A Return to Prayer

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781573225205
  • 320 Pages
  • Riverhead Books
  • Adult


Marianne Williamson’s bestselling A Return to Love ended with a prayer in which she asked God to help us “find our way home, from the pain to peace, from fear to love, from hell to Heaven.” Now, in this stunning new collection of thoughts, prayers, and rites of passage, Marianne Williamson returns to prayer.

Prayer is practical, Williamson tells us. “To look to God is to look to the realm of consciousness that can deliver us from the pain of living.” Illuminata brings prayer into our daily lives, with prayers on topics from releasing anger to finding forgiveness, from finding great love to achieving intimacy. There are prayers for couples, for parents, and for children; prayers to mend broken relationships and prayers to overcome obsessive and compulsive love. There are prayers to heal the soul, prayers to heal the body, and prayers for work and creativity.

Williamson also gives us prayers for the healing of America, including two prayers that have had powerful effects on audiences at her lectures: a prayer of amends on behalf of European Americans to African-Americans and one to Native Americans. How, Williamson asks, can we expect anyone to forgive when we have made no formal apology?

Another section includes rites of passage, ceremonies of light for the signal events in our lives: blessing of the newborn, coming of age, marriage, and death. There is also a ceremony of the elder, for moving into midlife, and a ceremony of divorce, in which a gentle transition is provided for both the couple and their children.

“Read my prayers or someone else’s,” Williamson says. “By all means, create your own.” Illuminata is a way to bring prayer into practical use, creating a sweeter, more abundant life for yourself and the people you care for. “No conventional therapy,” she says, “can release us from a deep and abiding psychic pain. Through prayer we find what we cannot find elsewhere: a peace that is not of this world.”

Table of Contents

A Way In


Part I: Thoughts

1. Renaissance
2. The Luminous Mind
3. Mystical Power

Part II: Prayers

1. Ladders to God
2. Daily Prayers

Daily Renewal: Prayer and Meditation
Morning Prayer
A New Day
Evening Prayers
3. Prayers for the Soul
Prayers for New Life
Prayers for Depression
Prayer for the Higher Self
Clearing Up the Past
Washing Us Clean
Prayer for Faith
Filling the Emptiness
Group Prayer for God’s Presence
4. Prayers for the Body
Gratitude for the Body
Prayers for Healing
Prayer for a Partner’s Healing
Prayer for a Peaceful Death
Prayer for the Dead
5. Prayers for Relationships
Loved Ones
When We Have Been Betrayed
Prayer Between Friends
When Conflict Happens
Falling in Love
Prayer to Attract Great Love
Prayers for Couples
Fear of Intimacy
Resisting Love
The Mystical Reconnection
Sexual Violation
Obsession and Addiction in Love
Prayer for a Broken Relationship
Prayer for Our Home
Prayer for Our Parents
Prayer for Our Children
Prayer for Myself
6. Prayers for Work and Creativity
Prayer for Achievement
Prayers for Deliverance
Releasing Outcome
Transforming Failure
Prayer for New Beginnings
7. Prayers for the World
The World
The Healing of Nations
Amends to the African-American
Amends to the Native American
Hatred in America
Healing America
Prayer for America
Amends Between Men and Women
Prayer for the Leaders
Prayer of the Healer
Prayer for the Victim of Violence
Prayer for the Perpetrator
Prayer for the Earth
Prayer for the World

Part III: Rites of Passage

1. Ceremonies of Light
2. Blessing of the Newborn
3. Rite of Puberty: The Consecration of Adulthood
4. Ceremony of Marriage
5. Ceremony of the Elder: A Rite of Midlife
6. Ceremony of Divorce
7. Memorial Service

Part IV: Hallelujah


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