We accept many things without thinking about them. Take the idea of prayer. We view prayer as some sort of a conversation with God. In this view, prayer is like making an international toll-free call. But, for very important reasons a conversation with God is unlike any other, and that changes the nature of the thing. As a result, a good deal of misunderstanding has grown up around prayer.
When you pray to God, what are you really doing? Will you ask something of Him/Her? He/She/She already knows what you want. Will you tell God what you think? He/She already knows that too. Are you going to share your thoughts with Him/Her? He/She’s ahead of you there as well.
The question is, what are you going to tell God that He/She does not already know? Prayer really has little to do with communication or a conversation in the conventional sense. God is always there. He/She hears and knows everything and by the way, He/She is always there for you.
If you take things a step further, what do you think a prayer is going to accomplish? Do you really think that God is going to set the divine plan aside simply because you would like something else to happen?
Remember, if God has gone to all the trouble to create your particular life circumstance, He/She’s not likely to be inclined to change things just because you want out of it. Your life situation has been created precisely for your learning and development.
If God wanted you to have something, it would already be there, you would not have to ask for it. And if something isn’t here, or something else is happening, it is for very good reason – always. You may not like what life brings you, but it is there for your learning – always.
So, when you pray, what is it that you want? Most often, you pray when you need something – when you are in trouble. And life presents us with some very challenging lessons!
The truth is you don’t want the lesson. You don’t want to have to change. You don’t want to address what the Creator has asked of you. So in one final attempt, faced with the demand for change, you want out of it. You want a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
When you pray for strength to get you through a situation, who are you really praying to? God doesn’t need to increase His love and support for you, it’s been there all along. So who is it that you are really asking strength from?
When it comes down to it, prayer isn’t really about you and God at all. It’s about you and you. It is you deciding, often in the midst of pain and desperation, that opening to what He/She has asked of you all along might be better than what your ego has been doing. It is about opening the connection to spirit that you closed off.
We routinely turn away from God. We close the door. We act from fear. We shut down our compassion and refuse to follow the few simple guidelines He/She has given us. Then when things don’t go well, as they must when we try and live that way, we want out. We want to change the game. After all, that’s easier than making changes to ourselves.
You may be familiar with the research of Dr. Masaru Emoto regarding the impact of prayer on water. Emoto has clearly demonstrated that water, even at a distance, responds to our thoughts, emotions and prayers. See: Water, consciousness, & Intent: Dr. Masaru Emoto
When you make the choice to consciously move closer to spirit, you shift your energy. And in doing that, in our own small way, you actually do shift the energy of the universe. As Emoto shows us, that shift, for as long as we can hold it, affects us and everything around us. And, we can elect to shift toward harmony or away from it. The act of prayer, when it’s not begging to be let off the hook, is a declaration to live in harmony.
Come into the presence of a guru or a great teacher, and you will feel it. What has the guru done? He or she has learned to put themselves in a constant state of prayer. The guru knows the presence of God in every moment. He or she may be in the same room, but they are not in this world. The gift they bring is the ability to connect that world to ours.
So, when you truly pray, you are re-aligning your previously misplaced intention with that of The Creator. It is a decision to come home. In Psalm 25, David had it right when he prayed: “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”
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