The Only Little Prayer You Need cover

The Only Little Prayer You Need - Book Summary

The Shortest Route to a Life of Joy, Abundance, and Peace of Mind

Duration: 23:56
Release Date: February 21, 2024
Book Author: Debra Landwehr Engle
Categories: Religion & Spirituality, Motivation & Inspiration
Duration: 23:56
Release Date: February 21, 2024
Book Author: Debra Landwehr Engle
Categories: Religion & Spirituality, Motivation & Inspiration

In this episode of 20 Minute Books, we delve into "The Only Little Prayer You Need," published in 2014, which offers a path to a more serene existence through the power of a succinct and potent prayer. This book illustrates how embracing a brief, yet profound prayer can empower you to let go of fears, transform your outlook on life, and liberate your mind from the chains of worry and stress.

Authored by Debra Landwehr Engle, a guiding light in the realm of spiritual wellness, this book draws from her extensive experience as the co-founder and facilitator of the "Tending Your Inner Garden" workshops and a teacher of the spiritual course "A Course in Miracles." Engle, who also shares her insights on living a joy-filled life on her blog "Everyday Miracles" and through her speeches at international events, encapsulates her wisdom in a work that's both accessible and deeply transformative.

"The Only Little Prayer You Need" is an invaluable resource for anyone trapped in a maelstrom of negative thinking, individuals navigating the aftermath of heartbreaking events, or those simply seeking solace and a shoulder of support in stressful times. Join us as we explore how this compact prayer can usher in profound changes in your perception, bringing peace and fulfillment within easy reach.

Unlock the power to conquer your fears

Has fear ever gripped you so tightly that you found yourself awake at 3 a.m., heart pounding, as you contemplated financial uncertainties or career advancements? If so, you're familiar with the overwhelming force of fear-based thoughts. Debra Landwehr Engle was once in that very boat, navigating the turbulent waters of anxiety and worry, until she discovered a remarkably simple, yet profoundly effective, tool for regaining her peace of mind — a six-word plea to the Holy Spirit that transformed her outlook on life.

In this exploration of Engle's insights, we're not just talking about a prayer in the traditional religious sense. Rather, this is about a transformative practice for finding inner peace and happiness, transcending religious boundaries to offer solace and strength to anyone willing to try it. Whether you consider yourself spiritual, religious, or neither, there's something deeply universal and profoundly empowering about this approach to conquering fear.

Prepare to delve into the essence of this six-word prayer, how it can seamlessly integrate into your daily routine, and the vast, positive changes its regular recitation can usher into your life. This isn't merely about quelling midnight anxieties; it's about fundamentally shifting your perspective, leading to a life more richly lived in peace rather than in fear.

You'll also discover:

- The transformative impact of recognizing seemingly insignificant events as pivotal moments of insight;

- The comprehensive benefits of embracing this prayer practice in your everyday life, touching on both mental and physical well-being; and

- Practical ways to apply the profound lessons of this prayer to the challenges and opportunities of the real world.

Embark on this journey to unshackle yourself from the chains of fear, and open your heart and mind to the possibilities that await when you dare to let go.

From rattles to revelations: How a simple request can transform your world

Imagine this: a routine day, a commonplace event, setting the stage for an epiphany that reshapes your entire outlook on life. This was precisely Debra Landwehr Engle's reality on an unassuming, chilly January day in 2013. Alongside her husband, Bob, Debra set out to retrieve their car from the mechanic, unaware that the day would mark the beginning of her profound spiritual awakening.

After paperwork completion, with the ignition turned and the journey back home underway, Debra encountered an irritating rattle emanating from the dashboard. The annoyance escalated with each mile, breeding a storm of negative thoughts within her. Despite her efforts, she couldn't quell the internal tempest. At that moment, driven to seek solace outside of herself, Debra whispered a spontaneous prayer to the Holy Spirit, pleading, "Please heal my fear-based thoughts."

Upon Bob's return to the car for their homeward leg, a noticeable silence enveloped the space where the rattle once persisted. But what catalyzed this sudden change? The answer didn't lie in the physical realm of tightened screws or corrected mechanical faults — instead, it was Debra's own shift in perception, ushered in by her heartfelt prayer, that dissolved the external irritation.

This episode stood as a testament to a powerful insight previously articulated by self-help guru Wayne Dyer: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Engle's moment of clarity revealed a profound truth: by requesting healing for her fear-induced thoughts, she inadvertently removed their external triggers — the rattles ceased because they were no longer necessary.

This realization illuminated the transformative potential of what Debra considered a simple, yet potent, form of prayer. Such an act of faith could not only eradicate negative thought patterns but also pivot one's perspective from fear to love. It underscored a significant spiritual lesson: oftentimes, the key to altering our external reality starts with a change within.

A paradigm shift in prayer: Transforming yourself, not your circumstances

When prayers ascend, they often carry requests for intervention in the physical world. "Please cure my friend," or "Protect my family on their journey," we might say, appealing for external circumstances to shift in favor of our desires. Yet, there's a prayer that deviates from this norm, one that instead turns the lens inward, seeking transformation not in the world, but within the self.

Consider the conventional plea for financial relief: "Please help me find the money to pay my mortgage this month." While such a prayer might momentarily alleviate the angst of financial strife, it's a fleeting reprieve. Soon enough, the mind spirals into the next sequence of worries — the future payments, the stability of income. Essentially, these prayers leave the root unaddressed; they don’t catalyze any internal change. Consequently, we find ourselves trapped in a continuous loop of anxiety, boarding what feels like an unstoppable train of fear.

However, imagine rephrasing that prayer to, "Please heal my fear-based thoughts about our mortgage." This subtle shift in wording creates a profound difference in perspective and outcome. Rather than seeking a temporary escape from financial worry, this prayer aims to cure the very inclination to dwell in fear. It's not about averting the problem but healing the propensity to perceive our situations through a lens of fear, thus freeing us from a cycle of perpetual anxiety.

This is the crux of why the exact wording — "fear-based thoughts" — is so pivotal. It reminds us that our fears, no matter how towering they seem, are mere thoughts. And thoughts, unlike external circumstances, are within our power to change. By focusing our prayers on changing these internal narratives, we're not just seeking temporary relief but pursuing a lasting peace.

The transformative power of such a prayer lies in its ability to shift perspective. By asking for self-transformation, we acknowledge a profound truth: when we change from within, the world around us changes in response. It's a testament to the power of internal change to influence external realities, guiding us away from the shadows of fear and towards the light of peace and acceptance.

Making the prayer a natural part of your life for lasting impact

Habit formation isn't just about persistence; it's about integrating new practices into your life with seamless consistency. This is especially true when it comes to incorporating a transformative prayer into your daily rhythm. The goal is to weave this prayer into the tapestry of your daily existence, ensuring it becomes as natural as breathing.

One way to do this is by anchoring the prayer to routine activities. Imagine greeting the dawn with these words on your lips, or letting them be the final thought as you drift to sleep. Perhaps as you wait for your morning coffee to brew or during the quiet moments of your evening tea, you can silently repeat the prayer, allowing it to fill the spaces of your day.

However, while regularity is essential, rigidity is not. The prayer shouldn't feel like another box to tick off your daily checklist. Instilling it into your life isn't about adherence to a strict schedule but about letting it naturally find its place within your day.

Patience is also crucial. Initial outcomes from the prayer might vary — from immediate noticeable shifts to seemingly no change at all. The key is to release all expectations and adopt the role of an observer, witnessing the unfolding changes without judgment.

Yet, as you embark on this journey, be prepared to encounter resistance. Your enthusiasm may wane, or skepticism might cloud your commitment. This reflects an all-too-familiar attachment to fear-based thinking, a reluctance to step beyond comfort zones into a space of genuine peace.

To counteract this, make the prayer impossible to ignore. Place it prominently — on your dashboard, bathroom mirror, or beside your bed, welcoming you into each new day. One individual went as far as distributing handwritten notes throughout her home as constant reminders.

Despite any mental barriers, the prayer’s simplicity and depth offer a clear path forward. The challenge lies not in its complexity but in overcoming the inertia of old habits. As you continue to invite these words into your daily life, their power unfolds, slowly eradicating fear-based thoughts and ushering in a new era of peace and joy.

Embrace serenity: The power of shifting from fear to love

Remember those childhood cartoons where, at the crossroads of a mighty decision, characters found themselves flanked by an angel on one side and a devil on the other? This imagery, it turns out, isn't too far from the truth when it comes to the architecture of our own minds, as described in the spiritual teachings of "A Course in Miracles." According to this perspective, our consciousness is divided between two voices: the fear-driven ego and the tranquil higher Self.

The ego is the embodiment of fear — quick to anger, always demanding, and constantly stirring up trouble, much like the proverbial devil whispering in our ear. In contrast, the higher Self reflects the angel's presence — it's the source of calm wisdom, bathed in the comforting knowledge of our intrinsic connection to the divine.

In the constant tug-of-war within our minds, the ego often gains the upper hand, plunging us into states of confusion, fear, and resistance to change. This imbalance is largely fed by the fear-saturated messages that bombard us daily; from news headlines filled with disaster and despair to internalized insecurities about our self-worth, finances, and personal relations.

Despite this onslaught of fear, there exists a pathway to strengthening the voice of the higher Self — practices like meditation, introspection, and immersing oneself in nature can serve as conduits to this serene inner dialogue, offering a respite from the chaos of ego-driven thoughts.

Central to this journey of cultivating inner peace is the prayer: "Please heal my fear-based thoughts." These simple words act as a beacon, guiding us back to our fundamental essence and the reservoir of love that resides within. More than just a plea for the disappearance of fear, this prayer is an invocation for the transformation of our very perception, enabling a transcendent shift from thoughts rooted in fear to those blossoming from love — acceptance, compassion, forgiveness.

So, the next time you find yourself grappling with fear and uncertainty, echoing the timeless cartoon dilemma of the angel and the devil on your shoulders, remember the power of this prayer. It serves not as a forceful command to banish fear, but as a gentle reminder of your own capacity to choose love over fear, reminding you of your innate ability to attune to the whisperings of your higher Self amidst the clamor of the ego.

Discovering and Uprooting Your Negative Thoughts

In the endless buzz of our daily lives, from the news stories that greet us in the morning to the last gossip we overhear before we leave the office, our minds are constantly bombarded by noise. This incessant stream of information acts as the backdrop to our own internal dialogue — a steady hum of fear-based thoughts that Debra Landwehr Engle describes as our "diet of drama". But it's not enough to merely wish these thoughts away with a prayer; to truly transform them, we must first recognize what they are.

Imagine your mind as a lush garden. Just as a gardener would, you must identify and pull out the weeds to ensure the health and growth of your garden. This process starts with tuning out the external noise to focus inward, to listen attentively to every negative thought that finds its way into your consciousness.

So, how do we embark on this journey of discovery and cleansing? Several practices can serve as your tools for this task. Journaling, for instance, provides a simple yet profound way to reflect your thoughts onto paper. Spending just a few minutes each day with your journal can help bring clarity and awareness to your thought patterns. Alternatively, something as simple as a quiet walk or foregoing headphones during your commute can offer you the space to observe your thoughts without distraction.

Checking in with yourself at pivotal moments throughout the day can also offer insights: What thoughts occupy your mind when you first wake up or right before you fall asleep? What swims through your consciousness when you’re in solitude?

Importantly, this process must be approached without self-criticism. Instead, view your negative thoughts as you would a passing parade — curious, but detached. You might even verbalize your observations, noting to yourself, "Ah, there's another fear-based thought about finances."

While the world's chatter cannot be silenced, you do have control over cultivating inner tranquility. This is where the prayer — "Please heal my fear-based thoughts" — becomes a powerful ally. By dedicating moments of your day to this simple request, you actively engage in the process of identifying, acknowledging, and ultimately, releasing these negative thoughts. This not only cleanses your mental garden of weeds but also prepares the soil for more positive, love-based thoughts to flourish.

Finding serenity amidst life's storms

Imagine facing the prospect of unemployment, a chronic illness, a housing crisis, and a family upheaval — all at once! For many, this would be the recipe for unmitigated despair. But what if you could navigate such tumultuous waters with a surprisingly calm demeanor?

Enter Shelley, who embodied this extraordinary resilience. On the day she attended a workshop, she was navigating a personal maelstrom: she had just been terminated from a job where her boss had been pressuring her to resign for months. Though losing her job brought some relief from this toxic situation, it plunged her into financial uncertainty.

At the same time, Shelley and her husband faced a devastating reality about their home — it had severe structural issues, making it unsellable without costly repairs they couldn't afford. Additionally, she was grappling with the demands of caring for her ailing mother, all while managing her own health challenges with Graves disease, an autoimmune disorder that sapped her energy and vitality.

Yet, amidst these trials, Shelley was the picture of tranquility in the workshop. When quizzed about her serene outlook despite her life's chaos, she shared her secret weapon: a regular, almost minute-by-minute recitation of the prayer, "Please heal my fear-based thoughts." This simple yet profound practice had become her anchor, reminding her of her inner strength and capacity to weather life's toughest storms.

In the past, fear was Shelley's constant companion, dictating her reactions and decisions. But by adopting a moment of introspection, stepping back from the immediate chaos, and entrusting her fears to be healed through the prayer, she began to experience a profound inner peace. This newfound serenity didn't just help her cope; it opened her up to new possibilities. Embracing the challenge, Shelley considered entrepreneurship — a path she would have never entertained before discovering the prayer's power.

Shelley's journey underscores a critical insight: while we may not have control over the storms that life sends our way, the prayer teaches us that we do have a choice in how we respond to them. It's not about denying reality or wishing away our problems, but about freeing ourselves from the burden of worry over the uncontrollable. The prayer doesn't change the world outside; it transforms the world within, stripping external circumstances of their dominion over our peace of mind.

A step towards global happiness through personal transformation

The quest for the perfect life — complete with a dream home, a loving family, and the freedom to explore the wonders of the world — is a common thread that connects us all. Yet, beneath these varied dreams lies a universal desire: the pursuit of happiness. This concept of happiness, though, is multifaceted and implies more than mere euphoria; it encompasses feelings of peace, joy, and a sense of security and support from the world around us.

At a women’s spirituality workshop, the topic of happiness sparked an intriguing discussion. The term "happy" initially met with resistance, perceived by some as superficial. However, as the conversation unfolded, a consensus emerged: true happiness is characterized by freedom, forgiveness, fulfillment, and an overarching sense of peace — not an unending state of jubilation, but a deeper feeling of safety and love, free from the shadows of fear.

The author, Debra Landwehr Engle, posits that happiness is the ultimate liberation from fear, a state of being where love flows untainted. This desire for happiness transcends all boundaries of race, religion, and identity. It raises a poignant question: Can the practice of a simple prayer, aimed at healing fear-based thoughts, contribute not just to individual peace but to the broader tapestry of global happiness?

Consider the transformative journey of Shelley, whose story illustrates the profound ripple effect of personal peace. As Shelley found solace and strength through the prayer, the positive shifts in her attitude and approach to life began to reflect in her immediate environment. Family members and close associates, inspired by her calm and acceptance, began to adopt a similar mindset, tackling their challenges with a newfound patience and resilience. This change in individual hearts and homes poses an inspiring possibility: If everyone were to embark on such a journey of inner peace, could we collectively inch closer to resolving the more significant issues that plague our world — violence, poverty, famine, and injustice?

Though the prayer alone might not topple oppressive systems or end conflicts, it holds the power to create incremental changes in the way we interact with each other and confront our challenges. By cultivating kindness, understanding, and acceptance within ourselves, we contribute to a domino effect of positive transformations, extending the boundaries of personal happiness to include our communities and, eventually, the world. In this way, the prayer serves not just as a tool for personal healing, but as a beacon of hope for a happier, more peaceful global society.

Embracing serenity amidst life's chaos

Life's journey often feels like sailing in stormy seas — we navigate through work pressures, family responsibilities, and our own personal aspirations, all while battling the undercurrents of fear and doubt. Amidst this turmoil, a simple, yet profoundly transformative prayer, "Please heal my fear-based thoughts," emerges as a beacon of hope, offering resilience and a haven of calm. This prayer encourages a shift in perspective, teaching us that sometimes, the solution doesn't lie in altering our external circumstances but in healing our internal dialogue. By embracing this prayer, we not only foster inner peace but also contribute to a more harmonious world.

The Only Little Prayer You Need Quotes by Debra Landwehr Engle

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