top of page

Master the Skill of Intention Setting

One of the most important skills that spiritual seekers should learn is how to set an intention before performing spiritual practices or energy work. I often tell people that "energy flows where your intention goes." So when you approach sacred work with an intention, it makes your practices that much more stronger and powerful. Your intentions and prayers help to magnify your energetic field and enhance all that you do.

Before I connect to Spirit or begin any kind of spiritual practice, I always take a moment to establish my intentions. Essentially, I ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" And, "What do I hope to get out of this?" For example, when I'm clearing my energy, my intention is to release any energies and intrusions from my body and aura that aren't for my highest good. Or before I communicate with Spirit, I want to make sure that I'm Divinely protected and that I'm only going to connect with those benevolent beings who walk with God.

It is imperative that you always set an intention or say a prayer before doing any kind of spiritual practice. You should aim to set an intention or prayer before:

  • Clearing or removing energy (i.e. smudging, water cleansing, etc.)

  • Grounding or centering practices

  • Visualization, breath work, or meditation

  • Practicing energy healing

  • Divination practices or Spirit communication (i.e. tarot cards, dousing, journeying, etc.)

  • Working with healing tools (i.e. crystals, herbs, oils, etc.)

You may be wondering, "what makes a good intention?" Here are the top six ingredients that I think every intention should have.

Comes From the Heart

First, your intention should come from your heart. Energy work is a matter of the heart, not the head or the ego. You want to be sure that you're approaching your practices with openness, gratitude, compassion, and your loving attention.

If you speak from your heart, there's no wrong way to pray, do an invocation, or to set an intention. So don't worry if you're new to this.

Spirit doesn't care how we speak to them. But they do care if we are being authentic, sincere and even vulnerable. Even if that means we fumble through our words. Spirit listens with their heart, not their ears. Therefore a perfected script is completely unnecessary when setting an intention. In fact, I encourage you to go "off script" and speak from your heart as much as possible.

Before connecting to the Sacred, you want to settle into your heart space and make sure you're clear about your heart's desire. It might help to ask your heart a few simple questions: Why are you calling on Spirit today? What is it that you are needing help with? Are you wanting to cleanse, ground, or protect your body, mind, heart and soul? How do you want to feel afterwards? Why are you performing this ritual or ceremony?

Invocation to Spirit

Second, a good intention includes an invocation to Spirit. You will want to call on your Spirit Allies and helpers such as the Angels, your Spirit Guides, Jesus, your Ancestors, or any other spiritual being that you work with or want to connect to.

You can invoke your spiritual team by saying their names if you know them, or you can simply say a blanket statement such as, "I'm inviting all of my loving, kind, and compassionate spirit helpers to be with me now." Saying something like this also lets the malevolent and not-so-helpful entities know that they aren't allowed in this space. You want to be clear about the kinds of Spirits that are allowed in your space and the ones that aren't.

Remember, you can call on any compassionate or benevolent Spirit Helpers that you work with. Your invocation is an invitation for Spirit to be present. It's your way of giving Spirit permission to assist, heal, protect, and guide you. Essentially, an invocation is your way of saying to the Otherworld, "Hey! I'm here! And, I would love for you to join me."

Personally, I always include a moment during my invocation to thank my Guides and show them my sincerest appreciation for being here with me. I'll usually bow my head to them and take a moment of silence to feel their presence surround me. Even if you don't see or hear Spirit, you can be sure that they are instantly there when you call on them!

Full Presence and Awareness

Next, you want to ensure that your attention is fully present when doing energy work. You should never do any spiritual exercises or healing techniques when you're in a hurry or when you're not feeling like it. It is ill advised to approach these practices like they are simply a chore or something you *have* to do.

So, take a few minutes to be sure that you are grounded and centered, whatever that may look like for you. It could be that you just need a moment of silence or a few deep breaths. Maybe you want to meditate or visualize your Soul anchoring into your body. Don't go any further until you feel fully anchored and present.

It's also a good idea to turn off your cell phone and any other technologies that might distract you. Find a quiet place where you can arrive fully present and in your heart.

Divine Alignment

Your intention should include a purpose to serve your highest good and/or your highest Divine alignment. This is probably the most important part of your prayers and intentions, and yet, I find that this is the part of energy work that most beginners forget!

We want to ask that the energy work or healing that we perform aims to serve our highest good. We also want to ensure that we are fully supported by God. This helps to ensure that no lower frequencies, negative energies, or entities are allowed in your sacred space and healing practices.

When we engage in spiritual work we open ourselves up to other realms and spiritual dimensions. Because of this, we can also sometimes unconsciously open ourselves up to lower entities or negative energies to interfere. And, so, we must set clear intentions that everything we do is in our highest, most Divine alignment. This not only helps establish clear boundaries within our sacred practices, but ensures that we are Divinely protected.

I'll often have clients tell me that they are afraid to do certain spiritual practices, such as smudging or reading tarot cards, because they are afraid of inviting in "un-Christian spirits" or demonic entities. I want to assure you that if you want to perform any kind of energy work, spirit communication, or healing, and have an intention that it's only for your highest Good, then you have nothing to worry about. A clear and solid intention acts like a security system that prevents unauthorized access into your space.

Use Your Hands

I like to use my hands when praying or doing energy work. Your hands are an extension of your heart chakra. I often see the arms and hands as two channels through which heart energy pours out of. The hands are a conduit for our heart, and therefore, a really important part of our spiritual practices.

In many spiritual practices, you will most likely be using healing tools such as a crystal, herbs, or water. You can, for example, place your hands over these tools or hold them in your palms while setting your intentions. This infuses them with your own personal love energy, which only makes the practices that much more powerful.

You can also use your hands to perform mudras. A mudra is a hand gesture that seals or grounds a desired energy into your body. For example, holding your hands in a prayer position at the heart seals the intentions of grounding, respect, focus, balance, and connection into the body. Placing the hands on your heart center brings you into a deeper state of awareness, intimacy, and connection to God.

Light a Candle

Finally, I think it's a good idea to light a candle when connecting to the Sacred. Although this one is optional, I think that a fire helps to signal to Spirit that they are wanted and needed. When you light a candle, it's a gentle way of letting your own psyche and your Spirit Guides know that you're ready to perform energy work.

My teacher, Malidoma Somé, also taught that the Fire is the gateway for the Ancestors. Fire is like a doorway in which we can enter and connect with the Otherworld. So whenever possible, I always light a candle to set the mood.

Intention Setting Template

As you make an intention or prayer, you can either say it quietly inside your head or you can speak it out loud. Either way is fine as long as you are clear and concise about your desires. Here is a sample intention setting template that I teach in my Online Course: Healer of Your Home.

Dear God, Angels, Ancestors and Spirit Guides. I invite you into this healing space with me now. Thank you for being here. Please {clear/ground/protect} this space, my body, my heart, my mind, and my Soul. My prayer is that you assist me to {fill in the blank}. I ask that whatever is in my highest Divine alignment be done. I love you. I thank you. I bless you. So, it is.

Remember, this is just a guide to help you get the idea of what a good intention might look like. But you definitely don't need to use this, especially if it doesn't feel authentic to you.

I like to end my prayer with a thank you or closing statement. I like saying, "so, it is" because it's my way of saying that I fully trust that what I'm about to do is going to work. I'm saying that I fully trust God and my Spirit Guides. I always feel like this is a really nice way to close out an invocation. I sometimes include an "Amen" too, because it feels right for me. But again, you should make it your own. And if you don't like this, you can completely change it so that it feels right for you.

Here's a few other sample prayers and invocations that I have created on Pinterest. Feel free to use them however you like:

Your intention is highly influential and it sets the stage for true miracles and healing to take place. The more you practice intention setting, the easier it gets and the more comfortable you'll feel.

With Love,




bottom of page