Praying Our Desires

Receptivity only happens in the present moment.”

Mary Whetsell


Article by Mary Bea Sullivan


My receivers seem to have been out of commission lately. Try as I might, not much new has been cranking.  This traditionally idea-flooded imagination is experiencing a drought.  What to write about?  What kind of programs to offer?  Even coming up with new dinner menus is daunting.  A lot of the same old same keeps floating around.


Last week I was creating a “personal retreat” for a friend and client.  As I pulled together inspirational writings and prayer practices for her day of Sabbath, I explored one of the practices myself -”The Desire Prayer” from Teresa A. Blythe’s, 50 Ways to Pray.


The instructions are quite simple:


State your heart’s deepest desire before God …

Visualize it …

Let go of specific outcomes …

Ask how you might assist in fulfilling the desire …

Give thanks …



One of the final instructions for the prayer is, “In the days following this prayer, be aware of ways God may be offering you opportunities to live into the desire.”  There it was again, the reminder to notice, be awake, pay attention the power of what is happening now.


These past few days I haven’t experienced any dramatic changes, but I have seen subtle shifts … conversations that may be pointing in the direction of fulfilling my desire; opportunities and choices being considered by family members that would support this desire; unexpected good news freeing up resources.


I am grateful for renewed hope and trying to be gentler with myself.


What is your deepest desire?


Can you take some time to sit quietly with God and pray for support to live into this desire?  Do you trust your prayer will be answered?  Can you follow Mary Whetsell’s advice and be receptive to what is?  Perhaps even watch your desire unfolding before your very eyes?


I hope so, and if so, please let me know so I can be inspired by you!


I shall desire and I shall find

The best of my desires;

The autumn road, the mellow wind

That soothes the darkening shires.

And laughter, and inn-fires.

-Rupert Brooke, The Chilterns


Mary Bea Sullivan is the author of Dancing Naked Under the Moon – Uncovering the Wisdom Within, a compelling story about her pilgrimage toward wholeness.  She facilitates spiritual retreats and workshops for women’s groups and faith communities.  Mary Bea lives with her husband, Malcolm Marler, and their yellow (white really) lab, Daisy on Smith Lake in Alabama. For more information about Mary Bea Sullivan and her work, please visit


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Posted on 27 October, 2009 in Balance, Goals, Spirituality
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