What is the difference between a wish and a prayer in your personal growth and personal change program? Maybe they are the same. But those who don't believe in God, since they relate prayer with some kind of religious experience, would not agree. For that matter, could you say a goal is a wish? Could you say a goal is a prayer?

Usually a prayer has some form to it whereby God is thanked for past prayers answered and then asked for something new.

But how about prayers in general. Julie Donley, RN BSN MBA, a psychiatric nurse, wrote in an article, “It has been said that prayers are answered in one of three ways and I quite agree:

1. Yes! You can have it!
2. No, it's not time yet.
3. No, there is something better in store for you.”

After I read that article I was spurred to explore the concept in more detail from a different point of view. Obviously when our goal, wish or prayer comes true or happens we are happy and the religious person believes that someone (God or a guardian angel), is watching over him or her. The atheist or non believer believes the goal (which might be simply to end boredom eating) was accomplished or the wish came true simply from his/her merits.

The second and third ways she refers to are rationalizations for failure in one's personal change and personal growth program. The religious person turns to faith and the atheist believes that more work must be done to achieve the goal. Sage Rumni once said something to the affect that things that don't happen sometimes keep disasters from happening. Others often say that when one door closes another door opens.

The third way she listed is usually for those who believe that our lives are preordained and that there's some kind of master plan. I believe that this is a great way of not being responsible for one's own life or for one's own personal growth. And those who are of this belief are often religious. They are often in the habit of turning their lives over to Jesus—trusting in him to protect them and provide for them in their personal change endeavors.

Modern day personal growth enthusiasts turn to the law of attraction. Wayne Dwyer, Joe Vitalie, the works of Abraham, and others believe that we can attract success and good things into our lives whether it be a brand new car, win the instant lottery, or how to build and improve self esteem, or major success in business. They look at the words of the prayer as forming vibrations (energy) and have guide lines for formulating the prayer--more popularly know as affirmations.

They believe that what often stands in the way of us achieving our goals or fulfillment of our personal growth wishes is our limiting beliefs that were ingrained in us since childhood about us not deserving success. It's like silent subliminals constantly coming from the subconscious to interfere with our personal change goals.

But even so, many who apply the philosophies of attraction simply fall short of achieving success of personal growth and instead of living an easy life where every thing seems to fall into place, they struggle daily to make ends meet and may have no self worth. Always searching for stress techniques to deal with the frustrations.

When we do everything we are taught (pray to God or practice the law of attraction) and nothing happens it's easy to fall into the trap that something is wrong with our approach or us. And it's always easy for the attraction expert to say, “Well, you still haven't let go of the limiting beliefs—there are still limiting silent subliminals running your life.”

How does one make sense of all this? Maybe its time to really define God. I can tell you that the atheist will love this definition and most religious people will consider it blasphemous. I could write a chapter to precede this explanation, but I'd never get to the meat of this article in the number of words I'm allotted. Besides I've already written half a dozen article already doing that.

Suppose we define God as the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, and probability which are basically the Laws of Nature? Literally the universe is the manifestation of the Laws of Nature (God). Every live and inanimate object is the manifestation of the Laws of Nature. You and I are the manifestation of the Laws of Nature (God). For centuries man has been trying to understand the Laws of Nature. It might be thousands of years before we really understand them. And the amazing thing is that energy is the manifestation of the Laws of Nature and prayers or affirmations are energy. Ultimately we might be able to develop esp, communicate with spirits, and know how to vibrate with source and inately know how to build and improve self worth. But this does not take away energies such as tornadoes, earth quakes, disease, pestilence, bigotry, and stupidity to name a few. The law of probability says that there is always a probability that these undesired things may happen. Our understanding of the Laws of Nature provides us better opportunity to deal with energies that are unhealthy for us. Yes, one day we may be able to control hurricanes and maybe one day we may be even free of prejudice. First is to let go of the notion that God is some deity that gives a shit as to what happens to us—that God (the Laws of Nature) is the same for all of us. God is us and we and our friends (God), relatives (God), and even some strangers (God) care what happens to us (God). They are the ones who care, not some “deity in the sky” or on some other plane. Think about it. Why would some diety care whether you have a problem with boredom eating? Or have no self worth? or anyone of a million different issues that are all subjective to your beliefs and opinions of yourself?

In summary, yes create your wishes, goals and affirmations, stress techniques and use them, but don't sit around doing nothing waiting for your wishes, goals and affirmations to drop into your lap in completed form. Do what is practical in your personal growth and personal change programs to move you towards the completed form of your wishes, goals, and affirmations such as an improved sense of self worth or to stop binge eating. Remember that the law of probability is at play every day. The more you do to move towards your goals, affirmations, and wishes, the higher the probability is that you might be at the right place and time to enjoy the results of you personal growth and change program. And sometimes that's all that it takes—being at the right place in time.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., NGH certified has been writing for the internet for over four years. He has best selling self help mp3 downloads for personal change and personal growth at http://www.DstressDoc.com to improve self worth at http://www.SelfEsteemCure.com and http://www.Emotionaleatingcure.com to end boredom eating.