When I was pregnant with Amani, I tried Hypnobabies, this method of practicing relaxing thought patterns and breathing techniques with the goal of having a more relaxed and confident birth process. The bulk of the training was listening to these recordings of this woman's almost excessively soothing hippie voice repeating affirming mantras. Man, I loved those things.
"My pregnant body is strong and beautiful."
"My baby is growing stronger each day."
I would listen to them ALL the time: before bed, in the car, while I was grocery shopping; all the time!
"I am looking forward to a happy, healthy birthing process."
Then, even when I wasn't listening to the recordings, I would find myself repeating the little mantras to myself.
"I eat healthy foods to nourish my growing baby." as I drove passed the Dairy Queen.
"I love my pregnant body." as I skipped right over the scale.
Then all of a sudden, I totally got prayer. You stick with that stuff long enough and eventually are going to influence who you are. I mean, there is more to prayer than that for a lot of people: it can be a way to reflect on your choices, and foster community. It can just be a time for peace for a restless mind; I am still kind of working on what it means to me, but the mantras idea is something I can very much get behind.