Reiki and the Light of Prayer

by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Spring 2008.
Artwork by Gaia Orion.

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Prayer is a message to God sent from our hearts. Prayer holds the belief that there is a Higher Power who listens, cares and intervenes on our behalf. It invites enlightened beings into our lives to guide and assist us and tells them of our needs, intentions and gratitude. Prayer is a manner of communication that can transcend the density of the earth and travel to the spirit realms where many enlightened beings live and assist humanity.

Using prayer with Reiki is a personal choice. Not all Reiki practitioners enjoy prayer or find it necessary for their practice. Many Reiki practitioners work with Reiki strictly as energy. Either way is appropriate; Reiki heals regardless. If you decide to include prayer in your Reiki practices, this article will give you ideas on how to develop your prayer skills and your own prayer style.

Including prayer with Reiki practice empowers our relationship with the Divine. Both Reiki and prayer increase our awareness of the presence of sacred beings. Each enhances the other. Reiki aligns our prayer with our heart and the truth of what we ask, and prayers invite God and our spiritual helpers to our Reiki practices. Reiki adds light to a prayer, and prayers communicate our needs. Together, they are a powerful light of intention sent directly to the Divine.

“Mystics have believed in the power of prayer since ancient times. It is through prayer, visualization, affirmations, and experiencing or feeling the essence of what we are praying for that causes miracles and blessings to manifest in our lives. These are the tools of creation.” -Laurelle Shanti Gaia, in The Book On Karuna® Reiki.

Dr. Usui asked that Reiki practitioners pray the Five Reiki Ideals twice daily to enrich their Reiki practice. He said, “Every morning and evening join your hands in prayer, pray these words to your heart and chant these words with your mouth. Just for today, do not anger. Do not worry and be filled with gratitude. Devote yourself to your work, and be kind to people.” Dr. Usui practiced and taught Reiji Ho, which means “indication of spirit,” an intention to invite Spirit to our Reiki work. Reiji Ho is one of Dr. Usui’s three pillars of Reiki, along with Gassho (meditation) and Chiryo (treatment).

How Reiki assists us with our prayers

Without the power of God Consciousness, prayers are simply words. The light within them is dim. Words can carry low vibrations, attachments, beliefs and bargains, and their manifestation can sometimes have unexpected results. When we empower our words and prayers unconsciously and use our personal agenda, we may experience the unintended consequence of our efforts, leading to the old saying, “Be careful what you pray for, you may just get it.” Reiki connects our mind and our heart with God Consciousness and aligns our intentions with truth. Reiki helps us release our personal attachments and lower vibration desires by increasing the light and vibration in our hearts so we can pray with love and pure intentions.

The Reiki guides say that prayer is seen in the spirit realms as light emanating from the Earth. Reiki strengthens the light of our prayer and makes it more visible. The Power symbol connects us to the enlightened realms. It also helps us release any unwanted attachments in our prayer. The Mental/Emotional symbol can cleanse and clarify our prayers and intentions. The Distant Healing symbol sees the Divine heart in ourselves and the Divine heart of our prayer, and it can carry our prayer on the Bridge of Light to the enlightened ones who can help us. It also carries the healing intention of our prayers for others that we heal at a distance.

Reiki is a vehicle for our prayers to manifest. When we are healing with Reiki, our prayers and spiritual helpers have access to our physical body, mind, emotions and spirit. We have asked for help and made ourselves available to receive healing. When we combine Reiki and prayer, we create a powerful opportunity for miracles to happen.

When the outcome of prayer is not what we had hoped, Reiki can heal us, imparting a sense of peace and trust in the most difficult times. Reiki helps us let go and allow the highest good of all to be served, even when we do not understand. Reiki blesses us and fills us with light and heals our hearts. It connects us to our spiritual understanding of a situation and makes it easier to “let it be.”

How Prayer assists Reiki

I use prayer in all of my Reiki practices—treatments, workshops, ceremonies, my Reiki craft projects, meditations, and in my daily life. My prayers are always an invitation to my Reiki guides, spiritual helpers and God to guide and assist me in my work. They communicate my intentions to these enlightened beings, and they create the opportunity for spirit to channel through Reiki to do the healing work on behalf of my clients, students and me.

Before a client arrives for a Reiki treatment, I activate the Reiki symbols in me and in the room; I place my hands in Gassho and begin to listen. When my client arrives and we talk about their healing needs, the symbols begin their work to help the person clarify their intention. I activate the symbols over the client, place my hands on them and activate Reiji Ho with my prayer and invocation.

The invocation invites the enlightened ones best suited for the Reiki work and communicates the intentions of the client to them. Often, the truth of the intention is clarified through my invocation. The process of praying aloud while connected to Reiki and my client aligns the words with Spirit and my client’s heart, and their true purpose is revealed. Hearing the meaning of their prayer has a very healing effect. Often clients remember their true vision and goals when they hear the words. The prayer then directs the Reiki treatment and gives me the place to focus my attention in the treatment. I can completely let go because I know my Reiki guides and spirit helpers are present; they know what is needed, and they are the ones who do the healing work. I am simply a channel for their grace.

Arjava Petter says in his book, Reiki Fire, “Personally, I find it very helpful to remember that we are touching the Divine every time we give a session or an initiation to a fellow being.” He also says in The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui, “Only when we can devote ourselves without being prejudiced by our thoughts and feelings, will we become an instrument for the universal life energy.”

Prayer is also important in my workshops. Prayer invites Spirit to the class. I use my invocation to align the mind and hearts of all attending with God Consciousness and communicate to the spirit guides what we are going to do that day. In my prayer, I ask to “close the circle” and ask to create an enhanced learning environment so those present can feel the energy of Reiki. It also allows me to step out of my head and teach from my heart, which makes it easier for my students to listen and absorb the information presented. I use prayer throughout the day in guided meditations and before the Reiki attunements. Prayer helps the students and me center into the ceremony and tells the Reiki guides which attunement I am giving. At the end of the day, I use prayer to “open the circle” and release the energy, participants, and Reiki guides from the circle. I pray my thanksgiving for the day and all the blessings received.

I use prayer and invocation in my meditations. Both in my personal meditations and when I am doing guided meditations for others. Distant Reiki is also a form of prayer. And, I use prayer in my Reiki craft projects to imbue them with intention. Currently, I knit scarves and donate them to children in hospitals. I pray for the health of the children and chant the Reiki symbols as I knit, imbuing the stitches with my prayer.

Prayer for me is more a style of communication than a form of worship. Prayer creates a particular experience of Reiki. It is the experience of the Divine that many of us find so fulfilling. I love my connection and relationships with my Reiki guides and my spirit helpers. They enrich my life every day. My prayers are simply a method of talking to them and listening so I can hear the guidance they offer.

Developing your prayer skills and style

Praying did not come easily to me. Praying aloud in front of others gave me terrible anxiety. I literally suffered at the thought. However, not being able to pray or pray aloud was a huge limitation for the style of Reiki that I wanted to practice. In addition to my healing practice and Reiki workshops, I write and perform many ceremonies. Ceremonies require a lot of prayers and thoughtful preparation. Therefore, I had to teach myself to pray and had to make a deliberate effort to develop my prayer skills.

To begin, I went to the bookstores and found prayer books. My favorite is Illuminata, by Marianne Williamson. It is filled with prayers for just about everything. Her prayer style is still noticeable in all of my work. Marianne advises: “Read my prayers or someone else’s. By all means, create your own. It can be very powerful to write down prayers. Some people find value in keeping a prayer journal.” So, I started a prayer journal and began to write. I interlaced some of my own words into the prayers in the book, or I used a little of one prayer with a little of another from a different prayer book.

For several years, I wrote my prayers down and read them from my prayer journal. I was too intimidated to try to pray off the cuff, so I gave myself the freedom to adopt others’ styles and to read my prayers from a book, until I became comfortable letting the prayers come through me as they do now. I used the Mental/Emotional symbol to help remove my inhibitions about praying out loud, to clear my mind and feel less anxious. With a clear mind, I could hear what I wanted to say and allow the words to come through. I used the Distant Healing symbol to listen to my Reiki guides and what they wanted to say, and I wrote their words too.

An invocation is a specific style of prayer offered at the beginning of an activity to direct and guide the process. It invokes or invites Spirit to us and states an intention. I learned my invocation style from my shamanic teacher Jan Engels-Smith. Like Marianne Williamson, she encouraged me to adopt parts of her invocation until I developed my own. I still include some of what I learned in my current invocation. Mine has a format that I use every time, but the words change according to the intention. I activate Reiji Ho with my invocation for all my Reiki activities. It gives me great enjoyment and happiness and the experience of the Divine in all that I do.

Here is one format for an invocation.

1. Begin with a term of endearment toward the being you are praying to. Examples are: Dear Jesus, Dearest Lord, Great Spirit, Mother Father God, Infinite Spirit, and many others. I use Dear Ones most often, and when I am in a group, I use what is comfortable to them. In my Reiki circles and classes, I invite the blessed ones, the sacred ones of all of the people in the room. Decide what is comfortable for you.

2. Establish a place to meet your Reiki guides, or whomever you’re praying to: I go to the place of purity. “At this moment in time, I lift my vibration above the density of the earth, and I stand in that place of purity. The place of pure light, love, pure joy, truth and beauty. The place of pure grace and gratitude.” You could also meet anywhere, a garden, forest, or a room.

3. Welcome your Divine self and align with God Consciousness. “I stand here and remember that I too am a being of pure light, love and joy, truth and beauty, grace and gratitude.”

4. Welcome the Reiki guides and the beings of light and love who are to be there. If you do not know them by name, ask for enlightened spiritual helpers, compassionate teachers, or beings of light and love. Or, ask for them by category, such as angels, power animals, spiritual teachers and guides, compassionate ancestors and descendants. I also include them by name, Jesus and Mother Mary, the Archangel Michael, etc. If you don’t have any experience with your guides, invite the ones you want to know.

5. State your intention and tell your spirit guides what you need. Here is the invocation I prayed for this article. “I welcome the Reiki guides who teach prayer, invocation and guided meditation, and I ask that you assist me in writing this article, ‘Reiki and the Light of Prayer.’ ” I ask that it is easy to write and easy to understand and that it help people learn and grow and be confident and inspired in their ability to pray for themselves and others.

6. Ask to be clear and open for Reiki to flow without interference. “I ask to be a clear and open channel for the Light of Prayer and Reiki to teach and express itself in this article.”

7. Say thank you. “Thank you, Dear Ones, for the blessings, teaching and gifts you give me and all of us. Thank you for your help and guidance. I thank all of the people who help with these words and teachings, and I include myself. I send love and greetings to all.”

Here is a beautiful invocation from The Book on Karuna® Reiki:

Creator, Infinite Spirit, Mother Father Divine:
We are here before you as instruments of peace and healing and we offer ourselves as servants of the light.
We call upon only the highest and most sacred spiritual energies to be with us, to guide us, to share love, healing and wisdom with us; we send them our love; and we welcome them.
We raise ourselves up to receive healing for our highest good and the highest good of all concerned.
We offer ourselves as clear and open channels for the highest forms of the healing rays to flow through.
We give thanks that our personalities, egos and expectations stand aside, so the healing energies will flow in their clearest and truest form.
Creator we give thanks for the blessings of this healing and we know that through your love, it is done.
And So It Is.

The author also reminds us that prayer can be very simple, as in the example below.

Dear God:
Thank you for helping me heal.
Thank you that I am happy, prosperous and peaceful.
Thank you for my many blessings.
Thank you that I am the essence of Universal Love and Compassion.
And So It Is.


When I asked my Reiki guides what they wanted to say, they said, “There are as many styles of prayer as there are people, beliefs and cultures. Who you pray to is who will answer you. Perhaps your intention will call a particular enlightened being who specializes in your healing needs. We see your prayers as beams of light. Reiki adds radiance and power to the light of prayer and makes them more visible to us. All prayers are answered, whether or not you understand. Perhaps they are not answered in this world, but they are answered in another portion of your soul. We love your prayers; they give us permission to help you because you have asked. When you use Reiki with your prayers, you make yourself available to receive from the Divine. Reiki empowers us to help because it is a very high vibration like ours and gives us better access to you. Please pray often. It does not matter your style or your words. Just talk to us through the light of prayer.”

Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation,

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