Everyone has needs and desires. It is natural to want things. But just because we want pretty things, wish for a new job, or hope for positive changes in our lives, our desiring them doesn't mean getting them will make us any happier or help us raise our consciousness.
For the Highest Good of All ConcernedThe phrase "for the highest good" has become commonplace tagged at the end of prayers because of a belief that there is a higher power (either outside of ourselves, or deep within ourselves) that better understands what will serve us best. Many people have been taught to ask only for what we want IF it is for the highest good. The second part of the phrase of All Concerned is added when our prayer intention is for someone else or involves more than one person.
Universal Grab BagJust be warned that when you ask for your highest good to be served that you might be surprised by what you get. Remember that grab bag you purchased from the flea market for $1.00 guaranteed to have a value of more than $5.00 inside? And it did! But the bag was not filled with things you would have elected to spend your hard-earned money on. If you had known in advance what you were actually buying you would not have taken that dollar bill out of your wallet. Not all surprises are delightful. Are you okay with The Universe gifting you with a big ol' bag of laundry needing sorting, pretreatments for stains, elbow grease scrubbing, hanging out to dry, and then folded and put away neatly? Some of the best gifts The Universe hands over to us can have not-so-fun surprises hidden in them. Not-so-fun isn't necessarily a bad thing though. Those highest-good answers to our prayers can involve a lot of work. They are likely "issues" that need clearing or "lessons" that cannot be learned except through difficult situations. You've heard of The University of Hard Knocks haven't you? Spiritual lessons are vast, they can test us to the very limits of our human frailties. All for the highest good...
I Ask for This or Something Better"I ask for this or something better" is another phrase sometimes used in prayer requests. This language sounds great too! Why limit what you can receive by asking for less, when something better or more valuable can be gotten? Simply because we cannot conceive bigger dreams in our minds, this shouldn't block us, right? A bigger-bang-for-your-buck sort of mentality might be involved in using this statement. Or, perhaps you aren't really sure what you are asking for is right for you, so you are merely tacking on the words "something better" as an insurance policy that you will get everything that you have coming to you. Are you prepared for getting more than you could possibly imagine? The words "be careful what you ask for" comes to mind.
Limiting PrayersValerie (not her real name, because I don't think she would appreciate me calling her out by name) is a dear woman who confided to me that during her prayerful communications with "The Creator" she routinely asks for "small lessons only please." Valerie explained to me that although she wants to grow spiritually, she isn't prepared to be burdened by the tough stuff. She chooses taking on itty-bitty life lessons rather than tackling a full class load. She signs up for one or two spiritual credits at a time in her life school classes. She is perfectly content to grow at a slower pace if that means her struggles are lessened. Admittedly, she doesn't handle stress very well. I sometimes wonder what Valerie's struggles may have been from her past that prompted her decision to limit spiritual growth-- or at least attempt to control any stresses surfacing in her life.
Don't Ask for Anything, Simply TrustAnother acquaintance of mine told me once that he never asks for anything when he prays. He trusts that all his needs will be taken care of without asking... He figures God, or a high power knows best-- no need to ask. Perhaps this is a better way... our words and meanings won't get jumbled up, fouling up intentions if we simply trust.
Woman Praying Photo: Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / Getty Images
Note: This article was written with my best intentions, please take it with a grain of salt. How you pray is your business.