Our Father who art in heaven,)
I acknowledge that you are a power greater than me. (Hallow be Thy name.)
Grant me the willingness to connect with your energy and spirit, (Thy Kingdom come,)
And let thy will, not mine, be done in all areas of my life, (Thy Will be done,)
Through nature, in love, and through the energy of the universe. (On earth as it is in heaven.)
Help me to stay in the present moment, (Give us this day our daily bread,)
And help me to forgive myself for any harm I’ve done to others, (And forgive us our trespasses)
As I become willing to forgive those whom I believe have harmed me. (As we forgive those who trespass against us.)
Help me to stop listening to my disease, to not act in my characters defects, and to not use drink and drug or ego as a solution, no matter how comfortable these escapes are for me, so that I may be a channel of your message in service to others, (And lead us not into temptation,)
And grant me the willingness to connect to you for all things big and small, bad and good, and to let go of my ego so I may live in sunlight of the spirit. (But deliver us from evil.)
I know that this spiritual love has always existed deep down within me, that I am powerless against my addictions, ego, and my defects without actively seeking a spiritual connection. I know that consciously living in this spiritual solution offers me a timeless and limitless serenity I choose to block myself from when I listen to my disease and ego. For living happily, joyously, and freely are the Promises of this solution and are not barred from those who seek. (For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and ever.)
THIRD STEP PRAYER
Higher power, I turn my ego-driven willpower and the circumstances in life over to you and accept the path you have laid out for me, (God, I offer myself to thee)
because no matter how joyous, painful, or infuriating, I trust that this path is leading me to something better and is nurturing my spiritual growth. So, plant me where you want me to grow. (to build with me and do with me as that wilt.)
Help me to not act from my character defects, from my maladjusted coping mechanisms that hinder my spiritual growth, in all situations big or small, (relieve me of the bondage of self,)
so my mind can be quiet enough to hear spiritual guidance and take action that aligns with my values and the greater love of all things, instead of harming others.(that I may better do thy will.)
Please help me heal those deepest wounds, many of which I have been innocently carrying since childhood, (Take away my difficulties)
so that my healing can be a beacon of hope for others who are suffering, and for those who have been deliberately placed in my path for me to be of service to, (that victory over them may bear witness to those whom I would help)
that it shows them that recovery from anything and everything is possible with an active practice of spiritual faith. (of thy power, thy love, and thy way of life.)
Remind me that it will all be okay in the end, that no pain is purposeless, and help me be willing to continually turn my ego-driven willpower over to spiritual care in all situations so that all thoughts and attitudes can be transformed to love and thereby shift my experience of them, releasing me to a life of light. Help me to see your loving intention in all my circumstances. (May I do that I will always.)
Disclaimer Charlotte Grey does not claim any professional training in social work or psychiatry. The suggestions listed on this page and on this website are meant to inspire supplemental treatment options for self-help. It is recommended that professional treatment be combined with any solutions discussed herein for suspected or known psychological or psychiatric malady, and that the content of this website not be used as substitute for professional treatment.
writing © Charlotte Grey Writings
*For writing requests, please contact Charlotte via e-mail.