In the article that follows, HOW TO PRAY THE SHAMAN’S WAY by Jose Stevens you will be introduced to Shamanic Prayer, and you discover some of the secrets of prayer for healing and inner peace. This is may not be the kind of prayer that you are probably familiar with. It is about prayer that will teach you how to get in touch with the universe and communicate with Spirit.
This article by Jose Stevens features excerpt’s from his book “Praying With Power” published in 1988. It is one of my favourite books about prayer and Shamanic prayer. I reference it often. You will find prayers from this book here on this website.
PRAYING WITH POWER
PRAYING WITH POWER is a book that will initiate you into a new way of being, one that will incorporate the wisdom of the ages. José Luis Stevens will lead you on a spiritual path that covers the entire range of human experience, from gratitude, worship, and celebration to grief, guilt, affliction, supplication, and suffering. This incredibly potent spiritual practice is one of humankind’s most ancient and enduring activities and is as prevalent today as it was thousands of years ago.
The book is out of print but you can still find copies on Amazon and elsewhere.
However, an updated version of the book under the title HOW TO PRAY THE SHAMAN’S WAY is now available.
It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
I hope that you enjoy this article by Jose Stevens.
WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayers are an intensely personal communication with what anyone might consider a higher source of power. For some this power source is a vague notion of something greater than they, for others it is a specific idea or experience of a God or Creator, and for many it is a highly defined deity or saint. Despite what some people think, it is not necessary to believe in any specific deity for prayer to produce results. For the shaman, however, there are certain requirements for prayer to be effective and if they are not met, the prayer may go awry.
Prayers are concerned with all the most intense human experiences including entreaties for material benefits, supplications for blessings, requests for opportunities, honoring spirit, unburdening grief, releasing guilt, unloading affliction, worshipping, affirming desires, offering gratitude, wishing for escape from pain and suffering, and decreeing how it will be. While most organized religions include specific prayers in their form of worship, religion is not the sole proprietor of prayer. People the world over have always prayed regardless of whether they were religious or not. We know from anthropological studies that prayer is one of humankind’s oldest activities (even Neanderthals prayed) and today it is as prevalent as it ever was in human history. People of all races, genders, creeds, and cultures pray in many forms and styles.
Despite all that is written about prayer, many people still do not know that prayer is a science as well as an art. There are ways to pray that are more effective than others and some styles of prayer that are downright destructive as you shall see.
Bear in mind that for shamans and indigenous peoples prayer is more than words but rather a way of living life. They would be inclined to say that their life is a prayer from gathering and preparing herbs to cooking, from building a shelter to visiting relatives, all is done in the spirit of prayer. All the world’s great spiritual teachers and mystics have stated in one fashion or another that to pray unceasingly brings the greatest results. So there is a kind of universal agreement that prayer is something that can be lived, acted out, and spoken as well. In all truth prayer is a way of being, a perspective, a profoundly personal and sacred orientation to the world…….
Think of prayer as a one-way monologue to the creator, powerful prayers always end with listening. As I learned from Don Guadalupe, the listening part creates a dialogue or two-way stream of communication. This is one of the definitions of effective prayer. After listening and dialoguing with Spirit it is then imperative to put whatever was learned into action. That is Spirit in action.
Let us begin with some simple keys to praying for maximum benefit I arrived at over many years on the shamanic path. After all, if we are going to spend some of our lives praying, why not make the most of our time praying to have maximum effectiveness.