Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) practice to create and nurture our connection to God, and renew our spirit. Simply put, prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening for God’s answer. Because we’ve been given the divine gift of free will, prayer is actually our first step in reaching out to God, and affirming the existence of a Higher Source.
There are thousands of ways to communicate with God. Some people get out in nature; others use music, a candle or incense to silence mental chatter. There are others who can pray anywhere, any time. When we connect to God on a heart level, we can stay mindfully in the moment without mentally over analyzing the experience.
When you learn how to quiet the mind, you become more aware of God’s healing presence and your direct connection to Him. It can be particularly powerful to open all your prayers with an expression of gratitude for God’s many blessings.
While we encourage individual prayer at OHI in the manner that’s most comfortable for each guest, we also cherish our tradition of prayer circles before meals and ceremonies. There’s great symbolism in prayer circles. When two or more are gathered together in the name of the divine, their prayers generate powerful, purposeful energy and there’s a deep spiritual fellowship. While a group prayer may be more general, there is an undeniable healing energy that enfolds everyone. A circle symbolizes eternity, the perfection of creation without beginning or end. We hold hands and appreciate our community of caring, mutual respect for individual differences, and fellowship in our love for and surrender to God.
Another OHI group prayer tradition is our Friday morning testimonials, where guests and adherents share their experiences. I remember when a young woman told how God had answered her prayers, but not as she anticipated. She endured a tough childhood, and was raised by her grandmother. The girl fell in with a bad crowd and got involved in drugs and destructive relationships. Each time she began to straighten up, she sabotaged herself.
She prayed for help, and found a substance abuse recovery center. When she still didn’t feel whole, she kept praying for assistance and met a person who suggested she come to OHI. Her first few days she was sick as a dog while her body released years of toxins. By the middle of the week she turned the corner, and was transformed in time for Friday morning testimonials. She developed a personal connection to God, and resumed her spiritual path with clarity and joy. What made the difference? She had to just trust that God really WAS answering her prayers, even through those tough first days at OHI.
Sometimes God responds to our prayers in ways we didn’t anticipate. Other times He responds so much more magnificently than we could have possibly imagined. The bottom line is this – the only true prayer is the sincere desire of the heart. And all true prayers are answered.
Strengthen your relationship with God through prayer, and discover a clarity that can’t be achieved through your works alone. Find the perfect setting for deep prayer and contemplation with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Mention the code “October” to find out about special money-saving offers.