I heard the most beautiful answer to this question recently, and I want to share it with you.
The answer came from a Tibetan Buddhist abbot who’d spent the majority of his life deep in prayer in Nepalese monasteries. He’d just been approached by a Westerner who asked, “When we sit among you and your fellow monks in the chanting halls, we hear your mantras, chimes, and gongs…we smell your incense…we see you bowing down…is all of this your prayer? What exactly is your prayer?”
The monk smiled and chuckled a little. “You have never seen our prayers because a prayer cannot be seen. What you have seen is what we do to create a feeling in our bodies, and the feeling we create is the prayer.”
This stuck with me ever since I heard it, as it reminds me of the incredible power we have to choose our own destiny based upon the feelings we create within ourselves. Those inner feelings eventually become our outer Reality. We answer our own prayers by creating feelings inside of ourselves - feelings of gratitude, abundance, peace, love, and anything else we wish to see appear in the outer world.
Some questions to ask yourself:
*What prayers do I create within myself? (i.e. What feelings do I habitually feel?)
*How do I create an environment that helps to nurture those prayers? (Do I use chants, incense, & sacred music like the monks, or do I use other spiritual aids?)
*Am I un-consciously creating an undesired feeling within myself? (Take a look at the people & places that influence you. Take a look at the way you speak to yourself in your head. Do those elements match up with the internal environment you wish to create?)