Finding inner peace

Have you ever wondered what to pray about or how to ask for inner peace? Or, for that matter, have you wanted to feel closer to God, the source, call it what you may?

First, people should consider that they need help to do this, otherwise it would be natural and they would already be at peace. There must be something to help us — a bridge, a middleman, something.

Some call this their higher self. Others might prefer Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Since I associate the part of me that is eternal to be spirit I will choose the Holy Spirit as the bridge between myself and God to make things easy.

To start off I know I need to ask for help, so, "Holy Spirit guide me," works — simple and to the point. Now it's time to get down to business. The next thing I feel I need help with is to remember that my true nature, like God, is love. The idea of God creating us in his image doesn't refer to him being an old grey man with a huge beard, but, rather, to our true state that is eternal love. So, "Holy Spirit help me to remember what I am as a son of God." (Son, daughter, it doesn't make any difference because we are spirit.) Here, I throw in another "Holy Spirit guide me" — it can't hurt.

Part of being at peace is to let go of worry. Let's face it, worrying doesn't help anything; it only makes one feel bad. There is also the idea that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we don't see the real reason immediately, but even things we judge as bad turn out to be blessings in disguise. Basically, I need help to let go of worrying about what is going to happen and stay focused on being present with my spirit, or loving self.

"Holy Spirit help me to place the future in the hands of God" is the next line in the prayer. I know what you are going to say: "If God is spirit why do I use the term 'hands of god?' " It is plain symbolism, kind of like appeasing the part of me that doesn't want to remember that I am loving spirit. It's time to throw in another "Holy Spirit guide me," just for good measure.

Now I'm at the place where I need to realize that I'm not praying for anything of this world. There is nothing in the world that can give me lasting peace, because nothing in the world lasts forever. Yet, I know that I can experience peace in the world by looking inside my true self, which is eternal.

The next line is "Holy Spirit help me to find the peace of God." I add one more "Holy Spirit guide me," and sometimes an "Amen," and here it is: "Holy Spirit guide me. Holy Spirit help me to remember what I am as a son of God. Holy Spirit guide me. Holy Spirit help me to place the future in the hands of God. Holy Spirit guide me. Holy Spirit help me to find the peace of God. Holy Spirit guide me."

As you say this, remember that you are love, you have faith and you desire peace. I try to say this as often as I can. If I have a thought that is really after my peace, I will repeat this prayer several times in a row. I don't always get immediate answers, but I think that is because I expect a certain outcome or I have resistance to what is. When I finally open a space, the guidance pops in. Practicing this over time has helped me find inner peace, even though the world I see outside of myself seems insane.

You don't have to take my word for it, though. Try it for yourself, honestly and with openness. Have the willingness to be guided and you will find inner peace.

Mike Bradshaw lives in the Rogue Valley and walks his dogs daily. Send 600- to 700-word articles on inner peace insights to Sally McKirgan

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