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What It Really Means To Pray

young girl praying

How using our thoughts can help create change.

Growing up, I only associated prayer with religion. I was familiar with one type of prayer — the prayer of request, or supplication. To pray meant to ask for something. In fact, if you Google the word “prayer,” you’ll get hundreds of images of clasped hands,

seemingly begging for something.

The act of prayer isn’t only passive, beseeching, or religious. To pray is to align my thoughts with my Higher Power. When I pray, I’m connecting to something greater than myself and strengthening my energy. It may seem passive, but out of prayer comes right action. I’m given the guidance to do something, go somewhere, say something, and take the action I’m supposed to take in the world.

I often use affirmative prayer. I affirm what I know in my heart to be true no matter the situation.

A Course in Miracles says, “All thought creates form on some level.”

We may not see what form it takes, but every thought and every prayer has a corresponding vibration that goes out into the world.

Whether we believe it or not our thoughts do create. Whether we believe in the power of prayer or not, inspired action is the result of right thinking. We are powerful creators and when we align our thinking we are taking powerful action.

When I was coming to terms with my sexuality I asked God to help me not be gay. I thought I could “pray the gay away.” Then I met my first boyfriend and I fell in love. That night I stopped praying. Prayer for me equated religion and God didn’t love gay people. When I stopped the Universe didn’t cut me off. I was still creating energy and the world around me continued to reflect it. I just wasn’t calling it prayer.

When we offer prayer as a means of support there’s an energetic vibration that attracts a similar frequency. What we’re praying for may not change, but we change. What we do, where we go, and what we say is effected. We may find ourselves sitting next to someone at a restaurant. We strike up a conversation that leads to the creation of an event. The event inspires others to take action in their community. The ripple created from sitting next to a stranger at a restaurant were the result of consciously connecting to something greater than ourselves. This is the power of thought and prayer.

At times what’s happening in the world seems overwhelming. When I feel upset I take time to feel whatever is coming up and then I pray. I continue to pray for the guided action I’m supposed to take in the world. Directing our thoughts, praying for what we want to see more of, and taking action is powerful.

We are all here together right now for a reason. Whether we call it prayer or not, connecting to something greater than ourselves and helping create positive change on the planet is only a thought, or prayer, away.


Chris Tompkins is a licensed spiritual practitioner, life coach, teacher and TEDx speaker living in Los Angeles. You can learn more about Chris at


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