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Think it over

Reaching one’s psychic being through prayer

Denis Capdeville


Prayer can sometimes be a complex exercise, because a lot of external and internal parameters may pollute it during its practice. This article is not aiming to define what a prayer is or not, since prayer is a very intimate experience one has with the Divine. This article aims at bringing useful details to integrate a better practice,which may provide in return evidence that the prayer has been well handled.With a steady practice, one may gain self-confidence and joy, while harvesting concrete outcomes, both with regards to specific requests and to establish a compelling connection with the Divine.

“All sincere prayers are granted, every call is answered (1).”

As we follow our spiritual path and grow in consciousness, we encounter bigger difficulties. That is totally normal and should be welcomed, for the two aspects are part of the same reality. Becoming more spiritually conscious brings more issues that need addressing, not only because we face situations that we were not aware of before, but also because our spiritual growth releases issues that were deeply rooted and so far invisible to our inner gaze. Everything has to be made conscious before it can be transformed. On this path, there is a before and an after each step of progress. Once we reach a particular state, there is no way back. If we go deeper within our belief-system, our view of human nature becomes wider and we need to untie those knots which keep us bound to our lower nature. We begin to understand that the task is huge and that we need help.

The need for prayer

To some extent, facing huge challenges is good news, for they attest that we are getting more conscious, which implies challenges that we were not aware of before. We should be grateful, because it proves that we now have enough strength and power to handle them. In therapy, I constantly highlight this positive perspective to any patient in depression or with any major mental challenge. It allows us to tackle the problem from a spiritual angle, which, in return, brings new skills to the patient. However, at one point, we may also reach the end of our capacities to handle specific problems, yet some deep part within us may never want to give up, because its very nature is to survive. We also realise that help may be needed. In that context, prayer should never be practised randomly or nonchalantly, because it may lead to contrary outcomes, strengthening the an aspect one would like to get rid of, reinforcing our ego and, finally, enhancing our lower nature.

Before prayer

Before praying, we should know that our practice is truthful. The subject of our prayer must be sincere. By bringing authenticity and honesty to each prayer, we become not only more accurate in the process, but we bring more consciousness into our daily practice. Prayer increases naturally our practice of mindfulness, a positive reward in the exercise of self-observation. Being fully present while praying helps to distinguish whether the topic we intend praying for is relevant or not. Sometimes we might spontaneously resolve an issue without prayer, simply through our intuition or sense of discernment. By increasing our capacity to solve issues before they become definite problems, we do not meaninglessly overuse the power of prayer. On the contrary, we become more able to invoke the collaboration of our human nature with the psychic being.

Becoming more conscious of the power of prayer, through meaningful practice, also settles little by little the process in openness, an underlying natural mindset which invites us to be in a permanent inner state of prayer. Our faith in the One to whom we pray becomes deeper, leading at the ultimate stage, to no longer have distinctions between praying and not praying. All life becomes a prayer. Doing so, and whatever the outcome, our faith brings back to us the certainty in the result of our prayer. We reach the final stage of the prayer, a total and fully conscious surrender to what happens here and now.

Finally, we should not try to mentally understand the whole process of prayer, since it is a field that is totally unknown to our human nature. Let us remember that prayer is for the fulfilment of our psychic being and not for the development of our ego.

During prayer

Depending on the individual background, the ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ unfold differently. However, intention and preparation play a big role in the success of a prayer, although one can pray spontaneously as well.

Let us start from our natural mindset, our current state of consciousness, whatever it might be and without judging it. Acknowledging our mood with sincerity, discrimination and surrender is already part of the prayer. Focusing on how to separate the spiritual and the human inside, we acknowledge those antagonist forces fighting for supremacy over our system. We decide to focus on our spiritual side, starting to pray from this space, while trying to quieten our human part.

During prayer, we identify any disturbing elements (thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, external influences) that may arise, that try to jeopardise the process. We can either ignore or neutralise them, depending on our trust in our power to overcome them. Often, ignoring them is much more efficient than fighting, as it maintains the silent mindset, favourable to prayer. Now, one will eventually experience a very peculiar instant, in where all the parameters for the prayer become united and synchronised: a comfortable position, focus and aspiration, right thoughts, heartfelt commitment, sensation of emptiness or fullness, etc. We can freely dive into this moment, though short, for it may be much more authentic than a longer period of stubborn prayer, characterised by an annoying back and forth of vigilance and concentration. Prayer can be nurtured by itself. One can set the intention for prayer to be more profound, honest and focused. Doing so, the effect may last long after the end of the prayer. One can also start and finish the prayer with the commitment to pray on a regular basis.

After prayer

After practice, one should not expect a direct outcome, though something surprising may occur straight away. It is more useful to settle on a state of openness and sensitivity, allowing things to happen smoothly and when the time is right. Positive developments in what we pray for can also happen without direct resolution. Similarly, we can identify outcomes of previous prayers far after the prayer was made. Possessing the inextinguishable faith that the outcome will happen, if and whenever, will help to realise it, even though it may not precisely match our initial request. Sometimes, only details fit the topic; we learn how to distinguish direct or secondarily-related outcomes. Knowing that some prayers “may take some time to realise materially (2)”, we begin to view the association of prayer/result within a broader timeline. Sometimes, prayer may instantaneously harvest a spontaneous result, as if time does not exist. Sometimes we might realise that the result had always been present though we were too blind to see it!

Life eventually becomes a unique prayer, fulfilled with a unique outcome. From this perspective, we can capitalise on previous ‘little’ outcomes, which, when added to the mindfulness settled step-by-step in our practice, transforms our life into a never-ending prayer. This nourishes our faith and practice. Assiduous practice makes us more accurate and self-confident and helps bring meaning and perfection to our prayers. By being more conscious, we gradually implement an undying connection with our Master. Life becomes a constant surrender to Her. This is how we can reach our psychic being through prayer. Ultimately prayer becomes our life and life becomes our prayer, “The whole of our life should be a prayer offered to the Divine (3).”


1. The Mother. The Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 15. Cent. ed. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1980, p. 222.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., p. 221.

Denis Capdeville (Dan) is an NLP and hypnosis practitioner, working at Santé, Auroville, India.

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