As we pray to be transformed, we may be healed and changed in ways we cannot imagine — healed and changed not for our own sake but for the sake of the world. If my need for power and control is softened by God's healing grace, I will not need to convince others that my way is right and will become more accepting of differences. If your need for affection and esteem is met by experiencing God's unconditional love, you will be more loving to others and less interested in receiving love for yourself. As each of us opens our hearts to the possibility of union with God and all creation, a healing force is released, bringing with it the experience and knowledge that truly we are one. In the playful words of the Sufi poet Rumi, we would know that

To meet my thousand thousand faces
I roam the world;
The dirtiest grass
Wears the sunlight of my skin:
I stand in this stream, myself, and laugh.

An Invitation to Pray

Think of someone in your life you need to forgive, someone who has hurt you or a loved one physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Or ask yourself if there is something you need to be forgiven for. In either case, you may be at the beginning of the forgiveness process or you may already be engaged in forgiving another or yourself. Take your desire to forgive to God, speaking from your heart, asking for help, sharing all you feel. You may wish to turn to the Psalms, write, draw, or dance your prayer, or sit silently, opening yourself to God's mercy. However you pray, remember that the liberation you experience and the peace you gradually discover in your heart through forgiveness will bring freedom and peace to others. Your prayers are one step toward healing a broken world.

Jane Vennard in Embracing the World