In the Spirituality of the Yoruba, prayer (adura) is essential. Yoruba like all of your indigenous wisdom traditions of Africa is based upon the power of the word (Ofo Ashe). In the wisdom of the Yoruba, the word is sacred and the word is truthful. Within the word, there is a holy, mystical force called bara.
It is this holy primordial force that sets Ashe in motion. Bara that is the language that the Irunmole understand and obey. Bara is the true source of nourishment for the Orisha. When we pray with focus intention and righteous heart, our words become potent with bara and our prayers are answered.
Prayer is the means by which the aborisha enters into communion with the Irunmole (all the heavenly beings). Thus, it is through prayer that we are able to influence the orisha to act on our behalf. The aborisha should know that when we pray, it is the orisha that rules our head that hears and carries or transmit our request to Olódùmarè.
Olódùmarè has the final sanction of the blessings you request. The Yoruba awo (sage) says: “Ase i owo Olódùmarè..”
“It is the power or hand of Olódùmarè that has the final sanction”.
It is through Olódùmarè that the orisha has the full power to grant you your request. Adura may be said at any time, any place and under any circumstances. However, formal prayer is done before one’s altar that has been consecrated to the orisha.
In most cases the content of our prayer reflects our personal life experience. The adura may be for money, love, children, health, protection, etc. The awo says, “…the greatest request is iwa, that is divine character”. Divine character is wisdom, unlimited knowledge, potency, truth, righteousness, Ashe (power), children, health, etc.
A word to the wise:
Pray for the things you need more so than the things you want. Your needs are the foundation for getting all the things that you want.
The keys to effective prayer
- Concentrate (arojinle) when you attempt to pray. It is important that you focus your attention upon your prayer. You must become at one with your words.
- Pray with faith. Most people pray with it in mind that their prayers will not be answered. When you pray see your prayers being answered.
- Be consistent. When you pray, keep your subject or object of prayer in mind. Spend 15 – 30 minutes praying for one thing. Pray every day at the same time, for the same thing, until you see your prayer really manifest in your life. Write your prayers down and say the same thing over and over again.
- Pray with emotion. Feel the desire of what you request. Pray with a burning desire to receive your wish.
- Act upon your prayer. Some people may pray for money or a job. There are those who pray for a job and never leave the house. If you pray for health, then make an effort to heal yourself. Eat right, change your lifestyle or habits that have aided in the manifestation of poor health, etc.,
- Sit down and meditate and plan how you can make your prayers (your request) manifest. Know that the orisha is working through you to achieve your prayer.
- When you pray, be specific; be to-the-point. Know what you want and how you wish to receive it. For example: If you are praying for money, specify the amount and the avenue through which you want it to come.
- Language is important. Master the Yoruba language which is a power language that holds bara. At least learn to pray in Yoruba.
- Sometimes instead of praying for the things you want directly, pray for the discipline, knowledge, wisdom and power to manifest your desire. If your desire is wealth, request of the orisha to bestow upon you the knowledge and wisdom needed to achieve wealth.
- Ask the Orisa to give you the Iwa (the character) that will give you the things that you are praying for and the character that will attract to you the things that you need.