Answered Prayer: When Heart and Soul Agree

praying handsFew things are more rewarding than being part of someone else’s blessing.

I recently received an emotional call from a friend (we’ll call her Laura) who was witnessing a revelation. Like many of my friends these days, Laura’s between jobs and her money has lost its elasticity. She can’t seem to stretch it far enough to cover her expenses. In deference to that, several months ago her sister hosted a “wishing well” birthday party to provide some financial support. Friends were asked to contribute.

I was unable to attend, so I bought a birthday card and planned to insert a check. I was in the middle of a move and living in a temporary location; I couldn’t find my checkbook. I set the card aside and obviously put something on top of it. After a while, out of sight was out of mind.

A couple of weeks ago, after I was settled into my new place, I ran across the bright orange and yellow card, but I had a different problem: Laura’s address wasn’t in my directory. I set the card on my not so uncluttered desk and lost sight of it again. A few days later, I spotted it. Determined to get it out of the apartment, I stopped what I was doing, wrote a check and tracked down her address. I walked directly to the mailbox before any other goofiness ensued.

The Purpose Unfolds

The next day, Laura left lengthy messages on my office and mobile phones. The excitement in her voice was a mixture of joy and tears. Here’s why:

She had a mortgage payment due in two days. That day, she was unexpectedly paid early for two small freelance projects and a friend had loaned her a little money. But when she returned home that evening, she was still $40 short of her mortgage. When she opened her mail, she discovered my $50 check. She was ecstatic!

Everything had come together in the most perfect way, at the most perfect time. If I had sent the check earlier, who knows, she might have already spent it on something else. My serial delays had served as an absentminded savings account, belatedly delivering the money to Laura exactly when she needed it: Divine Order. I was almost as excited to witness it as she was.

Chain, chain, chain… 

Last week I heard from Laura again. This time, she was sending one of those lovely email chain letters. At least this one didn’t threaten that Jesus would deny me to his Father if I didn’t forward it. But it did urge me to make a wish and forward the email to a specified number of people (in this case, a dozen plus the sender). On a specified day (in this case, the fourth), the message claimed, something would happen.

chain letterBecause I don’t believe that God or fairies bestow blessings based on the number of emails we shoot into Cyberspace, I did what I always do when I receive these messages: I asked Laura, “Did you ask the previous recipients what happened on their fourth day?” Then I heartlessly deleted it.

A couple of days ago, Laura sent me an update: “On the fifth day, I received an unexpected check for $800!” she exclaimed.

I’m not one to snub my nose at anyone’s cash windfall, but I wasn’t impressed. I was, however, a bit curious about the details of Laura’s $800 surprise. So I pried my fingers from the computer keyboard, picked up the phone and had a human-to-human conversation.

Another curtain rises…

I discovered that the check was actually a refund of the same mortgage payment that Laura had made the week before—a payment that left her only a few dollars to survive.

“I had just decided to let go of this house instead of letting it stress me out,” Laura laughed. “As soon as I released it, this happened.”

What happened was that Laura received word that her mortgage company had gone out of business. As a result, they couldn’t accept any loan payments, and all monies were being returned until the new lender could service the accounts.

Did Laura receive the $800 because she had mentally “let go” of her home? As we know, sometimes when we “let go and let God,” situations don’t always improve, in human terms. Sometimes the possession, loved one or relationship literally goes away—temporarily or permanently. On the physical level, we typically perceive this as “loss.”

Evolving beyond loss

Sometimes we respond by sinking into despair or struggling to hold onto what is perceived as a loss. As we grow to trust God completely, however, we are better able to understand that everything in the physical world is constantly undergoing change. The life span of all physical things is finite. As we evolve into an “egoless” state of mind, as philosopher Eckhart Tolle calls it, we are able to accept all departures as Divine Will. Instead of anxiety, fear, anger or desperation, we feel peaceful because we know that if he, she or it went away, it was divinely ordered and the Divine only works for our Highest Good.

That certainly appears to be Laura’s attitude. She isn’t interpreting her $800 refund as a signal that she will keep her home. All she knows, for sure, is that she can keep it right now. She also knows that the unexpected check did not result from her forwarding the nebulous email. It also didn’t arrive because she prayed a certain prayer, called a certain name or clicked her heels three times.

That money was destined to return to her that day because it was her soul’s desire. Maybe it wanted her body to have financial wiggle room or grocery money; I don’t know. I do know, however, that if the soul had not desired or demanded it, it would not be there.

Final curtain?

Of course, the $800 doesn’t solve Laura’s problems, long term. The mortgage bill will become due again soon. What’s important is that she continues to “let go” and faithfully awaits God’s direction, rather than tries to manipulate the cyberspace, outer space or in every place God to follow her directions.

“Letting go” is not a physical ploy disguised a spiritual tactic to get what we want. It is a divine way of allowing our hearts to agree with our souls. It takes great faith to stop praying for God to genuflect to our human will and start humbling ourselves to honor Divine Will. It takes great strength to still our thoughts and shut our mouths long enough to hear and observe the direction that the Divine is revealing to us.

Where does power truly lie?

Many of us believe that we can change the conditions in our physical lives solely by changing the thoughts that run through our physical brains. All we have to do is say a prescribed word or phrase, or change our actions. Our life experiences have taught us that there’s more to it than that. If our bodies, brains and emotions were in charge, we’d all be independently wealthy, staring adoringly into our soulmates’ eyes and in tip-top physical physical condition.

We are taught to do instead of be, control instead of allow. We think that our mortal selves have to “make things happen.” We act as if we are moving through this world alone, that no one is looking out for our best interest. But we’re not alone. We’re in a serious, committed relationship. Our souls are married to our bodies—until death do we part.

Seeing eye-to-eye

Like all marriages, a peaceful home requires harmonious communication between the partners. What happens when one partner makes important decisions without consulting the other? Chaos, tension and unhappiness—the same results you get whenever your heart and soul do not agree.

At prayer time, do you beg or bond with your partner? Do the desires of your heart conflict or collaborate with the desires of your soul? How do you know? When do you plan to find out?

Whenever you do, chances are that you will start to experience real change, accelerated growth and consistently “answered” prayers.