• James Shepherd

Praying Without Any Destination


Sometimes it’s good to have a purpose, a route, or destination when going somewhere. And it can feel great to accomplish something as planned.

However, at other times, it’s fun to do things – like take a drive, or a hike, or maybe even explore the internet without any destination in mind. It can give a sense of freedom and spontaneity that one doesn’t always get when following a planned route. And sometimes we discover things that we might not have found otherwise.


It works the same with prayer. I mean, often when I’m praying, I am praying with a destination in mind. I’m praying for something – not for an object, but to find healing. Maybe for myself, or maybe for someone else, or maybe for some particular community or world issue. This kind of specific prayer – acknowledging that the power, love, and presence of God is really right where the specific problem seems to be – brings healing.


But there’s another way to approach prayer that is fresh and inspiring to me as well. It’s praying without a destination. It’s a quiet listening to whatever God has to say to me about anything. For me, this ends up being a time of allowing God to put into my thinking fresh concepts about what God, or Spirit, is like, and then relating this to His creation. I often do this by taking different names for God [e.g. Love, Truth, Spirit or Mind], or qualities of God [e.g. all-powerful, everywhere, intelligent] and trying to feel what those are like in their purest, most divine sense. And then I make the connection to the way in which those qualities are expressed through divine Love’s creation – through you and me. All of God’s creation exists solely to express those qualities.


Some time ago, I was talking about this with a friend. She prays every day, but she said that recently she hadn’t found as much inspiration from her prayers as she would like. So, she said she would try to pray this way – without an agenda. Well, she called me back the very next day and she was so excited! She said that she had prayed in this way, and she had the most inspiring time of prayer in a long time – maybe ever. She had gotten into her prayers so much that she had spent much longer in prayer than usual – without even realizing it. And praying that day was such a joy for her! Since then, she has had a renewal in her desire to pray and to learn more about God’s nature.


Prayer to heal specific situations is important, but so is praying without any destination. It can bring new discoveries, joy, and a deep sense of God’s presence. If you haven’t prayed in this way, you might want to give it a try!

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