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Prayer - A Process - A Service

Prayer - A Process - A Service

Prayer is the recognition of Divinity, by whatever name we might address it; be it the God of our hearts, the Cosmic, or Spiritual Source of all that is.

Prayer is an invocation of the heart, a calling forth of divine energies to be manifested in one's life. Prayer can be silent or vocal.

Prayer can be adoration, praise or supplication.

It is said that there are only two kinds of people. Those who believe in God - by whatever name - or those who have no belief in God, and this colors their thoughts, words, acts, and the relationships of their life.

We can say that prayer is a conscious effort to contact the Divine.

When the heart is filled with joy as we experience the divinity within us, we may feel the urge to speak words, or sing songs of praise and thanksgiving. But if when we pray we become conscious of a lack, or a neglect to nurture the seed of divinity within us, we may speak a prayer of remorse, and resolve - whether realized or not - arises from us as a wordless appeal, but a prayer nonetheless.

Through prayer we often express our need to refresh our spiritual potential. Through prayer we affirm our relationship to the divine self. Through prayer we honor the divinity we are and the Divine Whole of which we are a part. Prayer, then, is a transforming process. Time spent in prayer refreshes, renews, strengthens.

Through prayer we become grounded in the life of the Spirit and express this spiritual grounding in our thinking, words and actions, which then marks us as soul personalities. Prayer is one of the soul's tools for bringing the soul's gifts into outer manifestation.

We hear often that the spiritual self is one of service. True, through contact with our inner self comes the call to responsible action and this is our immediate service. Real service is what is ours to do now. When we serve we share the gifts of the soul with others. Through the discipline of daily meditation and prayer, which is in itself a service, we learn to handle energy effectively.

We understand here, do we not, that prayer is not merely an opportunity for asking and receiving. Prayer changes us. It changes our understanding. It changes our perspective. Prayer was never meant to coerce. Prayer inspires us to use our spiritual insight and recognize opportunity. Prayer helps us to recognize and respond to true need, whether in ourselves or others. Prayer opens our minds and hearts so that we can become responsive and meet our needs from a spiritual vantage point.

Meditation, a form of prayer, is the process of identifying with the Divine Life and helps us to act "as if" we are what we hope to become.

Is there a distinction between meditation and prayer? Both help us to contact Spirit and use it in our daily living.

Prayer is the personality's tool to contact the Divine while still conscious of one's mundane activities. Meditation, we might say, is the process whereby the personality becomes dormant for a time, and the love, wisdom and will of the Soul controls the process of meditating. Both have similar results. Prayer is recognition of the Divine. Meditation experiences the relationship. Prayer is an evidence of faith. Faith is the evidence of that not yet manifested.

However, if when one is praying, focus is mainly on need, desires and wishes, and not on spiritual resources, prayer becomes mere wishful thinking.

Prayer can be truly a means of connecting oneself to spiritual help and support in our daily living. But prayer, to be effective, requires devotion and rapport with one's divine self. Concentrating on our deficiencies and dwelling excessively on our problems, short circuits our direct link to our Divine Source.

It is understandable that we tend to be dragged down during a period of crisis. When one identifies with problems and hardships, one can begin to feel rejected and unworthy. Such an attitude can actually shut off the spiritual help which could lead to the solution we seek.

Here is where the willingness of family and friends to pray with and for us helps us to rise above the demands of outer circumstances and our own emotional reactions. Here is real opportunity for service.

We hear often that the spiritual self is one of service. True, through contact with our inner self comes the call to responsible action and this is our immediate service. Real service is what is ours to do now. When we serve we share the gifts of the soul with others. Through the discipline of daily meditation and prayer, which is in itself a service, we learn to handle energy effectively.

We learn that energy follows thought. We serve when we direct love to each other, to the planet, to all living creatures. We serve when we direct energy to all who are striving to express the sacred in their own lives. We truly help one another through meditation and prayer.

It is perhaps strange to say that the real power of prayer is an impersonal attitude. But prayer, whether for ourselves or others, lifts us out of personal often self centered concerns and helps us discover the reality of the Divine.

If when we pray we devote our thoughts and feelings to the benevolent capacity of God, the God of our hearts, to help and support us, the very act of prayer, worded or not, will lift us out of preoccupation with need and lead us to a more spiritual impersonal attitude toward life. Once we discover, even in smallest measure, the presence of divinity, our relationship with divinity will change, even dramatically. Instead of the mere mouthing of prayer, usually by rote, we will be tapping more and more the evocative power of prayer.

An evocative prayer can be as follows:

"May Divine Wisdom and love pour through my heart and mind to guide and sustain me as I seek to do my work. May the light of the Divine go before me to prepare my way and may it strengthen my will to serve" or, "Let goodwill be the keynote of all I do. "

A healing prayer might be, "0 God, you have made us as an expression of your Love. We pray now for the healing and renewal of (naming the person or persons) in mind and body, in so far as this is possible. May (he, she, they) be lifted into your Light, so that the perfect pattern of health is energized and the body and personality made whole. For blessings given and received this moment we are deeply grateful."

Prayer is an important aspect of the life of spirit. Our ultimate goal is to pray without ceasing, and we can. We pray without ceasing when we live with a spiritual attitude; with spiritual intent. When we live "as if" we are the Soul using a physical body for its work on earth, our life becomes prayer without ceasing. A thought can be a prayer. When we direct a thought of peace to a person, or a nation, we are directing an unspoken prayer. When we think of a friend with love and direct to that friend wishes of well being and success, we are using an unspoken prayer. All our thoughts of good will and peace are unspoken prayers; all are forms of service. When we say, "Have a good day.", "Keep well", "God bless you", "Have a safe journey", are not these words implied prayer?

It is perhaps appropriate to consider the following invocative prayer. "May the one life pour through the group of all true servers, may the love of the One Soul characterize the life of all who seek to serve the Great Ones; May we fulfill our part in the great work through self forgetfulness and right speech."

So let us use our prayers and meditations as forms of service so that when it is our turn to act we can do so effectively.


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