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Excerpted from Look for the Good and You'll Find God by Echo Bodine. Copyright © 2008 by Echo Bodine. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"No matter how much I pleaded for something, if it wasn't for my highest good, it wasn't going to happen."

  Echo Bodine
Look for the Good and You'll Find God

Part 1

In my quest to better understand God – and prayer – three friends and I formed a prayer group called Master Mind. I'd heard about this kind of group at church. At our weekly meetings, we'd each share what we wanted help or guidance with, and one person would write down everyone's requests. At the next meeting, that person would read out loud the previous week's requests, and each of us would talk about how our prayers had been answered.

In our group, I learned about the power of prayer and the importance of being clear about what you're asking for. I saw that not all prayers are answered immediately. I learned about divine timing and that everything happens when it's meant to. No matter how much I pleaded for something, if it wasn't for my highest good, it wasn't going to happen.

I learned that if I prayed for things like patience, tolerance, and courage, life would present situations that required just those attributes. I remember once calling my mom and complaining, "Everyone's driving me crazy!" Mom asked what I had prayed for in my Master Mind group, and when the word patience popped out of my mouth, we had a good laugh. God wasn't going to just hand me patience; He was going to show me that I already had it but wasn't using it.

In Master Mind, I also saw how my low self-esteem limited my sense of entitlement. For example, instead of praying for a brand-new car, I'd ask for one that works. Instead of asking for a hefty raise at work, I'd ask for enough money to get by. By listening to what each group member prayed for, we all learned a great deal about each other and ourselves. We also became aware of the issues we had around trusting (mainly not trusting!) God.

When suffering with intestinal problems, I prayed to God for a healthy colon. After weeks of saying the same prayer, I landed in the hospital and needed emergency surgery. At first I felt let down that God hadn't healed me, but then it dawned on me that in order to have a healthy colon, I needed thirteen inches of "floppy intestines" removed. This was God's way of answering my prayer.

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