When it comes to prayer, what’s most important is not the content of your prayer, but the place in your consciousness from which your prayer comes. According to a shamanic perspective, there are Seven Levels of Prayer, each corresponding to a different level of consciousness. These levels can sometimes be difficult to understand and even be in conflict with each other. This week, I’d like to share them with you so that you can take your prayer practice to a new level. Let’s begin.
Have you ever stopped to contemplate how your current level of consciousness, as well as your perspective on spirituality, might impact your prayer experience? It’s a fascinating topic that I’ve been exploring lately through Jose Luis Stevens’ book, “How to Pray the Shaman’s Way.” This book is full of ancient shamanic wisdom that has the potential to revolutionize not only how you pray, but also the results you receive.
As I delved deeper into the book, I discovered the seven levels of prayer, each with its own unique characteristics. From the most basic level of asking for protection to the highest level of merging with the divine, there is so much to explore and learn. Stevens’ shamanic perspective on prayer is truly eye-opening and has the power to transform your spiritual practice.
Level 1: The Smash-and-Grab Prayer
“Dear God, kill my enemies; make me strong over them.”
For many of us, this prayer perspective may be difficult to understand. However, it ultimately reflects a basic survival instinct that we may relate to at various times in our lives, especially when we feel threatened and need protection. This level of prayer is all about dominating your adversaries or external circumstances and proving that you’re in charge so that you can feel safe. It comes from a place of fear and the need to survive.
Level 2: The Guilty Plea Prayer
“Dear God, please don’t punish me! I know I’ve been bad! Save me. Have mercy on me!”
This level of prayer perspective is similar to a child’s perspective of its parent. It’s for those moments when you’ve made a big mistake and desperately need forgiveness and grace. You beg, plead, bargain, and promise to do better, all while hoping that God has mercy on your soul. It’s like a cosmic courtroom drama, complete with a tearful confession and the hope of redemption. This prayer comes from a level of guilt and shame.
Level 3: The Materialistic Mantra
“Dear God, make me rich and successful! Give me, give me, give me!”
This perspective on prayer treats God as if He were a sort of Santa Claus, whose role is to deliver endless goods and riches. It prioritizes getting your material desires met above all else, with little concern for inner peace. The chant is “Give me, give me, give me,” like a child in a candy store, convinced that God owes you something you feel entitled to. This prayer comes from a level of desire.
Level 4: The Help Me, Help Them Prayer
“Dear God, life is so hard! Help me, give me strength, help my loved ones too. I know you can help me. I am so confused! I know you are listening, but why don’t you help me, damn it?”
Life can be tough, and sometimes you just need a little divine intervention. This prayer is about asking for strength and assistance, not just for yourself, but also for your loved ones. You’ll be pouring out your heart, desperately seeking a superhero to swoop in and save the day. It’s like sending a cosmic SOS with the hope that someone out there is listening and willing to lend a hand. This prayer comes from your willingness to ask for help.
Level 5: The Gratitude Gala
“Dear God, thank you for providing for me. I love you! You are wonderful to me!”
Finally, a level of prayer that doesn’t involve begging or demanding anything from God! This is the moment to express your heartfelt gratitude for all that you already have. You’ll be showering the divine with compliments and thanking it for all the good things in your life. It’s like attending a celestial awards ceremony, where you get to play the role of the overly emotional winner, sobbing with joy and praising the higher powers. This prayer comes from a level of gratitude.
Level 6: The Devoted Disciple Dance
“Dear God, thank you for making me in your image and likeness. Allow me to know you more and more. I am your servant. May your Will be aligned with my will. Make me a channel for your love.”
At this level, it’s time to embrace a servant’s role and surrender to the will of God. Pledge your loyalty and devotion, vow to follow what God asks of you, and seek deeper understanding. It’s like becoming a spiritual apprentice, eagerly soaking up ancient wisdom and hoping for divine favor. By opening our hearts to the teachings of the divine, we connect our hearts with that of the divine, allowing divine love to flow through every aspect of our lives. This prayer comes from a level of surrender.
Level 7: The Cosmic Union Prayer
“Dear God, I am Thou, and Thou art me. You and I are one. I am peace. I am who I am.”
At this final level, you transcend the boundaries of your individual self and merge with the universal consciousness that is God. You chant “I AM” and embrace the notion that you and the divine are one. There is no separation between you and God; there’s no need to ask for anything, receive anything, or be grateful for anything. By embracing your interconnectedness, you unite your heart with the heart of God and become a vessel of divine love and light in the world. This prayer comes from a level of oneness and love.
Where are you praying from?
Through my own personal experience with these teachings, I have found that the more I align myself with the higher levels of prayer, the more fulfilling and transformative my prayer experiences become. The more I pray from my heart or a place of gratitude, devotion, and unity with God, the more at ease and confident I feel inside.
I hope that this brief exploration of the Seven Levels of Prayer has provided you with insights into the profound influence that your level of consciousness and perspective have on the depth and effectiveness of your prayers.
Where you pray from is more important than what you pray for. Where are you praying from?
From my heart to yours,