You Are In My Thoughts And Prayers

Blog Post – Prayer  –  5/28/15

“You are in my thoughts and prayers.” When we say that do we actually make contact with God and pray for that person or is it kinda like when we say “Have a nice day”—is it just a way to end a message, a conversation or a meeting?

Here are some thoughts about Prayer from Eric Butterworth in his book, “Discover The Power Within You.”

The “call to prayer” is heard in all languages, by innumerable religions the world over. “Pray about it is common advice to the troubled heart. “Prayer changes things” and “the family that pray together stays together” are popular slogans stressing the importance of prayer. But what do we mean by prayer?

The word “prayer” has no absolute meaning in our day. It means one thing to the child who says, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” It means another thing entirely different to the person who says his “Our Fathers” unthinkingly in a monotonous drone. It means one thing to the person who sits quietly under the trees in a wordless adoration of life and nature and with a receptivity to the “still small voice” of Spirit. It means another thing to the congregation of the preacher who gives a twenty-minute prayer that is eloquent and studied, and that touches every area of human need. (It is said that some ministers give their best sermons in prayer.)

A study of all the prayer practices within the Christian family of denominations is interesting and revealing. We find prayers of flattery, expecting a vain God to be moved by praise. There are prayers of pleading and supplication, for coaxing a miracle from a reluctant God. There are prayers of vain repetition, where the asker hopes that if he prays long and loudly enough, an apparently inattentive God may hear and respond.

This is the key to understanding prayer—and the prayer idea that Jesus outlines. Prayer does not deal with a capricious God. It is a technique for achieving unity with God and His limitless life, substance, and intelligence.

Prayer is not something we do to God but to ourselves.

It is not a position but a disposition.

It is not flattery but a sense of oneness.

It is not asking but knowing.

It is not words but feeling.

It is not will but willingness.

Prayer becomes a sacramental ritual that is performed by professionals, or it is the experience of reading “prayers” from a book. This simplifies the process. But it also leaves a sense of frustration and an absence of any real sense of communion.

We haven’t understood the “secret place” of unity with God. The results of prayer may be humanly astounding, but they merely demonstrate the art of unifying ourselves with the creative source of all good.

Men of all times have deluded themselves with the belief that outward acts which seem to be easy can be made to take the place of interior changes in thought and feeling which seem to be more difficult. How easy it is to fall into the practice of buying and wearing ceremonial garments, repeating set prayers by rote, using stereotyped forms of devotion, attending religious services at prescribed times, and still leave the heart unchanged.

We must work to alter the concept of God as the “answer man,” the “super-doctor,” “the divine warehouse,” and the concept of prayer as the great “spiritual slot machine.” Remember, “God is Spirit and they that worship must worship in Spirit and in Truth.”

Often someone may say, “I haven’t prayed much lately, because I have had no problems to pray about.” This person has missed the whole idea of prayer. Most certainly, problems may be solved through prayer, but that is only a secondary value. The most important purpose of prayer is lifting ourselves to a high level of consciousness where we can be conditioned in mind and body with the all-sufficient Life, substance, and intelligence of God.

Jesus says, “Do not pray to be seen praying. Do not pray because you think you should pray. Do not pray to heal your arthritis or to get a better job. Pray to re-establish your contact with divine power, and ‘all these things shall be added to you.’ ”

Unless we pray in “Spirit and in Truth,” prayer is simply a cold business transaction: “God, if you will heal my condition, or get me that promotion, or stop the war, I will give my life to you all the rest of my days.”

Prayer is to lift your consciousness, not God’s. “Your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.”

How do you ask the sun for sunlight? By getting out into the sun. How do you ask electricity for light for your lamp? By turning on the switch. How do you “ask” God for what you want? By getting into the Spirit. It is not something that God must do for you. It is what you must do for yourself to enable God to do for you that which it is His ceaseless longing to do. “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

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Neale Donald Walsch has this to say in his book “Conversations With God,” Book One.

God: You will not have that for which you ask, no can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience—wanting—in your reality.

The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude.

 

When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there…in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered.

Therefore, never supplicate. Appreciate.

Neale: But how then can I be truly grateful for something I know is not there?

God: Faith. If you have but the faith if a mustard seed, you shall move mountains. You come to know it is there because I said it is there; because I said that, even before you ask, I shall have answered; because I said, and have said to you in every conceivable way, through every teacher you can name, that whatsoever you shall choose, choosing it in My Name, so shall it be.

Neale: Yet so many people say that their prayers have gone unanswered.

God: No prayer—and a prayer is nothing more than a fervent statement of what is so—goes unanswered. Every prayer, every thought, every statement, every feeling—is creative. To the degree that it is fervently held as truth, to that degree will it be made manifest in your experience.

When it is said that a prayer has not been answered what has in actuality happened is that the most fervently held thought, word, or feeling has become operative. Yet what you must know—and here is the secret—is that always it is the thought behind the thought—what might be called the Sponsoring Thought—that is the controlling thought.

If, therefore, you beg and supplicate, there seems a much smaller chance that you will experience what you think you are choosing, because the Sponsoring Thought behind every supplication is that you do not have now what you wish. That Sponsoring Thought becomes your reality.

The only Sponsoring Thought which could override this thought is the thought held in faith that God will grant whatever is asked without fail. Some people have such faith but very few.

The process of prayer becomes much easier when, rather than having to believe that God will always say “yes” to every request, one understands intuitively that the request itself is not necessary. Then the prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving. It is not a request at all, but a statement of gratitude for what is so.

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