From the beginning of creation intention was an integral part of God’s plan: in the incredible variety of species of plants and animals, in the interconnectedness and interdependency of species on one another, in the breadth and depth of the universe and so on throughout creation. It’s also a big part of our lives where we can imagine where we want to go, and then experience how setting intentions can organize our lives. In addition there is God’s intention for each of us set at our creation for us to realize the whole person we were created to be. And beyond that I believe that God needs us to live out the entire blueprint of Divine intention for us in order to bring in the kingdom as a reality here on earth.
In the Life of the Spirit intention is a focused prayer that gathers the whole of oneself—body, mind and spirit– into declaring an objective that matches what one is called to by God. Our part of the equation is to answer God’s call with a prayer of intention to make that call a reality. God’s part of the equation is to transform us so that this intention becomes the reality in our lives. God has the bigger part, but totally depends upon our willingness to align ourselves with what God wants for us, from us. To set an intention is to open the door into an area of our lives that has previously been closed to God, allowing the Holy Spirit entry. That’s all we have to do. The Holy Spirit totally transforms us from the inside out. Sometime later when maybe a few months have gone by, we realize that we are acting in a whole new way. The prayer of intention used to be called aligning our will with God’s will.
If our intention is to be more single-minded, focused more on God’s will for us, then we will feel integrated. If our intention is to be more loving, that’s what we will see—a new ease in loving others. If we intended to treat ourselves with more love, we’ll experience a new found patience and acceptance of the more human parts of ourselves. If our intention is to let go of judgment, blame and criticism, we will find ourselves more accepting of others and ourselves. Where do you see a need for improvement in yourself? What teachings of Jesus do you have trouble living out? What is God calling you to do, to be? These are all areas that respond well to the use of intention. And by setting intentions for all these things, we will see our spiritual lives deepen and change and grow. We ourselves will be more integrated, more capable of love, more aligned with our purpose, more loving, more tied to God.
At any one point in time you might given a number of intentions into the hands of the Holy Spirit. Set an intention whenever you feel your behavior or words were wrong or set an intention when you feel God’s call to you about something, Recently I set an intention about giving up the anger and fear I was experiencing towards someone; later that day I was able to respond very differently. Another intention this year was about an upcoming move away from Charlotte to express the grief I had within me about leaving and to then set my whole being towards the new place. Another was to accept however much sleep I get as sufficient, to give up the anger I was feeling, because I am not sleeping as well as I am used to. These three examples of intentions I have set recently are just a few of the intentions I have set over the last ten years. I know that the Spirit is working in my life; I can feel the growth in my trust and love of God; I can experience the changes in myself. Thanks be to God!