The spiritual path may become a wearisome one for the faint of heart. It takes great courage to set out on a journey of uncharted territory, depending upon the discipline of prayer as the one essential and dependable companion.
Regardless of our religious persuasion, the fundamental beliefs we entertain about God, the universe or our individual relationship to it all; we each turn to prayer when faced with circumstances and desires that seem beyond our personal control.
Sometimes the prayers we pray are not called prayers at all. Nonetheless, their purpose is always the same – to move us from where we are to where we want to be.
Prayer is the power that realigns us with our true nature. Once in touch with the nature of who we are, there is a realization of our innate ability to rise above any adversity which is nothing more than an erroneous thought-force. Erroneous thoughts have no sustaining energy and are dissipated by their replacement with Truth-thoughts that are an irresistible force for good.
There are many forms of prayer, and all are applied faith. After all, to engage in prayer at all there is an expectancy of change. However, the acceptance of the change is always the next step. Acceptance means to follow the guidance received from prayer. It’s been said, “Faith without works is dead.” When describing effective prayer, Ernest Holmes puts it simply, saying it is the combination of “faith and acceptance.”
Like me, you may have discarded the prayer you memorized by heart as a child, as well as the image of God that you prayed to; neither being acceptable any longer. A more mature form of prayer I often practice is Contemplative Meditation. Here I set aside some alone time pondering what “I” believe to be so about existence; i.e., life, living, and the cause behind it all, asking, what is my idea of God, really? This process of prayer always leaves me with a perception of Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience.
I continue in this prayerful mode, contemplating, my personal existence, who am I, really? This process of prayer always leaves me with a perception of being born of this One Creative Spirit, fully endowed with all of its nature. I perceive Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfect Being.
Another form of prayer is one of The Prayer of Affirmation. Here I tell myself the spiritual truth about myself and the desired good I embrace, regardless of what is appearing as my present experience. This supports me with a clear vision for my life.
All this I reason out through the consciousness of the following prayer, first printed in the 1898 issue of Wee Wisdom, the Unity monthly magazine for children, and memorized by many.
“God is my help in every need; God does my every hunger feed; God walks beside me, guides my way, Through every moment of this day. ~ I now am wise, I now am true, Patient and kind, and loving, too; All things I am, can do, and be, Through Christ the Truth, that is in me. ~ God is my health, I can’t be sick; God is my strength, unfailing, quick; God is my all, I know no fear, Since God and Love and Truth are here.” (Hannah More Kohaus)
With these words deeply embedded in consciousness, we may slip into the Prayer of Silence. Here we simply surrender to what is, knowing all is well.
As I contemplate my prayer, I perceive Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfect Being.
By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP