Update on 1/19/19: My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now. It is a #1 new release in several categories. I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream.
I loved talking with Jannecke Øinæs in a recent interview, and she challenged me to think about concepts in new ways. In other posts, I’ve briefly mentioned the prayers I felt during my near-death experience, but I wanted to write more about prayer.
Prayer: One of the saddest questions I’ve been asked by a reader of my blog is from someone wondering why prayer does not work in some cases. Prayer isn’t a way to manipulate reality; instead, it is more like a gentle, healing wind. When my spirit was out of form, I felt the prayers of people I knew, and the prayers that moved me the most were the ones that were full of love.
Maybe the best that we can do when we pray is to pray with deep, unconditional love and to pray for the highest good in any situation. Even if our vision of world peace and a deeper connection to nature is at odds with the world around us, even if we don’t have the power to immediately shift the world to a better place, we can embody the type of love we want to see and send this love to the world with our prayers.
This isn’t easy after tragedy, but the best stories are the ones that make us cry with a rare form of joy and awe. We are amazed by people who overcome incredible odds. We are amazed when love wins in the darkest of situations. I was surprised recently to see Tony Robbins talking more openly about the abuse he survived growing up, and how this abuse motivated him later to help others. In an article in Men’s Journal, he reveals,
“I really stopped feeling sorry for myself. I stopped blaming my mother for everything that was wrong in my life. She was addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs. She also was abusive and would smash my head into a wall or fill my mouth with liquid soap until I threw up because she thought I was acting out of line. I never talked about her while she was alive, and I still love her to this day. The fact is if my mother had been the mother I hoped for, I wouldn’t be the man I am proud to be today. All of this is inside me somewhere, driving me to visit 14 countries in a year and work 50 hours on a weekend. I suffered so much, I didn’t want anyone else to suffer and I was obsessed with finding answers. Now I am obsessed with having the answers and sharing those answers.”
Robbins also talks about the books that influenced his thinking, as well as his newest book.
How does prayer help others? It can give a lonely wanderer strength to make it to an oasis. Prayer can be the wind that carries the drunk safely home. Prayer can be a message to someone departing the planet like a secret note. It can be a nod of farewell or greeting, a bow of respect, or a heart shaped text from one mind to another.
I never liked listening to pompous, showy prayers spoken out loud in the churches I grew up attending. Even as a child, it was obvious to me that the majority of those prayers were about the ego of the one speaking. The one praying wanted others to see how much of the Bible he knew by heart. If the child wasn’t impressed, then there probably wasn’t much unconditional love attached to the prayer.
As a child and as an adult, I was moved not only by authentic prayers, but authentic deeds. I was always motivated and moved by those who transformed pain into a mission to help others. Robbins is a good example of that kind of mission.
Can we pray for angels to assist in certain situations? I know we can and should pray for their assistance. At different times in my life, I’ve been gifted the sight to see how many angels are around us all, and there are so many of them. To not call on angels is to miss out on a great resource. My angels were assistants in my surgery, and angels are available to us in dramatic situations and ordinary situations where we sometimes struggle. The medical medium suggests calling on specific angels for specific needs.
Why are some prayers answered and not others? Everyone struggles with this question, and the angels say to simply not struggle. When you are in a state of love, you are doing great things for your own physiology and psychology. The outcome is not as important as the act of being in a state of love and connection like a flower blooming. Reach for the sun, reach for your own nourishment, and shine. Be aware of the process of life, and send great love into the world.
Certainly, studies have proven that meditation and prayer can reduce crime when enough people are consistently anchoring that kind of peace in the world. You may not immediately see your prayer’s effects, but some tragedies might be avoided because of the authentic, loving prayers you pray. Light may dawn in the lives of those who would not have otherwise awakened.