Last week I shared details of my spiritual practice — a practice that has led me to find deeper inner peace and purpose.
This week I explore in detail perhaps the most pivotal part of that practice: praying with a partner. As I reveal the who, what, when, how and why of my personal experience, I hope you will be encouraged to find your own prayer partner and see what miracles appear as a result of this unique and truly special relationship.
One weekend while I was attending a gratitude-healing workshop offered by Dr. Joe Dispenza at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, I visited the bookstore and spotted a cover that caught my eye — Prayer Partners: How Praying With Someone Can Multiply Your Blessings by August Gold and Joel Fotinos. I was early in my second cancer diagnosis and needed all the blessings I could get.
I read the entire book before the weekend ended. However, finding a prayer partner didn’t happen as quickly.
I reached out to people I thought might be interested — but the relationship requires a commitment many are not willing or able to make. I trusted that spirit would send me the right partner(s) at the right time.
I eventually connected with several partners — some lasted several months; two have lasted years and continue to this day. If the idea of praying with someone else appeals to you, here are some things to consider:
As I said, it may take a little time to find the right partner, or it may happen right away. Be patient, and the best person for you will appear when you least expect it.
You might consider reaching out to friends, people who attend your place of worship, or family. It should be someone you feel comfortable with and whose temperament and attitude inspires you. Since any relationship can be strengthened and enhanced by praying together, I believe it is a great thing for couples to do together.
Be sure whoever you partner with is open-minded and openhearted enough to accept your concept of and name for “God” or the divine — and also the way you express your spirituality. It is also important to remember that “spirit” is a third partner when any two people pray together.
You are forging a relationship of trust, and emotional and spiritual intimacy. This is a relationship that should be considered unique and the time spent together sacred. It is a relationship between two kindred souls who want the best for each other and themselves; one does not have more power or influence than the other.
There is no right answer as to how often partners should pray together. I have one partner I pray with every Thursday morning at 8:30; and one I pray with every weekday at flexible times. We have been praying together long enough to make this work. However, when first establishing a prayer partnership, I recommend choosing a set day and time that works best for both of you to maintain consistency.
The length of your call should also be a mutual decision. In general, the shorter and more focused the call, the more likely it will fit into your schedule and the practice sustained.
Praying with someone can take place in person, by phone, or through a videoconferencing platform like Zoom. Again it should be based on what works for both people and ensures the success of the relationship.
A suggested format for a call would be a brief check-in followed by a moment of two or silence. You will establish your own rhythm and pattern of who prays first.
Whichever one of you prays first, ask the other person how you can pray with him or her ... how you can hold sacred energy for them. The more focused the request, the more powerful the prayer often is. It can be a prayer for yourself, or someone else, or even the world. It can be very specific and petitionary (“please let me get that job,” or “please let the diagnosis be a good one”) or it can be more flexible (“pray for me to be at peace with whatever the diagnosis is”).
The prayer can sound more formal, or more like a conversation with a dear and trusted friend. It can include elements of a guided meditation, such as leading the other person to connect with their breathing and ground themselves in their bodies to prepare, or it can sound more like a traditional prayer. The most important thing is that whatever is prayed for comes from the heart.
For example, one person may ask for prayers around an upcoming meeting they are nervous about having with a co-worker. The person praying might say: “Okay, let’s take that to prayer. As we come into our sacred space together, let us take a moment to connect with our breath, that beautiful life-force energy that flows through each one of us. Let us connect to our bodies, which carry us through our days. From this place, we ask Spirit (or God, the Great Mystery, Creator, etc.) to surround NAME OF PERSON BEING PRAYED FOR with love and light as they prepare for this important meeting. We pray that what needs to be said will be said, and what needs to be heard will be heard with the best of intentions. We acknowledge NAME’s concern about this matter and pray for the best possible outcome. So may it be. Amen.”
Of course it can be even shorter and more focused than that — especially at the beginning when you are becoming comfortable with the process.
There are many reasons why praying someone else can be a transformative and valuable experience — but perhaps the most important is the connection it provides to someone who has your spiritual back and your best interests at heart ... and you have theirs. It is about two people joining in love and support at a time when more love is desperately needed in the world.
My blessing for all of you today is that you find someone to pray with and that you commit to doing it on a regular basis. It changed my heart and life — and I pray it will do the same for you.