Divine Nature, in Prayer

By Alisa

A friend of mine told me that when he prays, he finds it helpful to imagine that the God he is addressing is a perfected form of himself. This was in response to my confession that I had temporarily stopped praying out of frustration for many things: feeling that my prayers didn’t go past the ceiling, feeling like they fell of deaf ears, and a feeling that the form and audience of prayer I’d been taught in primary was no longer cutting it for the kind of spirituality I was seeking. So, for the time being, I had given up altogether on my twice-daily routine of praying on my knees.

My response to my friend was perhaps an obvious one. I told him that it’s easy for him to imagine that God is a perfected version of himself, because he’s a man, and Heavenly Father is a man. That’s when he looked at me, smiled, and said, “And maybe that’s where Heavenly Mother comes in for you.”

I have since found this exercise very helpful. It may seem narcissistic, creating God in my own image when I’m on my knees in prayer. But on the other hand, if I am truly a daughter of God, and if God’s children are to grow up to look like, feel, and possess the power of our divine Creator, then I feel that it’s not so much a blasphemy as it is approaching God from a different angle, and angle that’s helped me bridge that gap of prayer from where I was to where I’m going.

Thinking of my Heavenly Mother is new for me too. In the hushed ways we mention Her, I’ve often been too shy or ashamed to even think of Her when I’m by myself. But I’ve realized that it’s not shameful for me to want to grow to become more like Her. She is my potential. I hope She is my future. Therefore, when I practice this exercise, when I pray I meditate on my true potential, I feel God’s power and strength within myself. I gain eternal perspective. And lately I’ve been tapping into a divine femininity that is exhilarating – a power I believe I’ve always had, but was too afraid to realize. In turn, although it sounds cheesy, when I’m out jogging (a time of meditation for me) and I pass by people on the street, I often feel a powerful connectedness to the divine nature in each of them.

At church on Sunday, this quote struck me: “When we pray, we don’t pray to God. We dwell in God.” That captures my transformation into a deeper kind of prayer from those of my childhood. As I meditate on my potential, as I contemplate my divine nature during my prayer, I no longer feel separate and apart from God. I feel God flowing through me. I feel a part of God.

I would love to hear your own personal experiences with deepening your prayers, discovering your divine nature, or connecting to the Divine Feminine.

Alisa

Alisa is a professional adult educator and corporate manager who enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

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13 Responses

  1. Janna says:

    I love it!

    I’m a believer that everything I need is already within me – gifts God has already given me, and I have yet to discover. Conversing with my Divine Self always yields effective, clear solutions and guidance.

  2. Caroline says:

    I love this too, Alisa. Like you, I often have a hard time connecting with God using the typical prayer format. In the last couple of years, I’ve consciously decided to address my prayers to ‘God’ (since that word to me is more inclusive of both masculine and feminine than ‘Heavenly Father’ is) but I still often have a hard time connecting.

    So I’m going to try to your friend’s advice and imagine God as a perfected and holy me. Just thinking about it that way makes me want to cultivate my spirituality and be a better person.

    Janna, I love the way you phrased that – ‘conversing with my Divine Self.’ Beautiful.

  3. Jessawhy says:

    Alisa,
    Thanks for this wonderful post.
    I’ve had a hard time praying lately, but I’m going to try this method that’s helped you so much.
    (and maybe I should try jogging 🙂
    We’ll see how it goes.

  4. CatherineWO says:

    Several months ago I was having similar dificulty with my praying. A post on this blog about Heavenly Mother gave me the idea to imagine both a feminine and a masculine god as I prayed. I also changed the language in my personal prayers to be more inclusive, using “Mother-Father God” or just “God” and speaking on a more personal level, as if I were speaking to my own earthly parents. Just making these simple changes has given me a freedom in my prayers that I can’t really describe. I feel more at one with my Heavenly Parents and feel and see their love more fully in the world around me.
    I understand the conventions of more formal public prayers, but I have concluded that there is no wrong way to pray when it is just between one individual and God.

  5. Angie says:

    As I read this post and the comments, I wonder how you reconcile your beautiful experiences with the core doctrines of the LDS church? “Divine Self”, praying to a masculine/feminine God, etc. -do you feelthese experiences are in synch with LDS beliefs?

  6. Alisa says:

    Thank you everyone for your comments so far. I only have a second, so I wanted to address Angie’s good question, as I’ve had that question myself.

    Angie, as I mentioned, when I now pray, I don’t pray to God, but I dwell in God. So for me, it’s a meditative experience involving the Holy Ghost. In the LDS Church, we are certainly directed to pray and meditate by our leaders. We are told we are daughters of Heavenly Parents (and not just a Heavenly Father) in the Proclamation on the Family. And in Young Women’s our divine nature (that is, our feminine divine nature) is a value that we claim every Sunday. I definitely think this kind of meditation about realizing our divine natures is in perfect keeping with the restored gospel. And I think these beautiful, uplifting experiences confirm that righteous desire in my life.

  7. newt says:

    I have felt an almost physical awe when I interact with, read about, or imagine women who inspire me to be a fuller, broader, deeper person, seeing that I might be like that some day. I too have had similar experiences pertaining to the ‘traditional’ prayer format (“feeling that my prayers didn’t go past the ceiling, feeling like they fell of deaf ears, and a feeling that the form and audience of prayer I’d been taught in primary was no longer cutting it for the kind of spirituality I was seeking”). I had never considered the internal divine potential approach, but I love it, and I am going to try it as well.

    So beautiful, and I love how, as you’ve focused on who you can become/who you truly are, you find the focus inverting itself, turning outward to those around you.

  8. EmilyCC says:

    This is beautiful, Alisa. I particularly love the part where you talk about thinking of Her as a way to become divine. I find strength in talking about Her with others, but often feel lonely and a bit subversive when thinking about her on my own.

    I’m with Jessawhy, this is an exercise that I’ll be trying, too. My prayer life usually isn’t as rich as I would like it to be.

  9. miles says:

    I love this idea. I will also be trying this idea of prayer/meditation with a focus on our Heavenly Mother and Father and my divine potential.

  10. Jenn in Boise says:

    Alisa,

    Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.

    I truly feel the personal conformation we can receive about our Heavenly Mother/Divine Nature is such a blessing. I like CatherineWO direct my prayers to Father and Mother rather that just to the Father. Then there are day I just cry to her, sometimes we just need our Mother’s arms around us.

    Your quote: “When we pray, we don’t pray to God. We dwell in God” has give something wonderful to contemplate the next time I go before our beloved Heavenly Parents.

    Thank you again,
    Jenn in Boise

  11. Kelly Ann says:

    Thank you Alisa, for sharing your thoughts on prayer and connecting with the divine feminine. I, too, try to meditate when I prayer. The strongest experiences have come by doing so.

    My mission president made an impact on me by suggesting I pray like Christ was in the room. To talk like I was having an active conversation. I have tried to do that.

    I also try to thank and specifically ask for things. To break out of a monotony. But sometimes all I can muster as I sit on the edge of the tub (I take hot showers when I am overwhelmed) is a “Dear God, Please Help Me God, I Love You God, I am Trying But Really Not Getting It …” And you don’t know how many times I have felt peace in the bathroom …

  12. Alisa says:

    Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences and intentions (and tips) on how to deepen and improve prayer. I love having this forum where we can learn from each other like this!

  13. phenomenaladjustment says:

    Alisa,

    What a beautiful post. It gets to the very heart of how we work to envision God, to bring divinity close to us and see ourselves as flowing into godliness. These envisionings are utterly essential, the tender floors of new steps into being. They may all be experiments, but what, after all, do we have but that? Faith is a little seed, and what an exquisite seed you’re creating here with your words.

    Thank you.

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