The Prayer and the Pony

The Prayer and The Pony by Gregory Barrette

As this Christmas season approaches, here’s the question of the day: What do you find between the prayer and the pony you’ve been praying for? There’s a gap between setting an intention and harvesting the result, the seed and the fruit of its plant, cause and effect—the prayer and the pony that you want for Christmas. What do you find in that gap?

In a very real sense, you never want the specific thing you pray for, but rather the soul growth that it represents. That’s what’s in between the prayer and the pony. You seldom ever get exactly what you want, but you always get who you are: your consciousness and its growth and development. You don’t really want that pony, you want the spiritual growth that works on you when you set that pony-intention into motion! It is more of God in your life—God in the way that setting your prayer into motion grows you, not so much God in the form of the pony itself.

So once again the question is this: What’s in the way?

You may well think, But I don’t want to find out what’s in the way, I only want the pony when I wake up on Christmas morning!

In my first year of ministry, a woman approached me saying, “I did what you told us to do last Sunday.” Not remembering telling anybody to do anything, I asked her what that was. “I quit my lousy job and am praying for a better one,” she replied. While I was unable to recall saying any such thing, I said that I’d join her in prayer for divine order and right employment, and then I spent the rest of the day wondering what I might have really said.

Over the next few months, she kept me updated on her employment developments, which included accepting and then quitting two more jobs. Finally, after about a year, she informed me that she had been offered her original job back. She accepted the offer and this time enjoyed the work immensely. She attributed this to the growth and learning that resulted from navigating her two previous positions. She had learned that her old job was not so bad after all and that her attitude about it was what needed to change.

Higher Good

Maybe it’s better to look at it this way: Since you can never get just exactly what you want, you get only who you are. And that’s the growth, the change, the development of your consciousness, which is now able to experience your pony—even if it changes into something else, whether that something else is a baby, a Mercedes, or moving to India to work in Mother Teresa’s ashram.

Maybe your higher good is something different than what you had in mind. Maybe the growth that your prayer for the pony engenders is your real Christmas gift!

Author Biography: 

Greg BarretteGreg Barrette was born and raised in Unity and has been a Unity minister for 36 years. Formerly the director of the International Youth of Unity, Greg served as first vice president of the International New Thought Alliance, was elected president of four Unity regions and has led some of Unity's most successful churches. He is a Certified Healthy Congregations Facilitator. Greg is currently senior minister of Unity Northwest Church in Des Plaines, Illinois.