The Only Little Prayer You Need by Debra Landwehr Engle [Book Summary – Review]


Have you ever woken up at midnight, drenched in sweat and gasping for breath, stressing about how you’ll pay your mortgage for the month, or if you’ll receive that promotion you’ve been trying to get? That’s fear taking place.

Author Debra Landwehr Engle understands this whole thing really well. She as well as a victim of what she refers to as “fear-based thoughts” until she discovered an easy, but powerful, method to free herself from them. A little, six-word prayer, which she whispered to the Holy Spirit during her time of need, was the only thing she required to start her path to greater peace of mind.

In this book chapter, you’ll go deep into the meaning of prayer, how it can be used in your day-day routine, and the advantages you can hope to get from saying it from time to time. However, don’t be put off if you’re not religious. The prayer is less about worshipping a god or freeing yourself of sin, and more about discovering joy and peace.


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Chapter 1 – Your life can be transformed by a simple prayer


What if an incident could transform your life forever? Author Debra Landwehr Engle had a one-on-one experience with this when an apparently unremarkable event totally transformed her viewpoint on life.

During one cold day in January of 2013, Debra together with her husband, Bob, went to take their car from the mechanic. After completing the paperwork, Debra hoped into the car, switched on the ignition, and went with Bob as he drove to return the rental car they’d been making use of.

While she was driving, she started to see a rattle in the dashboard. As the sound became louder and louder, she began to get angry. “Had the car not been fixed well? She thought, “what a waste of time.”

For the very first time in her life, she was mindful of every negative thought swirling around in her brain just like a typhoon. The issue was, she couldn’t make those thoughts stop.

She understood that she required something to make her thoughts calm– however, whatsoever it was, it couldn’t emanate from within her; it needed to come from a different power. She slunk down in the driver’s seat and saw herself praying to the Holy Spirit with the words, “Please heal my fear-based thoughts.”

When Bob came back to the car for the drive home, something unusual occurred: there was a stop in the rattle of the dashboard. However, how did it happen?

Debra reflected back to the small prayer she had said in the driving seat, where she had requested for her fear-based thoughts to be healed, and understood what had occurred: her internal insight had transformed her external surrounding.



This was a life-transforming instant for Debra. She found out that when you request for your thoughts to be healed, the external triggers that arouse those thoughts are not required anymore. Therefore, the rattles stop.

Debra knew what self-help author Wayne Dyer had mentioned one time: when you change your perception about things, the things you look at starts to transform.

With these understandings, Debra felt like she was onto something huge: this small little prayer had the authority to get rid of negative thoughts and change her viewpoint from fear to love.


Chapter 2 – Prayers normally ask for a thing in the external surrounding to transform; this one is different. 


Have you ever prayed before? If you have done that, it may have been a thing like this, “Please heal my mother,” or “Please protect my children.” Meaning, you requested something or a person in our external surroundings to change.

But, this prayer is different. Rather than asking for things to transform in the world that surround you, you request for yourself to be changed. Let’s examine how prayer can be used in certain circumstances.

Consider this prayer: “Please assist me to get the money to pay my mortgage for this month.”

There’s absolutely nothing bad with this prayer. As a matter of fact, saying it may even make you feel as though the weight of that month’s mortgage debt has been taken away. But, this relief will just be short-lived. In a short time, your mind will begin running away with itself, looking for new concerns such as, “Even if I can pay this month mortgage, what occurs in the following month?”, and “What if my salary runs out completely?”



This reason is that the prayer doesn’t transform anything in you. The outcome? You coil back into old patterns, recreating the issue in several iterations. It’s similar to climbing aboard a runaway train.

Conversely, if you say the prayers “Please heal my fear-based thoughts about our mortgage,” it doesn’t only free from the issue temporarily, it soothes the necessity to recreate that fear and retain it. This prayer heals your desire for problems –meaning, your addiction to fear-based thoughts –letting you lead a life that is without fear and with more peace of mind.

This is the reason why the wording of the prayer is really significant. The word “fear-based thoughts” assists us to know that, regardless of how huge our fears are, they’re only thoughts, and thoughts can be transformed.

Eventually, the prayer assists us with a small thing known as perspective: you ask for yourself to be transformed, understanding that the world that surrounds you will transform due to that.


Chapter 3 – Include the prayer into your day-day habit to make the most of its advantages.


How long does it need to develop a habit? Also, what are the best means of doing that?  Even though the replies to these questions will be different for everyone, the vital thing is consistency – and this is correct for the prayer too.

This the reason why you have to look for means to include it into your day-day routine. For instance, you could say the prayer immediately you wake up from sleep in the morning, when you want to sleep at night, or anytime you make a cup of tea or coffee.

Although it’s essential to be consistent, it’s vital not to form an agenda for saying the prayer. Meaning, don’t make the prayer only another thing to cross off your to-do list.

Likewise, it’s vital to be patient with the outcomes. When you first begin praying the prayer, you may see some immediate transformations in your thoughts or external situations, or you may notice nothing at all –however, abide by it. Free any hopes you may have and rather let yourself to become a passive bystander, basically observing as things happen before you.

Also, don’t surrender before you completely attempt the prayer. You might become happy about the prayer initially and then feel a crash of joy. Also, you may see yourself coming up with any possible cause not to incorporate the prayer in your day-day routine

For instance, you may put in your best to not remember the prayer, mock yourself for praying, or persuade yourself that you basically don’t have sufficient time to add it into your day. The reason is that you have gotten really accustomed to being confined in fear-based thoughts that you’re afraid to grow and discover true happiness.



Therefore, what can be done to defeat these hindrances and completely accept the prayer?

Write it out and paste it all around: paste it on your dashboard, paste it on the mirror of your bathroom, or stick it next to your bed so it’s the when you wake up in the morning, that is the first thing you will see. A woman the author worked with even jotted down the prayer point on a lot of strips of paper and stuck them all around her house.

The main point? Regardless of what boulders your ego puts in your way, just keep praying the prayer. In the next chapter, we’ll take a more examination at just how this functions.


Chapter 4 – Praying the prayer links you to your inner serenity.


Reflect back to when you were a kid. Do you recall those cartoons where, once a character has to make a choice, a devil and an angel appear on either part of her shoulders?

Well, this is kind of similar to how our brains are structured. Based on the online spiritual course A Course in Miracles, where the author teaches, our minds possess two parts: the ego and the higher Self. 

The ego is similar to the devil on our shoulders. Fed by fear, the ego is flighty, demanding, as well as susceptible to outbursts. Conversely, the Higher Self is similar to an angel: calm, quiet, and respectful. Encouraged by the understanding that we’re God’s kids, it talks to us in a soft voice and covers us in divine love.

The issue is that our ego usually suppresses our higher Self –which makes us afraid, confused, and not able to accept change. Why is this so? Due to the fact that it’s fed regularly by the fear in the world that surrounds us.

Fear is prevalent. Fear is in newspapers or on our TV screens immediately we wake up from sleep in the morning – with headlines reporting terrorist attacks, the risk of natural disasters, as well the increasing worry for the environment.

Also, it is found inside us as well, in the form of trivial insecurities – about the manner we look and how other people see us – and endless concerns about money, our jobs, as well as our families.



But, it’s likely to cultivate and develop your higher Self with things such as self-reflection, meditation, and spending time in nature, as well as any other quest that offers you the time to listen to the soothing voice of your higher Self.

Also, this is the point where prayer can be of help. The basic terms “Please heal my fear-based thoughts” offer you an instant of quiet daily to assist you to tap into the essence of who you are and the love you possess within you.

The reason why this prayer is really special is that it doesn’t need that you destroy your fear-based thoughts or feelings; it basically gives you the strength to change them towards love-based ones –such as forgiveness, compassion as well as acceptance.

Therefore, when next you’re addressing a circumstance and you feel the devil on your shoulder, pray the prayer. It’ll assist you to understand that your concerns, as well as insecurities, are basically your fears talking. Also, that you possess the authority to pick love instead.


Chapter 5 – In order to heal your negative thoughts, you have to also know what they are. 


Our universe is filled with regular chatter –maybe it’s the news at evening on the car radio, a dispute between customers in the supermarket, or the murmurs of gossip emanating from the next office cubicle.

Also, we as well add to the noise ourselves. Recall that irritating rattle in the dashboard, the metaphor for those fear-based thoughts that all of us are engrossed in? They add to what the author refers to as the “diet of drama” that we consume on a day-day basis without being aware of it.

Even though the prayer goes really a long way in assisting us to heal our fear-based thoughts, we as well have to understand what these thoughts are at first. This comprises tuning out of the external cacophony and focusing on every negative thought that sneaks into your mind.

Consider your mind as a garden: for you to make it healthy, and let other flowers to bloom, you have to remove the weeds out at their root.

Therefore, how does this function in practice? There are various methods that can assist you to remove the negative thoughts wriggling around in your psyche.



You could attempt journaling –just sitting down holding a pen and paper for about five to ten minutes and letting your mind download each of its thoughts – taking a walk, or going out with your headphones on your morning travel to assist you to focus on your thoughts.

Also, it’s a good thing to check in with yourself at an important period of the day. Question yourself: “In the morning, what are my thoughts and the last thing at night?”, or “what goes through my mind when I’m all alone?”

While you do this, it’s vital not to judge yourself for any negative thoughts you might have. Rather, visualize yourself viewing them from afar, as though you were seeing a parade go by. Maybe even tell yourself loudly: “Look at that –still another fear-based thought about money.”

Although you can’t mute the noise of the outside world, you can teach yourself to discover peace within – and this is precisely what the prayer can assist you to do. By keeping a bit slice of your day to request for your thoughts to be healed, you offer yourself the chance to let go of negative thinking and begin again with a new slate.


Chapter 6 – The prayer assists us to embrace the things you can’t change.


For a lot of individuals, the notion of getting sacked, having a chronic health issue, or the death of a family member would be sufficient to send them into total despair – and for good cause. However, what if it were likely to confront those difficulties at the same time and still stay calm?

This was the situation for Shelley, a woman who went for one of the author’s workshops on the exact day she got sacked from her corporate job.

Shelley had been going through a lot of issues for a while. For beginners, her boss had been attempting to intimidate her into leaving her job for numerous months, and she was aware of it. Although getting sacked was quite a relief, she had to deal with financial issues.

While this was happening, Shelley as well as her husband were attempting to sell their house; however, they quickly understood it was not possible: they found out that their bungalow had extreme structural issues that would cost really a lot to fix than the house itself was worth.

Not just that; however, Shelley’s mother was hoping to move into the house with her as a result of unforeseen changes in her own living condition. Also, Shelley was dealing with the effects of Graves disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid and it also destroys your energy.

Even with that, Shelley sat in the workshop conducted by the author with a smile written on her face. People questioned her how she succeeded to stay really calm in the face of these whole curveballs life was throwing at her. Her reply? She said the prayer every hour, even minute to minute, to remind her of her strength to defeat her issues.



Formerly, fear had been Shelley’s lifeblood. However, as soon as she calmed down, took a step back from the pandemonium, and believed in the prayer to heal her fear-based thoughts she started to get peace. She even saw herself more ready to accept new opportunities, like beginning her own business –which is a thing that she would never have imagined of doing before.

Shelley is still handing these issues; however, the prayer has assisted her review the manner she’s handling them. The huge difference? The external situations in her life didn’t have control over her anymore

Saying the prayer isn’t essentially about going into denial. It’s essentially about releasing yourself from stressing about the things that you can’t transform.


Chapter 7 – The prayer assists you make small progress toward greater world happiness.


All of us have an understanding of what our perfect lives would seem like–if it’s staying in a beautiful house, having a family, traveling with planes to see the marvels of the world or a mixture of all of them. However, apart from this, the majority of us only want to be happy.

But, the term “happiness,” is difficult to define; also, it’s a notion that, astonishingly, not everybody feels completely at ease with.

For instance, at a women’s spirituality workshop that was hosted by the author which was conducted recently, she asked the participants, “Are you as joyful as you wish to be?” Numerous women balked at the term “happy” as it seemed overused and superficial, and liked to use terms such as “peaceful” or “joyful.”

After the workshop ended, the participants made these conclusions about happiness: it provides fulfillment, liberty, freedom –and greater peace of mind to our lives. But, being happy doesn’t essentially signify that you’ll usually be hopping for joy. It only signifies that you feel safe and backed by the world that surrounds you

According to the author, happiness is the lack of fear and the feeling of pure, uncontaminated love. It’s a thing that all of us look for irrespective of our sex, race,  culture, religion, and sexuality.



One question that people who have gained from the prayer usually ask the author is if it can help the world at large attain greater happiness. For instance, does it have an influence to fix serious issues like corruption, famine, violence, and poverty?

Let’s go back to our story about Shelley. As soon as she began making use of the prayer and became more peaceful due to that, she noticed how it positively influenced her family as well. Suddenly, people that are close to her started to deal with their issues with patience and acceptance, releasing themselves from fear-based thoughts that would normally hinder them from accomplishing their goals.

Although the prayer can’t undo hierarchies or put a stop to the bloodshed, it can help us make little changes to attain greater peace. If every one of us attempts to be kinder and more accepting of each other, it’ll send out ripples into the world, supporting other people to follow our footsteps.


The Only Little Prayer You Need: The Shortest Route to a Life of Joy, Abundance, and Peace of Mind by Debra Landwehr Engle Book Review


Every one of us has instances where life feels overwhelming. Amidst meeting the needs of work, family, and our own high values, fear-based thoughts can set in – and, our efforts to bat them away can feel as if you are attempting to sweep away the ocean with a broom. One easy prayer – “Please heal my fear-based thoughts” – can assist you to form resilience and discover space in the disorder. Also, it can assist you to know that at times, you don’t have to solve the issue, you only require to have your thoughts about the issue healed. Praying this prayer puts you, as well as the world that surrounds you, on the way to greater peace of mind.


Know the start of fear-based thoughts.

Have you ever had a thing in mind that you keep delaying–such as writing a book, shedding weight, or working on a side-job? Also, have you ever uttered the words, “I’ve been busy; therefore, I haven’t gotten to it yet?” continuously? If that is the case, it’s most likely due to the fact that you have fear in the way. If you see yourself uttering these words, stop, and say loudly “I’m going to do it.” This will assist you to become aware and hold yourself responsible for any negative thoughts that are attempting to creep in.



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