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by Patricia Fry

The Universal Airways

If there is a God - a source of greater power - why aren't all of our prayers answered? Why does it seem that sometimes God isn't listening? Could it be that I'm the one who isn't listening? Am I misusing the Universal Airways - the channel that carries our prayer requests to God?

How can someone misuse the Universal Airways? One way is by trying to orchestrate your prayer response. That is by asking for something specific to occur in a particular way, within a certain time frame and expecting that it will happen exactly that way. When you wish for something specific and focus so narrowly, you are closing your mind to hundreds of other possibilities, thus blocking results.

For example, let's say that you want to attend an out-of-town seminar but your car breaks down two days before the event. You can pray that your mechanic will fix your car in time for you to drive to the seminar or you can pray that you will be able to attend the seminar. The first prayer limits the possibilities-you focus only on the car being fixed within your time frame. The second one, however, allows you to open up to other possibilities. That prayer might be answered by a coworker offering you a ride to the event. Someone may loan you a car or you'll notice an inexpensive flight advertised.

Sometimes what we have in mind for ourselves is not as beneficial to our growth as what God arranges for us. How often have you asked for something and received something completely different and it turned out to be a much better solution? Don't focus so narrowly that you become blinded to the gifts in your midst.

I recall an instance when I almost refused a gift. I was living alone for the first time in my life and found great joy in the solitude. When a coworker asked if she could move into my large home with me temporarily, I balked at the idea. I didn't want anyone else in my space. But something nudged me to reconsider and Ann moved in. A few months later, I met Leigh. Like Ann and me, she was experiencing a serious life transition and circumstances led to her moving in with us.

Here we were three women alone, each on a spiritual path and all writers. The months we spent together were magical - it was truly a time of accelerated growth for each of us and this was made possible through the fact of our togetherness. That experience became a large lesson in my life to always be open to the possibilities as they might just be a gift from God.

It's my belief that the key to using the Universal Airways is to pray, then trust that God hears - knows what is best for you, & will answer. When you wonder, doubt, challenge, devote a lot of time & energy to directing the results, you may be blocking them.

As an example, instead of asking God to arrange for a $250 bonus from your employer to make a car payment by October 12, ask that the means to clear up the debt be made available to you or simply that the debt be taken care of. That way you aren't limiting the possibilities. If you're looking only to your boss to write you a bonus check, you may completely miss the opportunity to earn that money doing a tutoring job. You may not become aware of the opportunity to sell the old piano you never use anymore. Or you might not enter the 50 cent football pool and win the $250 prize.

When we become attached to a specific outcome, we pour negative energy into it. Attachment serves only to distort the truth and to conceal the way. Do you recall an incident when things didn't turn out at all like you had hoped or expected? You probably reacted in one of two ways. Either you were disappointed-even angry that things didn't turn out as you had planned, or you recognized the perfect orchestration of the outcome and graciously accepted the gift within it.

Sometimes it takes time to acknowledge and accept God's unexpected gifts. Can you look back over your life now and recall some of your unexpected gifts that you didn't acknowledge and accept at the time? An opportunity for major growth, for example? The introduction of someone significant in your life? What about when we pray for others? Is it right to ask God to let a dying person live? Is it better to pray that God's will and that person's will be done? If we pray for life when that person has decided to die, are we interfering?

I do believe that the Universal Airways are always open and that God does hear our prayers. So, next time I feel I'm not being heard, I'll try to be a better listener.

Patricia Fry is the author of A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit (Matilija Press, 2000).

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