EP43 Keith’s 6 step process for how to REALLY PRAY
Today’s episode covers the 6 step process of how to really pray that was handed down to me through generations of holy men and women. This process includes:
3. Clarity of Vision
4. Praising through
5. Time and Intensity
6. Giving Thanks
[0:00:13] KC: Welcome to the Business of Life, Keith Callahan here, your host and as always, just grateful to be here. Grateful for you tuning in every single week and today, we have probably my favorite topic. This is a topic that really changed my life. It’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart.
It’s something that I think I can offer a ton of value with and it’s the six step process for how to really pray. So a big part of my life, my family’s life, a big part of who I am today is due to follow a Native American spiritual path, specifically the Lakota Sun Dance path. So every year, I go out to try to bring the whole family out but I head out to Rose Bud, South Dakota to the Rose Bud Reservation out there in South Dakota to Lakota country.
I go to Leonard Crow Dog’s home, Crow Dog’s Paradise and go out there for usually about two weeks to pray and for the last 10 years been making the journey, 11 years now in making the journey out there and it’s a huge gratitude to him and his family. So Leonard Crow Dog and his wife, Joanne, his son June Bug.
They all played a huge role directly and indirectly and really leading me to understand not even just how to pray but how to live a good life and also gratitude and thanks to Chief Bob Lucido for that and his wife, Shiva Lucido. So I just wanted to mention those people and really give a heartfelt warm thanks for all of the life changing teachings and ways that I’ve learned through them.
Today’s episode, we’re going to go in and we’re going to talk about again, the six step process for how to really pray. There’s some assumption that I’m going to make before getting into this and the assumption is that you’ve already had some type of connection whether you call it God or intuition or the universe or whatever it is, that you have something and you’ve had at one point in your life an experience with that something that is bigger than your mind.
So it’s something that you couldn’t really explain it. You don’t know how or why or what but there’s something that’s bigger than you and again for me, I use the word God, I use the word Wakan Tanka, that’s the Lakota word, Spirit, Christ consciousness, there is a bunch of different words, different phrases that I use to describe that connection.
So before we get rolling today, I just want to make that note that I’m assuming that you’ve already had that and if you already have that and if you haven’t, it doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to this episode but that’s something that I can’t teach in a podcast episode. That’s something that’s more experiential than teaching.
But how to pray, the way to pray, the way that I was taught to pray, I can teach those things and another thing that I also wanted to mention here, if you’re looking for a good course like some people want a course. They want the book, they want the heavy duty stuff, there is a course. You can actually buy this on Amazon.
It’s called, The Four T’s: Tithing, time, talent and treasure. Just to warn you, if you do go and get this, it is not an easy course. It is going to challenge you immensely but huge spiritual growth with that and that’s by Stretton Smith. So feel free to check that out after you listen to this episode if you want some more heavy duty in depth teachings on how to really pray.
So this six step process that I would say I was taught and put together myself and I’ll list the steps that I want to go through and breakdown each one of the steps. The first step is structure. The second step is surrender. The third step is clarity or vision. The fourth step, praising through. The fifth step, time and intensity. And the sixth step, giving thanks.
I’m calling these steps right now but that’s probably not the right word to use for it there. They’re pieces that I believe are necessary for effective prayer but they don’t happen in a linear fashion. It’s not like you do one, then the next, then the next. So these are six pieces or six parts to successful prayer as I know it, as I’ve learned it.
When going through take, what you think will work for you. Whenever you have someone that is teaching you, don’t just say, “All right, everything they’re teaching is 100% right for me.” Take what you like from it, take what you don’t like or don’t use what you don’t like. The way that I learned how to pray, in the beginning it was watching somebody else who I admired and looked up to.
I literary structured my life after that person in every single way and I think that you have to do that in the beginning. You find a role model. You find somebody that’s doing where you want to go and you emulate all that they do. Then there’s a time where you actually move out of the emulation and you take what you want from them but not all of it but in the beginning, yeah there is sort of an emulation period.
So as we’re going through this, maybe you take the whole entire process and use it verbatim over the next year or two or maybe you just take a few pieces from it. Or maybe you take the whole thing and then overtime, you just move onto a few pieces of it. So let’s get right into it.
Let’s talk about structured prayer. Structuring your prayer. So the Native Hawaiians have a word for the white settlers. The white American settlers and the specifically, the white American Christian settlers that came to Hawaii and that word is “haoles” and what they meant by haoles and what that translates to is, it’s prayer without backing.
It is prayer without time and intensity and without structure to it and here’s what they would see. They would see a bunch of Christian people and I want to make a really important message or note here, this has nothing to do with different types of religion or anything like that. The Native Americans were describing their experience.
At that time, it was Christians and what they saw is a very specific group of Christians doing and it was showing up to church on a Sunday and going into the church and reciting a few scriptures and going to mass for 45 minutes or an hour and then leaving. That was all that they did throughout the week.
It was show up to church, recite your scripture, say a few prayers there and then you’re good for the week and the way the Native Hawaiians lived was not only was their prayer day very different but their life was a life of prayer. What I mean by that is, before they would go into prayer, they would gather outside of, I don’t know what they call it, a temple or a church or a synagogue? Whatever the Native Hawaiians call their place of prayer.
They would gather outside of it for two, three, four hours before going in to pray and what they were doing was they were getting their minds into the right place. They are moving from their mental bodies into their spiritual bodies. They are moving from that mental connection into the heart connection. They were forming as a group.
They are getting together as a group and minute by minute, hour by hour, this power came in and the best way I can describe it is they got into this feeling nature. So they got into this feeling nature versus just a mental route thing. And then after they would get into that space, then they would go in and we’ll call it mass.
That’s a very common word that everybody understand. They would go in and the mass would start and then they would make their very specific prayers but the important piece is they prepared themselves to enter into that spot. Almost if you look at any professional sport, they just don’t show up on game day.
To the native Hawaiians, that’s what they saw with this new type of way of prayer that they saw by this specific group of Christian settlers that had come in. They saw them just showing up for the 45 minutes to the hour of game day but no preparation going into it and if you look at any type of sports team, if they show up that way they’re probably not going to be as effective as somebody who’s been practicing all week.
Then spends hours before the game, getting mentally prepared, getting in the right spot, gets into the game, plays the game. And then afterwards, after the native Hawaiian ceremony, they would take a few hours and decompress from all that they just did. They’ll have a big feast together, they would share and I follow a Native American spiritual path, as I mentioned, and we do that exact same thing.
[0:11:44]: So, whenever we’re going into a ceremony, it’s not that we just show up, we go in, we make prayers. It’s a lot of preparation prior to going into the very specific ceremony. So having a structured prayer, having prayer that is very structured like you have a specific way to do it. You have something versus wishy-washy, “God help me do this, do that, etcetera, etcetera.”
You have to understand that prayer, I have this whole outline but I am having a hard time not jumping forward but I’m going to jump forward to a piece. So one of the bonuses I wanted to talk about is that prayer is like, I can describe it in two different ways and the first way is tuning into a radio frequency and when you’re tuning into that frequency, like remember that old AM radio?
For a lot of people who are listening, you probably don’t even remember, I’m showing my age here but you have to dial in. We used to have these knobs, right? Before even digital numbers, you would have this knob and you’d have to tune in and it would be real fuzzy and it wouldn’t be clear and then you would be tuning, tuning, tuning and then bam, all of a sudden the radio is delivering a message.
The person on the other end, you can hear their voice and you can hear what’s coming in and you can hear the message. Prayer is very much that way. The static is our minds and it’s our mind that’s going through and talking and chatter and all this stuff and we can’t hear, we can’t get to that connection of God because there’s too much static.
[0:13:43]: If we just go in and we just start ripping off these prayers and we’re not that in that, we haven’t tuned into our spiritual frequency, we haven’t tuned into that God frequency, then it’s kind of not effective. I shouldn’t even say kind of, it’s not effective. You have to put in that time to get into that place and it’s also, I describe it as physical exercise.
So overtime, it’s very similar to physical exercise. You can see it with physical exercise or diet and nutrition, right? You can’t just go from where you are to dropping 20 pounds overnight. You have to put in the time over and over and over, eating the meals, doing the workouts, etcetera. You have to put in the time for all of that, right?
When we’re exercising our spiritual muscles, we can’t really see it but the same amount, the same thing is necessary, the time is necessary. So those are my two bonuses about tuning in. I like to think about it as a radio frequency and then also physical exercise. It’s spiritual exercise. You’re exercising your spiritual muscle.
And again, in order to have effective prayer, we could have a very structured prayer life or we can have wishy-washy prayers. So the first step is having structured prayer and whatever it is that you’re doing, I’m not going to go into how to structure your prayer like you kind of have a vision for how prayer ceremonies are structured instead of just going in and praying for 45 minutes, you have a structured day.
Like Sunday’s used to be a day of prayer, a day of fasting. It was very structured so in your life, you can develop structured prayer. For me, it’s really to the point that I spend 45 minutes every single day in focused prayer and I’m not asking you to do that. That’s a lot of time, but I will say this, the more time you spend, the more the blessings are that come in your life.
And we’ll get to time and intensity in step number five but it’s time and intensity. Those are the two things that are going to determine the amount of blessings that are coming in, in your life but it’s structured. It’s not wishy-washy.
The second step is surrender and I like to mention here like intentionally falling to your hands and knees. I love that visual. I love the visual of that statement intentionally falling to your hands and knees because we’ve all had these times in our life, we’ve all had these times where life was not going the way we wanted it to go and even more than that, we had no control whatsoever.
And what happened in that time when we had no control whatsoever? We fell to our hands and knees and we were just begging, “I give up. I surrender. Please help me God. I will do whatever you want, whatever you say just help me get through this.” And we’ve all had that miracle. That miracle that happens in that moment, there’s a relief that happens with that, right? So that’s surrender, that intentionally falling to our hands and knees is doing just that when you don’t need the immediate help.
It’s a big one guys, this is a really, really, really big one and we’re talking about prayer. This is more a prayer and it’s going to be kind of specifically directed towards individual prayer but if you want to have the blessings that are available to you in life, the big, beautiful, bold life that is available to you, you can’t just come to prayer.
You can’t just surrender, you can’t say, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes only when things aren’t going your way.” Surrender, the second step is surrendering to God’s will versus your will and I remember the first time that I read that, that scared the hell out of me. It really did. And what do we mean by surrendering to God’s will? Again, I believe that we all come into this world with a big beautiful bold dream inside of us. Each one of us is unique individual.
Each one of us has a certain talents, certain things that we are just made to do. It’s very similar to that tuning in the radio to the frequency. Like you’re looking for it. You’re looking for it and then bam. For me, for this podcast is part of that. I am meant to be doing this, right? This is a surrender to God’s will. I am doing the work that I’m supposed to be doing.
There’s also other things that happen in your life that this one piece that I’m surrendered with, I also love it. I absolutely love it but sometimes, there’s other things that are going to come up in your life that you don’t love but you know deep down inside that it’s exactly where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing.
The fight we have, the battle we have as our own personal will, our mind, the things we want, the desires we have versus that deep whisper deep down inside of us that we know without a doubt, we know that it’s right but it scares the heck out of us, right? Surrender, are you willing to surrender your finances, your car, your house, your wellbeing, your life? That’s where the freedom is, once you get to the point that you’re willing to surrender it all.
It doesn’t mean that you’re not afraid. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have times of weakness but it means that no matter what, every thought, every time something gets difficult, you turn to God, you turn to prayer, you turn to that higher power, that power that’s spinning this earth that we’re sitting on in this universe, that power that has the sun and the moon and the stars and that makes all of the weather. You’re surrendering to that versus your mind.
When you surrender to that natural order, that natural way of things, that’s when the beauty comes into your life. That’s when the power comes into your life and I’m not telling you this piece is easy, I’m telling you it’s never wrong, never ever wrong but it’s work. It’s a daily — that surrender, that faith, that blind faith, that’s the work.
Even if you’re not a believer yet, that’s the work, it’s the surrender and the faith work. Even if you’re a believer, that’s the work, that’s the surrendering the faith. The surrender is the day to day, the in and out. Surrender of your thoughts. So many things we struggle with get down on your hands and knees and you surrender, that’s when it comes in.
The third piece is having clarity or having vision. You have to be very clear on what it is that you’re praying for and I know that I’ve mentioned this story before, I think it was in Episode 34, praying for you or something about praying for your vision and dream or clarity on your vision and dream. I want to share a personal story about a ceremony that I did that is going to really just put a magnifying glass on what I mean about getting clarity for what you’re praying for.
One of the ceremonies that we do is called Vision Quest and vision quest, the Lakota word is actually Hanbleceya. And Hanbleceya means crying for a vision, crying for a dream of your life and what we do is we go away in the woods by ourselves for anywhere from two to five days. You’re out there and you’re praying and you’re in a holy sacred spot and the medicine man is checking on you but you’re by yourself. You’re by yourself in prayer.
And one of the things, we talked about that structured prayer and preparation so prior to going out for a month prior, we’re spending one, two, even three hours a day in prayer about what it is that you’re going out there and what we’re doing is we’re aligning our self, right? We’re tuning in that frequency for a whole month before, we’re tuning in the frequency, we’re getting closer to that connection, we’re removing all of the static so that when the day comes that we’re going to go out and the holy man is going to take you out to your holy, sacred spot, by the time you get out there, you are bam, you are totally in connection.
For me, this one year, six years ago, I was a new father and I was also running a business that it was something that I didn’t want to be doing. I didn’t want to be doing it, I was not fulfilled by it and I didn’t have the — I wasn’t living the life with my family that I wanted to be living. The thing that’s most important to me is being there for my wife and kids and I wasn’t there, I was working too much and I knew that this year I had two very specific prayers.
I had clarity and I had vision, I had clarity on my prayer and I had a vision for what I wanted and the two things were, I’m a new father, I have no idea how to do this, I’m kind of scared of it — kind of? I’m very scared of it and I need help, I need to know how to do this. I was going out there for five days to pray about that. That’s a very clear vision right? Very clear on what it is that I’m praying for. The second thing was that I was also, I had to get out of that job. I had to get out of — and it was a company that I owned, I had to get out of it.
Having that clarity and having that vision, I won’t go into the whole story because I know I’ve told this before on the podcast but within the third day I got the answer to being, “How do I do this whole dad thing?” It was, “Do your best and then surrender the rest to god.” It was just so clear and so simple and I was so excited when I got that message, “Do your best and surrender the rest to god,” right?
Why go out and spend so much time by yourself, that’s a lot of work but to get a message like that, six years later, that’s what I walk with as a husband, as a father. I’m going to do my best but then I’m going to surrender the rest to God and it’s just how I live my life now. Very, very clear vision, very clear on what it was that I was praying for. The second thing I got, it was on day four or day five of this ceremony, I got a very, very clear message that said, “Shut down the existing company and become a Beachbody coach.”
That’s actually how I ended up, I don’t know if you know that or not, I haven’t talked about it much on the podcast but that’s how I became a Beachbody coach. If you’re not familiar with Beachbody, they’re like the P90X, 21 day Fix Company and it scared the heck out of me because I wanted — I was very clear on what I wanted. Like I had to do something about that and I had already gone through, I fell in love with the company, I went through, I did P90X, got in the best shape of my life.
But that was scary, “Go shut down your financial consulting company and become a Beachbody coach of network marketing, which I had this negative connotation in my mind about and I followed it because I had clarity on what I was praying for, I had vision for it and when the message came in, I knew it was real and I trusted it. Anyways, I’ll do a little shameless plug here, we also have a sister podcast, “All About Beachbody Coaching”. If you search All About Beachbody Coaching” or you search “Keith Callahan”, you can listen to that podcast too if you have any interest in that.
The third thing, having that clarity and having that vision, here’s something to be very careful with, still under the vision piece is you have to make sure what you’re praying for is in a positive light and it’s in something that you want. Here is what I mean by that. A lot of people will pray for things that they don’t want anymore. If I’m sick, like, “Oh please god, I don’t want to be sick anymore, I don’t. Please let me not be sick.”
Praying for health is much different than praying not to be sick. If you want to win at something, if you want to connect at something, if you want to totally run away from something, you don’t keep looking at it. You look at where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. Extremely, extremely important in prayer life, in everything right? Always focusing on what you want. When you’re creating a vision it’s never about what you don’t want. It’s about what you want.
Be very weary too, this is sort of a side note, about people that are always expressing their opinions. There’s a lot of people that have plenty of opinions on things that they don’t’ like but they don’t stand for anything. Stand for something you want not for something you don’t want. Focus on all that you want, not on what you don’t want, right? Focus on the light, not on not being in the darkness.
All right, so the fourth step is praising through and this step, there’s not going to be much description with this one but it’s seeing it as complete. What is it that you, you know you go through, you’re understanding a structured prayer, you’re understanding the surrender piece, you have your vision of it and praising through is really getting into that feeling nature of what it’s going to be like when it’s done.
There’s a magnetic pull when you’re doing this; let’s say that you are a single woman and you’re in your late 20’s and now you’re ready to find your soul mate, right? The magic piece is getting into the feeling of what it’s going to be like when you find that person. It’s not in the details so it’s not in the, “They have black hair and it’s a muscular guy,” or whatever, how is it going to feel?
We’re on step four, praising through; the first piece of it is how is it going to feel? And then getting into the absolute, like a belief piece, a gratitude piece for already being there. See if you can get there with being like, “How is it going to feel?” And that excitement of it already happening, the better you get at this piece, the faster it comes in, got it?
How is it going to feel? And then living now in the excitement of how it’s going to feel, living now and then knowing that it’s going to happen. This is how people heal themselves, this is how people move through, you’ve heard of these stories of people overcoming cancer and things like that through prayer, it’s not through a wishy washy prayer of, “God please help me,” it’s getting into this power, you’re creating a personal power, you’re creating a power from inside.
There’s not some man up there — I’ve got to be careful what I say. Heck, I’m going to say it, there’s not somebody up there that’s judging you saying you’re good or bad and they’re going to snap their fingers and the miracle’s going to come. You’re creating the miracle from inside by connecting with this universal power, got it? Connecting with it.
There’s plenty of people that Jesus, Buddha, all these sages, all these saints that have shown us the way of how to do it but we have to do the work. It’s not just by rotely shouting something out. A big piece of that work is praising through. You’re getting into the feeling nature of what it’s going to be when it’s complete and then you’re fully getting into that thanks and gratitude and belief and faith that it’s going to happen. This is the work guys, prayer is not — a lot of people think prayer is a very passive thing, it’s a very active thing. You’re changing your DNA with this.
The fifth step is time and intensity. For time, it’s doing it over and over and over and over. Where most of us give up, time. Not expecting it to happen on your timeline being in complete surrender as to when it’s going to happen. Putting in the time over and over and over. One of my favorite prayers is “I can, I will, I am.” When I’m moving in to something, as I’m recording this podcast, I’m like bopping up and down, “I can, I will, I am. I can, I will, I am.” I get into the feeling nature of it.
Start getting into it, getting into the feeling nature, getting into that just — it’s a rhythmic thing, like the waves of the ocean, it’s not like one thing. You’re getting into that feeling nature and you’re letting the magnetism of the prayer take over, you’re putting that time in and the intensity piece, it goes back to that part that I was talking to is praising through, it’s getting so the intensity isn’t like, “I’m going to pray for this and this is going to happen. This has got to happen. Please god, please god, make this happen.” No.
The intensity is the intensity of your belief, the intensity of your faith, the intensity of your focus. Your belief, your faith and your focus. We got all that, time and intensity. Putting in the time and doing it with an intense focus, an intense belief, an intense faith. Its work, it’s active. And the sixth piece is giving thanks. This is an important piece, if you’ve ever seen the movie Kill Bill when — what the heck’s her name? The main character. Like the wiggle your big toe scene when she was paralyzed and all she wanted — the first thing she had to do, she’s paralyzed, she drags herself out to the jeep I think it was or a truck.
She gets in there and I think she was paralyzed from the chest down and she’s just focused on wiggling her big toe. She’s focused on it and think about it like prayer right? You’re focused on your prayer, you’re focused on your belief, you’re focused on what you want and the first sign of any type of acknowledgement that you’re going in the right direction, and sometimes this take time. You may be praying for days, weeks, months before the first sign comes in but the more we become so we search for those signs, we look for those signs and the second that we see one of those signs, we start to get into that giving thanks, that gratitude for the process, for the process working.
Really important piece here. Super important piece. If you’re trying to move through something difficult and you have that first sign of like “things are shifting”, tons of gratitude towards that. Nurture it, fan it, let it know that you see it. Then keep going with the time, keep going with the intensity and then the next appearance is going to come up. Nurture that appearance, fan that appearance.
And then the appearances are going to come, they’re going to come quicker and quicker, you’re going to start to see the beauty come into your life, you’re going to start to see the miracle of the prayer taking place right before you. You’re giving gratitude, you’re giving thanks, you’re fanning those appearances until the final appearance, the full realization of what you’ve been praying for comes. Then we don’t walk away yet. Continue to fan that, we continue to give thanks, we give appreciation for the realization of that prayer.
And then that my friends is something that you now, you’ve completed this process, seriously empowered. Because now you know how to do it, now you can use that whenever you want for anything you want in your life. Again, structuring your prayers, being in full surrender, talked about intentionally falling to your hands and knees, god’s will versus your will, having clarity of vision, knowing exactly what it is that you’re praying for.
I talked about my experience with the Vision Quest with being a new father and the job and winding up with Beachbody. Talked about praising through, seeing it complete, getting into that feeling nature and just gratitude and praise for it being in its full expression. Fifth step we talked about time and intensity, putting in the time and the intensity is that feeling nature, it’s getting excited, it’s the anticipation of it all coming true of it all coming to you. The sixth part is giving thanks upon all appearances that the process is working and then upon the final appearance.
Also understanding these two bonus pieces right? Never really worked them in as bonus pieces but understanding that concept of your prayer, your connection, it’s like that radio frequency, it’s your prayer frequency, it’s your spiritual frequency and that static is your mind. We have to put time in, it takes time to get to that, the more time we put in, the quicker we can get into that crystal clear communication with the divine. Also understanding that prayer is you’re exercising your spiritual muscle, it’s just like that, a physical exercise, the physical we can see, that spiritual muscle we can’t really see but it’s the same process.
Guys, this is a powerful tool, take this, run with it, change your life with it. Most importantly, connect with somebody else, like get into a group, get in to all these things that we’re talking about on the podcast, all these things that we’re teaching, it’s cool to listen to it, its life changing when you do it. At least for me, doing it alone doesn’t work, I have my own private prayer time now but having an accountability partner, we had a previous episode that talked about accountability partners. Having someone in your life that you’re doing this with helps you that much more.
All right, that’s it. That is the six step process for how to really pray. Big things coming up this year for 2016, I cannot wait to continue to share this podcast with you and as always, grateful that you’re here, grateful that you’re listening. The biggest compliment that I can receive is if you’re sharing this podcast, sharing it in on social media, bringing in your friends, family, whoever you think can benefit from it. The more people that are in here listening, the more people that we can help and the more lives that we can touch.
All right, much love, have a beautiful, beautiful rest of your day, rest of your week, your weekend, whenever you’re listening to this and see you next time.
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