Feeling grateful has become much easier for me since I started using a little eight word prayer of gratitude that I repeat multiple times throughout the day. I came up with this gratitude prayer a while back and it has stuck with me ever since. It came to me as a thought and a feeling one day while I was pondering the concept of prayer and of “praying always”. There are just eight words in the phrase- but it has the power to completely transform how I view any situation I find myself in with the end result being that I feel more gratitude in my life even in situations that I previously found stressful. I invite you to adopt the phrase as your own and see what a difference an increased focus on gratitude can make in your life.
The statement is this:
“Thank You Father That I Am Here Now!”
This little prayer is a way of seeing whatever is right in front of me at any given moment as something to be grateful for and something worthy of my attention. It is easy (but not necessarily common) to feel grateful when things are going well and life seems good. Even in the good times, this little prayer can keep me humble and keep me grounded in the present and aware of the source of my blessings .
However, when things are not going “as planned” (which is often), is when this little prayer really has power. When I am facing a situation that makes me uncomfortable, scared, worried, or angry, I just say “Thank You Father That I Am Here Now” and I begin to feel grateful for the challenge that is in front of me right now. I begin to look for how I can bring my creative power of choosing meaning to bear on this situation. I begin to look at how this situation is a friendly teacher helping me to face my weaknesses head on instead of avoiding them and come out stronger as a result. How can this experience polish a rough edge? Lead me in a better direction? Bring out a quality of the Soul?
This mini-prayer is a reminder to me to keep my attention and the light of my consciousness HERE and NOW where it has incredible creative power. Here and Now is the only time and place my attention can have any creative power. I cannot create in the past or the future and I cannot create somewhere else than in my world. I cannot create in anyone else’s world, only mine.
It’s easy to go through our day with scattered attention. We’re doing one thing, or with one person, but our attention is elsewhere and we’re not really PRESENT with the person or the situation in front of us. A scattered attention is an untrained attention.
As you go through your daily activities this week, try to say this mini-prayer throughout the day whenever you notice your attention wandering away from the person or situation right in front of you. Here are some examples:
- When exercising- use it to keep your attention in your body- notice your breathing, notice any sensations in your body. Don’t allow your attention to wander to your days to do list or to yesterday’s encounter you wish had gone differently.
- When you’re with someone (your spouse, your child, your friend, your co-worker, your customer) whether in person or on the phone- use the mini-prayer to pull your full attention to the person you’re dealing with. Really listen, look into their eyes, smile. They’ll feel something different- people can tell when they have someone’s undivided attention and when they don’t.
- When eating- use the mini-prayer to focus your attention on the food you are eating. Chew slowly and chew longer than you normally do without attention, savor the taste, feel grateful for the nourishment and the enjoyment of eating.
Whatever you happen to be doing, use the mini-prayer to bring your attention fully to the present moment and then keep bringing your attention back when it begins to wander (which it will). Learning to train your attention is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself, and the only way to do it is to practice doing it moment by moment, situation by situation.
Questions to Ponder
How can this phrase help me be more grateful when things seem to be going my way? What about when they don’t seem to be going my way?
When I’m with other people, how much of my attention do they usually have?
Can I notice the difference when I have someone’s undivided attention and when I don’t?
What routine daily situations can I use this mini-prayer to help me train my attention to be more in the present?