The depth of prayer and grace: everyday life as casual banter with God

I haven’t written in months because I have been in the very midst of awe. I’ve been in the midst of some of the most astounding and baffling synchronicity I’ve ever known, a synchronicity that seems always to be guiding me in precisely the direction I need to be guided. I’m not quite sure how to begin describing it to someone who has never experienced this before, but I think I can offer some guidelines for someone who might sense that this is what they need: first ask for it, pray for it in earnest; then keep your eyes open and watch for anything that suggests something to you, anything that might be a sign; finally, follow your heart, trust, and surrender. I’ve learned about awe these past few months. I’ve learned about grace. I’ve been reading a lot of Paulo Coelho lately, because the magical way the universe functions in his books, is precisely how the universe now seems to function for me on an everyday basis. That famous quote from The Alchemist never felt so true: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

My life has been so full of awe that I’ve written all about it in my personal journal but somehow neglected this one! What I’ve written there, and I say this in the humblest way I know how, seems to be divinely inspired. I believe we are all capable of writing that is divinely inspired, but lately, I feel it acutely: what I write seems to flow through me from something deeper and wiser than my conscious self. Perhaps I will share some of my entries from that journal here. I feel this writing needs a wider audience…

I’ve learned a lot about the patterns we find in our lives. Often life’s transformative power is greatest when on the surface it feels the most stagnant. Life had been stagnant for me. I wondered whether anything new might emerge for me, but all the while, something was indeed moving beneath the surface. I was struggling with an existential loneliness. And yet, the universe seemed to be communicating with me in deep and casual ways, and I couldn’t help but attach meaning to this. The synchronicities were so incredible that I couldn’t help but feel connected. I couldn’t help but cry at such frequent and beautiful manifestations of grace.

I’m not sure when it started. Over the summer I attended an alternative education conference in Troy New York that helped me transform and discover so much about myself. Part of what I needed to learn there is that oppression is not inevitable; that there is always the possibility of living with hope and dignity. That weekend unfolded almost magically, and at the end of it, I sat on a dock on the Hudson River. I poured the waters of that river over my head, and over my heart, in gratitude. I simply meditated on the coolness of the river, this bearer of life, and gave thanks. I prayed. It was not until this year, perhaps, that I discovered how transformative prayer could actually be. I prayed that I might continue to find that which “reflects me, helps me feel my life, protects me, cradles me and connects me to everything” (from, one of my favourite songs, The Hudson, by Dar Williams). I couldn’t have imagined a better weekend, but just then, I looked out onto the water and saw the most beautiful rainbow. There were no rain clouds in sight, but I saw a rainbow. It lasted a few minutes, and I stood there incredulous. This was grace…

The weekend was so transformative but it took me quite a while to integrate everything. I became quite sensitive to everything. One night I felt particularly lonely — existentially lonely — and a friend suggested I look up at the stars and ask the universe a simple question: “What’s up?” Beware the power of such words. He told me that, when he asked this simple but powerful question, his life became simultaneously easier and more difficult, but it aligned him with exactly where he needed to be. So, at first fearful, I got up the courage to ask this powerful question of the universe. Right away the universe seemed to respond to me in a new way. It was bizarre: I’m not sure whether I actually expected anything to happen. Life started moving so fast. Synchronicity became “synchronicity on steroids” as I termed it. Life propelled me in the most unexpected directions.

A few days later, I took a late night walk, and hoped that I might encounter a shooting star. Already on this particular night, everything seemed to come together, to connect me — so many synchronicities I can’t begin to remember them all — but I especially remember walking through a brightly lit parking lot, not even looking directly at the sky, when I saw a bright shooting star dash across the horizon. I couldn’t have missed it. I cried that night. I felt a divine embrace. I knew I wasn’t alone. That night, during the walk, I listened to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High for the first time: “You can talk to God, hear the casual reply.” The synchronicity around that wouldn’t be complete until weeks later when I discovered, while sharing this story with my new love, that the previous line was: “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”

Grace. It happens all the time. It is most glorious when it happens in nature with rainbows and shooting stars and waterfalls and wind and rain and lightning. When we lose nature we lose such a significant source of grace. What I have shared here are just some of the bare essentials of my experience over the last few months that have put me on a new path forever. If you were to look closer, you’d see a fractal: divine guidance and synchronicity at every level of detail, from the most trivial, to the most cosmic. We are all capax Dei; capable of God.

I had kept a journal for over seven years. I hardly ever read back through older entries, reflecting on my past, but now I felt so connected to mystery and to cosmic patterns in my life, that I felt compelled to explore my past in order to understand my present circumstances. So, I undertook a project of reading and reflecting on my journals from the very beginning. And an incredible project it turned out to be.

On the morning of November 5th I wrote:

“My hope had always been that when I found a girl to share life with we would on some special day sit side by side and read through my old journals together. This was not a narcissistic wish — I would with as much delight sit through her journal — but rather, it was a desire to offer the gift of my past to a special person, so that we might relive together what we had experienced apart. Over the last few weeks I’ve felt an inner imperative to begin exploring my journals, even though I happen to have no one to share them with, and when I did, I discovered that I’ve forgotten so many of the details, and that the story of my life has been beautiful. I realised I had been neglecting my past. Disowning it. But my past is to be loved! To disown my past is to disown myself, because my past is here — the entire journey converges in this very moment. Without it I would not be me. Learning where I came from tells me so much about who I am.”

It was simply the right time to confront my past — with or without a love by my side. The process amazed me. My past was not a random collection of events but a beautifully-woven tapestry that had pattern and meaning behind it. Again, November 5th: “I see in so many ways that my life has a trajectory, a purpose, and I feel so… ecstatic… when I see so clearly in my own life what Billy Jonas sang: “you do what you do what you do and the light comes through.” It does. And I’m seeing meaning in the most “insignificant” events in the past that were symbols of my journey, clues to who I was to become. I’m seeing my life with a mythic consciousness. Everything has meaning!!! …. It feels like I’m going through years of therapy all at once. I’ve forgotten so many of the influences that shaped me. Reading through my journal, I actually love myself more. It’s blowing my mind. I read my past entries and suddenly who I am makes sense! What I value in life makes so much sense — I see myself becoming myself — and I see the experiences in which these values originated …. Rereading my journal, I have more self-esteem. Maybe it’s temporary. I realise that some of my self-esteem and confidence issues are carried over from various times in the past when I was a very different person! It doesn’t make sense to feel this way about myself because of something that’s no longer part of my identity!”

It was that very day — November 5th — that I stumbled upon the girl that I would be able to read through my journals with, a girl that I knew I loved, from the very first sense of presence, and she knew she loved me. Those intuitions have been confirmed, in the following weeks, beyond my wildest expectations, and I never knew such a connection was possible.

When I told my friend — the one who suggested I ask the universe what’s up — that all this synchronicity had culminated in literally stumbling upon the love of my life one day, he responded: “ask and ye shall recieve, well, at least sometimes……prayer is VERY surreally powerful when it works. it can seem as if creator guides us, especially those who are doing its work. ask to be put in the right place, and you often are put there. and the road can be rocky and transformative, but always growth producing.”

I have much to share, but a bit at a time…

For now, here are the lyrics to the song which helps me connect with the meaning and depth in life every time I listen to it:

The Hudson
by Dar Williams

If we’re lucky we feel our lives
know when the next scene arrives
so often we start in the middle and work our way out

we go to some grey sky diner for eggs and toast
New York Times or the New York Post
then we take a ride through the valley of the shadow of death
but even for us New Yorkers, there’s a time in every day
the river takes our breath away

And the Hudson, it holds the life
we thought we did it on our own

The river roads collect the tolls
for the passage of our souls
through silent silver woods and flowers and snow,
and past the George Washington Bridge,
down from the trails of Breakneck Ridge,
the river’s ancient path is sacred and slow

And as it swings through Harlem,
it’s every shade of blue
into the city of the new brand new

And the Hudson, it holds the life
we thought we did it on our own
I thought I had no sense of place or past
time was too slow, but then too fast
the river takes us home at last

Where and when does the memory take hold,
mountain range in the Autumn cold
and I thought West Point was Camelot in the spring.
If you’re lucky you’ll find something that reflects you,
helps you feel your life protects you,
cradles you and connects you to everything.
This whole life I remember as they begged them to itself
never turn me into someone else

And the Hudson, it holds the life
we thought we did it on our own

And the Hudson, holds the life
we thought we did it on our own


~ by dewiniaeth on December 19, 2007.

3 Responses to “The depth of prayer and grace: everyday life as casual banter with God”

  1. hello!
    I’m a big Paulo Coelho’s fan and I don’t know if you heard about his blog
    I’ve started as a fan and now I’m collaborating with him and thought that you would like to enter his universe.
    Check the blog.
    if you want, or subscribe to his newsletter
    You’ll see a community of warriors of light sharing ideas, dreams and most importantly following their personal legend.


    He is never cowardly. ( Manual of the Warrior of Light)

    See u there and have a great day!


  2. I, too, cry at the beauty of this sort of connection. Continue to embrace it and share it with others because you’re not alone. Even though I walk in very similar shoes, I still enjoy reading about other’s encounters when they plug into “it” (God, Spirit, living force, the universe)…Call “it” what you will. The important thing is to share your experience because even the smallest beam of light will help someone else find their path.

    take care,
    Louise Lewis
    No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!

  3. Our actions are a yogo mantra echoing the virtue and integrity of our soul.
    Our outer reality reflects the integrity and virtue of our inner reality and our metamorphing through our treatment an dhonoring of our soul.

    Synchonicity is the psychological leap initiated by the secretions designed by our DNA that effect the brain. When we enter into a stimulation zone that causes vibratory levels of mental energy rythms, the hormone released allows for the brain to apprehend the phenomena of synchronicity that “become” noticeable by the consciousness.

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