Prayer for Help

Anne Lamott has written a book, Help, Thanks, Wow, about 3 prayer fundamentals:

  1. asking for assistance from a higher power
  2. appreciating what we have that is good
  3. feeling awe at the world around us

She says that these can get us through the day and can show us the way forward.

I have often wondered about the meaning behind asking for divine help.

I am of the belief that the universal Spirit, Soul, Mind, Consciousness, God or Divinity, whatever you understand the energy of Love to be, actually wants the best for us, and already knows what we want because that spirit is part of our subsconscious.

So I get appreciation and awe as the basis for prayer, but why ask for help in physical things? What would happen if we restrict the prayers for help to just the spiritual consciousness? Would be be better off or worse off?

It is so easy to confuse the word ‘help’ with “I am a victim, rescue me”, or a demand for something to happen, or “I have rights, you know” etc.

These sorts of statements are all predicated on some sort of appeal to a person, in which we are restricting God into our human image (anthropomorphism).

To some that is comforting. To me that is contrary to my belief.

For me it diminishes the Eternal Love Energy of the galaxies into a genie with a magic wand, rather than emphasizing my own responsibility for my own experience.

Hence my lifelong conclusion on this is that what we are doing when we ask for help is actually opening up our inner self, our spiritual awareness,  to accept that we are not alone, and also to be willing to receive.

Instead of saying “Lord help me find a parking space, or a partner, or a new job” I now say “I believe your infinite Love will guide me, and I am ready for the next step, willing to take my part in my personal experience and growth.”

Do I believe that Love helps in practical ways? Of course!

But look at the difference in how I once would have perceived things and how I see things now:

OLD: Please find me a ^&*(^*% parking space

NEW: I am frustrated with finding a parking space, and am open to either divine intuitive awareness that one exists, or to a growth in my patience levels.

OLD: Help me find a great partner that will satisfy my needs, Lord!

NEW: I recognize my loneliness and desire for intimacy, and I open myself to becoming the person that is self-confident, giving and willing to share what an optimum relationship for me involves. I believe your Love is the power behind that.

OLD: I am over this job, help me find a better one!

NEW: I don’t feel that this job I currently have is fulfilling or rewarding to my deep desire for bliss, so I am going to face my fears of lack of income, how my family see me, and take the first steps towards my true career which either I know in my heart already that I would love to be doing, or I am going to learn what it is. I will need divine Love to sustain me, and I rest in the knowledge that it is your will for me to live an abundant life.

Are these just wording changes? I don’t think so.

Yes, in both OLD and NEW there are requests for help, but in the NEW it is for help for spiritual awareness, not help which is expecting external solutions!

The new ways above don’t compromise my view of divine Love, nor do they shrug  my own responsibility. I can be myself, and the only thing that will prevent me getting the outcome I would have expected from an external source will be:


If you agree or not, it is worthwhile to think about what prayer is to you.