Acadia National Park

Pray, regardless. This is always my recommendation, when asked.

Each time I get out of my head and move into my heart space, I am able to breathe. Breathing allows me to get myself back to my true nature as a human “being” rather than a human “doing.”

Being in my heart space allows me to get myself realigned with the truth of me – a “spiritual being having a human experience,” as Teilhard de Chardin said.

Pausing and taking a breath allows me to shift my intention and attention towards manifesting clarity and focus, which allows for ease and grace.

Have you noticed I have said nothing about, made no mention about, using words?

Prayer, for me, is practicing the Presence and using words only as necessary. This means I can be praying in the grocery checkout line, while in bumper-to-bumper traffic on 278, or walking on the beach and yes, even while a family member might be watching the TV news.

Practicing the Presence allows for the shift inside me required to quiet my mind, to stop all the thinking, judging and reacting and just be and breathe. Most of the time, folks do not even know I am in prayer, as it is part of how I show up.

As a child I learned that prayer was asking God for things, for forgiveness, for (fill in the blank). I did a lot of asking of God as a kid, using lots of words. I was unaware of any other way to pray.

More than 30 years ago, when I found a Unity Spiritual Center in Chicago, I learned about prayer as practicing the Presence.

Today, I don’t ask for things during my time of prayer; now, I affirm things! This is how Jesus prayed. At Unity we follow how he lived his life and how he prayed.

Today I affirm health, abundance, peace, joy and more. This clears the way for me to seeing it as so. I affirm God is, therefore, I am.

My prayer life moves between setting aside quiet time several times a day to sometimes literally breathing into the now moment so as to gather the ability to respond rather than react when a life situation presents itself.   

Affirmative prayer is knowing our truth and praying from this truth. We affirm our divinity and acknowledge our wholeness, no matter the situation or diagnosis. Our knowing that the Presence is present brings forth the ability to be present.

Using words, we invoke the Presence and pray: “Thank you for (fill in the blank). We are grateful. Amen.”   

Rev. Therese Donlan Lee is the senior minister of Unity Spiritual Center on Hilton Head Island.