Whose God is it, anyway?

whose god is itWhose God is it, anyway?

That’s the question I asked myself when I received a letter from a reader who was concerned that her prayers to God might be rejected because she’s not a Christian.

Whoah!

That’s a heavy thought, but I immediately reassured her that her prayers would not be rejected by a compassionate, wise, good and just God just because she isn’t a Christian.

The reason is that God is not Christian.

God is not Muslim.

God is not Jewish, or Buddhist or Native American…

There is just one God and whatever your beliefs, your prayers are heard. Period.

To me, the different religions are like different languages. Whether directed to God [in English], Dios [Spanish], Dieux [French], Allah [Arabic], or Wakan Tanka [Lakota], I believe the Higher Power hears prayers from a sincere heart.

Occasionally when I am conducting a Native American ceremony, a newcomer will ask me what God I pray to, and I always give the same answer: “The same God you pray to.”

To me, it’s tragic that some people have the idea that their religion is the only valid religion, or that anyone who has a different religious tradition than they do can’t possibly be praying to the One God.

That inflexibility may be why the largest growing denomination in the U.S. today is people leaving organized religions. They are known as “spiritual but not religious” or “none” which is how they would answer any questionnaire asking them to identify their religion.

I’m certainly not going to try to convince anyone in this post to change their belief. But for those feeling insecure about whether their prayers will be heard, I heartily believe the answer is: yes!

The evidence of answered prayers

I was raised a Catholic and was taught that a prayer was something that was memorized, such as the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary,” so I dutifully memorized them as a child.

Many years later, when I sat in my first Native American ceremonies, I heard people pray from their hearts, using their own words, talking directly to their Creator.

That was quite a revelation to me, something that I didn’t know was possible. And I also saw that those prayers were answered. So, for me, that settled right then and there that prayers from a sincere heart are always answered, regardless of the name of the God you address them to.

However one prays, be it reciting a memorized prayer handed down through the ages, speaking from one’s heart or reading from a prayer book, it all counts, and will all help.

I love to pray, and it is part of my daily spiritual practice. Here are just a few of the many benefits to prayer:

Prayer . . .

  • brings us peace of mind
  • helps us enjoy the beauty of silence
  • is a form of meditation
  • helps us focus on what is really important
  • instills in us kindness and compassion

However you do it, and to whomever you direct it, prayer will bring benefit to all, and that is a very good thing.

“Praying is not only following rituals and doing it just right. It’s how we feel inside, how our heart connects, and how we live.” ~ Bear Heart in The Wind Is My Mother

 

 

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com
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10 Comments

  1. Bill Jacobson

    This reminds me of a time when a holy Spiritual elder visited and spoke with some children. “How do I pray, one asked.”

    “Well”, the elder replied. “What is that one thing that we can offer to Creator? We could offer money… nope, Creator gave us this. We could make something… nope, that would be made of everything that Creator created for us.”

    “The only thing that we can offer to Creator is that of saying something directly to Creator. Just take one minute everyday talking to Creator. Do this one thing and Creator will so pleased with your gift.”

    • Molly Larkin

      Lovely story! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. John Reilly

    I’ve always believed that the Lord’s prayer, as I know it, would make sense to any one in any language. I reckon you could easily substitute it for a prayer to the Great Spirit of the Native Americans. I think that’s why Jesus said it was the only prayer we need to say. Because basically by saying it we are asking God, The Great Spirit, Allah etc for everything we need.(Unfortunately some of us want more) Just thought I’d share that. Lots of love, peace and happiness to you all.

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you, John. Yes, I agree with you.

      • John Reilly

        I always look forward to your emails Molly. Apart from making me feel better they get me thinking a bit deeper. So thank you for that.

        • Molly Larkin

          So glad to hear it. Thank you for telling me.

  3. Joy

    Nice one. God will keep inspiring you.

  4. Kristen Caporelli

    The shape of our prayers are ours, however we are all connected in some way aren’t we. I try to envision that we are all a resource for one another or at the very least we are all connected and when we pray we all benefit just like you are saying here Molly. With the eclipse coming the universe is also pausing to reflect and I feel so blessed by it all. Thank you as always, dear Molly.

    • Molly Larkin

      I love what you said, particularly describing the eclipse as the universe pausing to reflect. Well said!

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