Prayer (April 1996)
Prayer is not exclusively a tool for the faithful
or religious. For the wayfarer, prayer can be a powerful expression of decree and a way of recognizing and reinforcing
one's desire for more in life.
The power of prayer is exalted in selected circles as the individual's
direct link with the inspiration that communion with a god provides. However, it would be a mistake to consider
prayer as the sole domain of the devoutly religious, for prayer in itself has little to do with worship as such
and much to do with inspiration.
Prayer is effective only when the individual gives themselves over totally to its power with complete and utter
commitment. It is this commitment and indeed trust, which forms the substance of the praying itself. It is a demonstration
of trust. But more importantly, prayer is the most intimate expression of desire, if the prayer is sincere.
Looking at desire and the way it tends to lead to achievement, it is possible to observe that very often, it is
those moments of quiet and seemingly insignificant feelings of desire that can have the most impact. In daily life,
the most powerful examples of desire seem to be those desires that come and go, almost unnoticed, slipping quietly
into the ether to work their magic.
It is also possible to recognize a distinction between this kind of desire and those desires that we may be more
verbal about, the desires which might seem to preoccupy us constantly. These persistent desires are not necessarily
less effective, but we tend to attach other feelings to them that could inhibit the easy attainment of them. Most
usually, those small intimate desires that occur in a moment tend to be desires without additional attachments.
That is to say, they are things that we genuinely desire without
condition, they seem to be without significant implication. We
are able to be unconcerned about these desires and thus, they are easily and quickly attained.
Now, it is not practical to suggest that we can turn every desire into the sort of desire that occurs in a moment
without concern because many of our desires do have implication for identity and lifestyle. However, there is much
that can be learned from the state of being which characterizes the fleeting and pure desire. It is a very personal
sort of desire, it is a desire that is often only known to the individual. Not because the individual seeks to
hide it, but because of its fleeting nature and sometimes, its way of occurring in the form of an impression. This is why it can
seem as though we do not really know that we have the desire. Resonance shows us that indeed the desire existed
prior to its achievement, although it seemed more akin to an impression than a specific conscious knowledge of
In these private moments we can be sure that the desire is genuine, for there is no motivation to manufacture an
impression for others, or to pursue falsehood when there is no one around to perceive it. We are alone with ourselves
and in those moments, provided we do not seek to hide from our own company or to ignore it, we can be truly honest
about what we want and don't want. Obviously there is no great panacea to cure the tendency to distract oneself
from these intimate moments alone with the self. There is no drug to stop the individual hiding from their own
thoughts, feelings and desires, there is no fool-proof technique to force an individual into this honest relationship
with their own being. Herein lies the catch. However, those with an earnest desire for more, will allow these moments to become
very crisp, very clear and very useful.
Prayer then, could be used to great effect as a way of crystallizing those moments of quiet sincere desire and bringing them into conscious recognition. But there
is another side to prayer, which can prove to be useful and it requires some sense of a knowledge of oneness. In
situations of greatest challenge, it is possible to be consciously aware of a part of ourselves, which seems to
be responsible for guiding us through difficulties with a kind of persistent and more enlightened knowledge of
what is happening, what is going to happen and how to make it happen. This is often referred to as the second mode but in a sense,
that is a rather simplistic way of describing it. For it would seem that with a sense of oneness, it is possible
to feel that, not only does this mode seem to represent a part of ourselves, but indeed it seems to be a part of everyone and everything else - a part of the whole essence of life itself. Some might say, a part of God.
Therefore, in all sincerity, it is possible to appeal to this part of God, or life or the universe or whatever,
and to express
our desires. But more than this, to ask for help in achieving them. Indeed to ask for anything at all, with a knowledge
and a trust that our desires will be heard and attended to accordingly. All too often we can forget to make use
of these what could be called the spiritual part of ourselves that is linked with magical happenings, messages
and signs, coincidence and change. We know that genuine desire is always met with the fulfillment of it. In these
quiet moments, when identity and pretenses are stripped away, when the individual truly faces themselves, this
entreating can be very powerful
and very immediate.
And although spiritual
is a much misused word and concept and although it is less than adequate, we must not be afraid to tap into the
spiritual part of ourselves.
We must not forget to venture into these unknown and unseen forces that seem to guide the course of, not only our
lives, but the course of humanity and the world. If we are part
of some spiritual dimension and that spiritual dimension is part of us, then without it
dominating our lives in a very unnatural and unempowering way, in the way that religion might, we can allow that
spirit to enter
our lives and indeed allow our life to enter it. This union, through the power of prayer, through the intimate relationship of
communing with the unseen dimensions of ourselves, could surely be interpreted as a fundamental part of living
a meaningful life. For if it was not, why on earth would it exist at all?
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