A Little Card Trick: Prayer-Tracking

A simple practice that’s helped me calm down and actually see the response to my prayers is to write them on individual cards, set them on a little pile with my other prayers (the prayer “inbox”) and get on with my day.  I keep up my spiritual practice(s) and do my best to let go and turn matters over to Spirit. The days pass.

Over time the darnedest thing happens. One by one, in one way or another, the individual prayer needs get resolved and when that happens I move that card to a second pile (the prayer “outbox”.)

Seeing the cards move from the inbox pile to the outbox pile helps me with three important things. First, I tend to forget that my prayers are answered all the time.  Yet there are very few things I was struggling with a year ago, say, or even a month ago, that have not been largely resolved.  So, seeing a particular prayer literally move from the “asked” to the “answered” pile is a powerful countermeasure to my forgetfulness, and my tendency to feel alone and unsupported.

Second, the practice helps settle my impatience with uncertainty, difficulty, and pain – all the situations when I want resolution now.  “Hurry up,” I say to Spirit, “Yes or no on this prayer. No dawdling!”  When I know full well that the waiting and the struggling is not just part of the deal, it’s often the main deal, a process of softening up my hardened ego and my beliefs about how things should be. “Oh, the injustice!” my ego-self wails. “Oh, how I’ve been betrayed!”  Yeah, maybe.  Or maybe I’m just going through the spiritual carwash again and I don’t like it. Going through struggles that a lot of other people are going through too.  

Third, the practice reminds me that there’s more than one way to resolve a situation.  Because the way a given issue gets resolved, and moved from the inbox to the outbox, often happens in a manner that had not occurred to me or I could not have foreseen.  So when I say my prayers get “resolved” here I don’t mean I always get what I want, or that the situation has turned out the way I thought it should.  I mean that I’ve been shown a way through a situation, a way that works and often turns out to make a lot more sense than my initial plea.  

Try this little sacred card trick.  Let me know how it goes, and if it brings a little magic to your day.