“Istikhara” means to seek goodness from God.
In a nutshell, it is a prayer you pray when you’re seeking guidance- typically when you’re at a crossroad and you’re torn between two or more options in life of which you may have a slight inclination towards one. So you essentially pray ‘I’m going with this option, but I don’t have “knowledge of the unseen” like You do, so turn me away from it, or turn it away from me if its not the best decision for me’ etc.. You may not necessarily be answered with a dream or a direct answer, but the appropriate avenues get blocked, like you may miss a train, or have a sudden change of heart etc.
With my experience in the past year, the heart just becomes much more calm and confident in otherwise ambiguous and heart pounding matters. For example, prior to going to Dubai, there were things happening in my life that were holding me down, because of which my trip was being delayed. I prayed Istikhara and whatever was holding me down, suddenly stepped away. My heart actually didn’t calm down, but before I knew it, I had checked into Dubai.
The power of dua is unreal.