They're Signs If I Believe They Are

Prayer means different things to different people. The basic principle I guess is universal; a person prays because they believe that someone will hear them, that is the goal, to be heard. But you don’t hear people talk much about what they expect to get out of that communication, other than the fact that many people desire “answers” either in the form of relief from pain or a positive outcome.
I go into it with a completely different attitude. I don’t expect answers, and although it would be nice sometimes, I don’t expect positive outcomes either. I just want to feel loved and free from anxiety and fear. So I beseech and cajole, sometimes resorting to those grandiose words of praise to an unknown god as if flattery will get me somewhere, but I cannot help it—twelve years of Catholic education—some of it is ingrained for god’s sake (actually for god’s sake if you ask them). I just revert to the old prayers out of desperation and exhaustion, when I am not feeling particularly creative. Still, I pray, and I pray with conviction and determination.
Want to know what I pray for most? Signs. I like signs. I like believing that they are communications from the other side. I like believing that someone has heard me and they are attempting to let me know that I am not alone. I even like thinking that I have some kind of extra sensory power, that I can will the signs to appear, confirmation that my messages have gotten through. Perhaps it is silly. Perhaps it is not so silly. I see signs everywhere I look, and it soothes me, so I guess you could say that my prayers have been answered, that I have been comforted, or I have found a way to comfort myself—also good.
I asked for a sign recently to resolve an issue that has caused me grief for some time now. I was fervent in my appeal; I begged. I received a beautiful sign, undeniable, un-ignorable, and unimpeachable.
I guess the argument could be made that this is all in my head, but I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter. I am all of a sudden happy again, happy to be alive, in love with life. If prayer can do all this, which I believe, based on experience, it can, then it indeed has power, even if that power resides wholly within us.
I said I like to feel as if I have been heard and I like to feel as if I am not alone. Maybe the signs are coincidences; maybe the signs are the products of an overactive imagination. Or, maybe my prayers have been answered. All I know for sure is that spending time in a state of prayer is never wasted time. I feel god. I feel less alone. I feel love, and it feels good.
Quintesse Quintesse
51-55, F
16 Responses May 15, 2012

Thanks SoulfulOne. I am a praying fool these days because I am trying desperately to pull myself out of a severe depression. I'll take any help I can get. But this sign--the one pictured below, was one of the best ones I have ever gotten. I will never forget the day I looked up after running a few miles, I began crying out of sheer emotional exhaustion--and saw that...
I was stopped dead in my tracks.
Yeah, if you are a believer, there are definite benefits to prayer.
I'm still here. Signs like the one I experienced on this day are the reason why.
As always , thank you for reading the old stories--for bringing me back to them. They are like little miracles, helping me, reminding me of my own words, my own state of mind. Thanks a lot.

I agree, and feel the same. I get an immediate sense of relief myself as soon as I pray so it must be the release of what's inside and the feeling you are being heard. I think there are definite benefits to prayer.

i have been praying for something a long time an it look like god has forgot about me but i will not stop praying untill i get my anws

I've heard that the quieter you are, the more still you remain, the easier it is to hear your answers and see your signs. I hope you feel better soon.

Sappy--thank you. All I have to say is if you think you are experiencing a sign---believe in it with all you've got!<br />
I always tell myself--you have nothing to lose by letting this possibly insignificant occurance take on more meaning than is warranted--no one has to know!<br />
If it feels good and it helps you...<br />
Miracles are what we make of them, they are what we think they are. Personally I think the truly gifted (you and I) are particularly attentive so we probably experience them more than most people. Let's go with that, shall we?<br />
I will tell you this though, aside from the hot air balloon landing in my backyard I have never experienced the neon sign variety. Lily of the Valley, a smile, a bird. Usually the most poignant signs are the most subtle. (and then there was the guard rail --seen above) Pretty cool.<br />
I hardly ever feel completely alone anymore. Thanks for commenting.

Everything you've said is right on target. Of course, we are among the truly gifted. : ) My signs have been butterflies. The first time, it was a monarch, one which stayed in place, on a cement sidewalk for the longest time. I've had others too, some which even I can't dismiss. I will hold them close and not discount them again.

Butterflies and birds--never ignore. I love them too.

This is a beautiful story. How ironic I happened upon it just as I was wondering where to post my story. I believe in signs too. Although now when I'm praying so desperately for them, I find it hard to accept when I think I get one. I want the big, grandiose, neon light flashing kinda signs! LOL I agree that quieting one's mind, opening your heart and just listening opens the gateway for those signs. It's very hard for me to do ... hence my desire for the flashing neon lights! Even the simplest signs we aren't alone are an enormous gift. Thanks for sharing your story.

Believe in the signs!

Neuilly, thank you for that. I am also constantly experiencing what I have always believed to be miracles. haha. It has to be your fr<x>ame of mind, partly--but--I have also convinced myself that I am magical. These are no accidents, flowers popping up, balloon rides, not-so-chance encounters. Either I am extremely lucky or somebody up there likes me, haha.<br />
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I do believe in the power of prayer, no matter how one defines it. I especially liked that you said--<br />
"Sometimes, the sign we get, the information that comes at the right moment, the telephone call, the person at the front door, the song on the radio, will present information, that is addressing our concern at that moment.....And that will be enough to get us through." <br />
because I am big into the one day at a time (even one moment at a time) and I am often just looking to get through a tough situation. Little miracles and answered prayers make that possible for me. <br />
Thank you so much.

I think being able to grasp at the flower petals of grace thrown our way, is what makes us smile. and face life with hope, confidence, optimism and love. and so I thank God daily for the blessings he tosses my is just what I do.

I do it too. I don't take anything for granted anymore.

When we pray, when we ask for assistance, well sometimes , we really are begging for help.. and we need a miracle.<br />
<br />
all a miracle the timing of the event.....a miracle occurs at the perfect time, and is the perfect thing to happen.Sometimes, the sign we get, the information that comes at the right moment, the telephone call, the person at the front door, the song on the radio, will present information, that is addressing our concern at that moment.....And that will be enough to get us through.....Sometimes, just small events like that,causes a chain reaction that creates a new life, a new beginning a new direction, a new choice, and so our life becomes, something way more than we ever imagined, or thought possible.

I wish I could "like" this comment a couple more times. Thank you.

Sciguy--that's it exactly. That's why I tell people that my prayers are always answered--it is because I always feel better. I persevere and I do it all because I feel as if I am not going it alone all the time. It may very well be a placebo, as you said, but then again placebos have their place.<br />
Thanks for the quote too. I like it.<br />
(You're the quote-master, --they are always profound and appropriate. You're amazing)

I think your assessment is correct. Whether you really are receiving "signs" or whether you are just imagining it (e.g., placebo effect), the sense of calm you feel is genuine. Whether it's a prayer of supplication or gratitude, after all is said and done, isn't that why most people pray - to feel better? Using that premise, your prayers have been "answered".<br />
<br />
"Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays." ~ Søren Kierkegaard

I do feel changed. Thanks.

Thanks Iris. I think sometimes intense anxiety and stress warps our perception and it makes it harder for the messages to get through. My cowboy friend is always advising me to be calm and listen but I have a hard time with that sometimes. I'm getting better.<br />
Thanks for reading and commenting.

Thanks fellow believers in prayer. I agree with Pablo that what ever gets you through the day is good. <br />
And even hoping for answers is okay as long as you do not expect them right away and you are open to subtle signs. Amen indeed Stu.<br />
And Quercus, I'd call that a remarkable pilgrimage and it sounds as if you came away a lot stronger and wiser and maybe even a little rejuvenated spiritually. That is cool. I loved your story. Thank you for sharing it here.

amen i expect answers too

If it feels right for you, Q and brings you some levvel of peace and security I'm all for it and applaud its results.<br /><br />

Thanks Dancing one. The signs have lifted my spirits lately. And although I sometimes question their validity, it doesn't matter if they make me happy, right?

Ah yes, peace. You can't go wrong with that one. Good job. I am riddled with anxiety most of the time, so signs bring me back to that peaceful state that I often find elusive.<br />
Thanks for reading this and for sharing your prayer technique. I like it.

All I ever pray for is that I should feel God's peace, with that don't much care what is going on around me