Monday, September 12, 2005
The Purpose of Prayer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." ConfuciusI love going on walks. Sometimes, in order to get to a particular park I have to travel for hours by bus. I reckon if I was travelling by plane, I would be in the continent by the time I arrived. smile.
"You will always receive help within a second of a prayer. To recognize the help, you must see everything in your life that second on as a part of the answer to your prayer." (Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss)
"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." (Isaiah 65: 24)
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." (Psalm 37: 4-5)
Anyway, does my walk begin when I arrive at the park? Not for me it doesn't. My walk starts when I put out the intent of going for a walk. If the walk is all I'm going to be doing that day, then brushing my teeth is part of my walk; putting on my make-up is part of my walk; getting dressed is part of my walk; the bus journey is part of my walk; exploring the park is part of my walk; getting lost is part of my walk; finding my way back is part of my walk; my journey home is part of my walk. This way, I am never separated from that which I am experiencing.
Seeing yourself as being at one with the experience is not the norm. We are so used to seeing things as separate from us. It is too easy to believe your prayer hasn't been answered because you haven't seen or experienced the physical evidence. This "seeing is believing" mentality creates a false sense of separation between what you want to experience and who you are. This separation is what is perceived as the "future," which prevents you from staying in the Now. I know I am always one with everything. I am also aware how the senses can give one a false impression of reality. This is why, for me, prayer is an absolute necessity. The purpose of prayer, therefore, is to remind me that I am already one with that which I wish to experience.
Let's say my intent is to experience such and such. I know that my prayer has already been answered but I still can't see evidence of this prayer. It could be that I am not seeing what already exists. So I pray:
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119: 18)In other words, I am praying to be shown the "bigger picture" rather than depending on how the human self thinks.
There could be another reason why the prayer is not manifested in form: you are not open to receive. Let's say at your most fearful you are only 10% open to the Good life has to offer; and at your most positive, you are open 30%. The ideal is to be open 100%. This is another reason to pray, so you can be open to receive 100%.
Another reason for the delay could be lack of faith, or you are feeling fearful. Then you pray to have faith or to be in peace.
You could also get other people to pray for you by adding your name on a prayer list. Personally, I prefer putting my name on anonymous lists where you are prayed for in a generalised way. I see this type of prayer as simply energy being directed my way. It is also nice to know that I am not alone in my quest.
While the Universe answers all prayers instantly, it may seem to take "time" for your prayer to be made manifest. The best thing, I find, is to trust in the Universe as Her ways are not the human ways. Whatever you do, never fret. If in any doubt, pray.
One thing I have learned is to be vigilant of my thoughts. There have been many answered prayers that have annoyed the hell out of me. For instance, a while back I was waiting for a bus home at night. My bus was taking ages and I was freezing. I wasn't a happy bunny. Another bus I didn't want soon arrived and in the bus was an acquaintance I sometimes see on my travels. Funnily enough, my bus was the next one to arrive. It was then I remembered that earlier that day I had wondered how he was doing as I hadn't seen him in a while. You mean you delayed my journey so I could see the guy on the bus? I was only wondering for crying out loud, it's not as if I meant it. I could have sworn I heard laughter in my head. I wasn't amused.
Another time I missed several buses. On one bus I saw a conductor I know. I then remembered I had thought of him earlier and wondered how he was. Now it made sense why I had missed those buses so the Universe could synchronise our journeys so I could see my bus conductor friend. Aaargh!
The moral of the story is: only wonder about what you want to experience. Otherwise, you could always pray to delete previous thoughts of wonder. Hehehe.
Let's say you've been waiting for an experience to happen and it still hasn't manifested. There is a tendency for people, myself included, to fret or believe you are separate from the experience. I find it useful to write a list of what I want to experience and go through this list to acknowledge what has been manifested, deleting what is no longer necessary, and confirm what I am still "waiting" to experience in form. I find gratitude to be an excellent way of acknowledging that I am one with the experience. I am also joyful no matter what.
To recap, prayer is an ongoing process of acknowledging that you are already one with that which you wish to experience. Here are a few reasons to pray:
To have the experience.
To be shown how it is being manifested.
To open yourself to receive.
To have more faith or give you peace.
To thank the Universe for what you have received, even if you haven't yet experienced it.
To cancel out undesired thoughts.
You could get others to pray on your behalf.
When in doubt, pray.
Praying is fun.
May all your dreams come true.
Love and Light,
Related article: Having the Eyes to See What is Already Present