Prayer

“Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer has become impossible and your heart has turned to stone. If you have never had any distractions you don’t know how to pray. For the secret of prayer is a hunger for God and for the vision of God, a hunger that lies far deeper than the level of language or affection.”    Thomas Merton

Prayer gives us hope.  Whereas meditation unfolds the wings contained deep within the heart, prayers unlocks the cocoon to inspire flight.  We silently listen and quietly observe through meditation.  Prayer helps us find lasting value and soulful embrace

It is our belief that prayer is the manner with which we each speak to God.  It is a means to have dialogue with that which we consider having greater power and influence over our lives.  While meditation is how we can clear our minds and open our hearts to the inner voice dwelling deep within, prayer holds the participants ability to will his spirit in a way that speaks to the forces of life we call God.  It is through the direction of this personal free will that we undertake and make the effort to pray. 

 Many of those throughout history have undertaken efforts to pray only to be dismayed at the lack of response, affect, or change in life circumstances.  They are told that when prayer is left unanswered it is not due to a lack of the confirmation that God or a greater power exists, but that circumstances within the individuals life need to be altered such as sin or karma.  Therefore, we propose that response to prayer is not of great importance in the immediate moment of prayer.  It is first significant that we find the courage to begin prayer.

We look at prayer as the other half of a coin containing meditation on the flip side.  The victory held and contained in prayer as well as meditation can be found in the effort to implement; that is the effort of directing ones free will toward answers to life’s questions outside of the realm of the laws and science of this world.  Just as we can not measure the depth of ones love, we can not measure the importance or value of prayer.  The farmer does not understand the workings of the seed and its DNA structure.  He only relies upon his faith in understanding that through the planting of the seed, he can sustain the physical lives of himself and his loved ones.

             “There is a voice that doesn’t use words.”   Rumi

It is in the faith the farmer has in a single seed, that we encourage the practice of prayer just as that of meditation.  The farmer understands that the seed will not bear fruit in a single day.  It is through the continual efforts which the farmer directs in the sustaining of the plant’s growth in which fruit is rewarded.  It is with this faith of things unknown that the farmer relies.

We each need to refrain from looking for immediate results or responses to our efforts in prayer.  In this attempt for immediate results we are truly deaf to the language of the heart, the dialogue of the soul.  We must understand that we cannot only listen with our ears.  We need to hear and trust in the silent words of faith.   We need to have the faith of the farmer to rely on his daily and consistent efforts.  It is through consistency of practice we must rely. 

Thus through the continued efforts to express our will through prayer do we find the unfolding of the great majesty of life.  There is far more available to us in this world than meets the eye.  Take the time to sit quietly and discover the beauty and magic within.  To do this, we must first quiet the mind and open the heart.  Listen to the voice of the heart. It speaks in a very different language, a language that cannot be heard with the ears, but only with the heart.  This is the language of God.  God listens to our hearts and that which emanates from it.  With an open heart we become like the farmer with his seeds.  The mystery of life then travels from our heart and into our prayer.  Our prayers then take flight and our journey  through life now just begins.  We discover that we have never been alone.  We discover that we have always been loved.  We become aware of the beauty and magic of God and how our spirit has always been one with His Spirit. If we would only be persistent in letting go and finding the trust held in hope. Silently listen and quietly observe the lasting value waiting deep within the wings of the heart.  Hope then fulfills its unspoken promise through God’s loving embrace.

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” 

– Max Lucado  .


 

Practicing the Presence by Joel S. Goldsmith

“Every person who has known dissatisfaction, incompleteness, and frustration will some day learn that there is only one missing link in his entire chain of harmonious living.  That is the practice of the presence of God – consciously, daily, and hourly, abiding in some great spiritual truth of scripture, and it makes no difference which scripture: Christian, Hebrew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, or Moslem.  The Word of God, given to man through inspired saints, sages, seers, or revelators – that is what we need, in any language, from any country, just as long as it is universal truth.”  –  Joel S. Goldsmith

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Benefits of Prayer by Michelle Roya Rad & huffingtonpost.com

The Positive Psychological Effects of Prayer

Prayer is the practice of connecting to something deeper and more meaningful in life. It is rooted in a sense of spirituality. Prayer has two dimensions, one internal in the form of self-reflection and self-awareness, and the other external in a sense of connection with a depth, something bigger than the self and an inner dependency with all the other creation. Prayer, when done with the right awareness and intention and in moderation, can be beneficial in a number of ways:

1. It can give people a moderate sense of optimism and a healthy dose of hope. Optimism that there is more than the tip of the iceberg to life, and hope that when things do not go the way one wants despite reasonable effort, that there are other options.

2. It can help people cultivate a sense of gratitude. Prayer gives the person a quiet moment to use the time to appreciate the positive in life and to remember that at any moment, there is so much more positive than negative to life. And that sometimes, what seems negative may be otherwise.

3. It can help people delay gratification and control impulsive actions. By using this time to calm your mind, you can evaluate situations to see if it would create any harm and if it does, to stop yourself from doing it.

4. It can give people time to be able to see things from a broader perspective and that by itself can help with obsessive acts and compulsive thought or limited thinking.

5. It can help people find commonality and beauty in diversity. By reflecting on what Carl Jung calls the collective unconscious, people realize that they are sharing many of the same needs, desires, essence and beliefs as others, at the root.

6. It can help people focus and concentrate. By taking a break from the daily activities and doing a quiet time, one is able to use it to train his brain to be focused on the here and now.

7. It can help people forgive easier, and detach from the past and move forward.

8. It can give people a sense of security that they are connected to a depth in life.

9. It can give people a sense of comfort, being at ease and being protected, therefore decreasing too much anxiety and irrational fear.

10. It can be used as a time to cultivate rational thinking.

11. It can give people new and creative ways to solve their problems.

12. It can help people unleash.

13. It can be used as a time to learn how to connect better to others and to increase one’s emotional/social maturity.

14. It can be used as a time of self-affirmation to increase one’s confidence.

And remember, by repeating a series of meaningful, positive, lifting, and thankful phrases, you can retrain your brain to be more positive, be aware, be able to focus and concentrate and to let go of unwanted thoughts.

Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD

www.SelfKnowledgeBase.com 
A foundation dedicated to public education about self-knowledge, psychology, and spirituality.

For more by Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD, click here.

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Drops in the Ocean by Hawk Nelson

 
Drops in the Ocean
 
I want you as you are not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you suffering
‘Cause I am for you
I’m not against you
 
If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean, ooh ooh
Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you
And I am for you
I’m not against you
I am for you
I’m not against you
 
If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean
Open your heart it’s time that we start again, oh oh oh
Open your heart it’s time that we start again, oh oh oh
If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean, ooh ooh
The drops in the ocean, woah
I am for you
I’m not against you
I am for you
I’m not against you
 
Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Jonathan Steingard / Matt Bronleewe
Drops in the Ocean lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing
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