Monday, June 24, 2013

Would it be of any Benefit to Pray to God ? What Should Be Remembered When You Pray ?

Modern man is perplexed by the thought of talking things over with God in a purely personal way. Many have abandoned regular praying; they only pray when under unusual pressure—in emergencies. Man should not be afraid to talk to God.

The simple prayer of faith evidences a mighty evolution in human experience to that of a bona fide consciousness of the reality of the eternal God - the Universal Father (God) of all intelligent creation.

Prayer induces the human ego to look both ways for help: for material aid to the subconscious reservoir of mortal experience, for inspiration and guidance to the super conscious borders of the contact of the material with the spiritual.

Prayer ever has been and ever will be a twofold human experience: a psychological procedure inter associated with a spiritual technique. And these two functions of prayer can never be fully separated.

It is altogether fitting that man, when he prays, should strive to grasp the concept of the Universal Father (God).

No prayer can be ethical when the petitioner seeks for selfish advantage over his fellows.  In all your praying be fair; do not expect God to show partiality, to love you more than his other children, your friends, neighbors, even enemies. 

Remember, even if prayer does not change God, it very often effects great and lasting changes in the one who prays in faith and confident expectation. Prayer has been the ancestor of much peace of mind, cheerfulness, calmness, courage, self-mastery, and fair-mindedness in the men and women of the evolving races.

Prayer need not always be individual. Group or congregational praying is very effective in that it is highly socializing in its repercussions. When a group engages in community prayer for moral enhancement and spiritual uplift, such devotions are reactive upon the individuals composing the group; they are all made better because of participation. Even a whole city or an entire nation can be helped by such prayer devotions. Confession, repentance, and prayer have led individuals, cities, nations, and whole races to mighty efforts of reform and courageous deeds of valorous achievement.

Prayer, unless in liaison with the will and actions of the personal spiritual forces and material supervisors of a realm, can have no direct effect upon one's physical environment. While there is a very definite limit to the province of the petitions of prayer, such limits do not equally apply to the faith of those who pray.

Prayer is not a technique for curing real and organic diseases, but it has contributed enormously to the enjoyment of abundant health and to the cure of numerous mental, emotional, and nervous ailments. And even in actual bacterial disease, prayer has many times added to the efficacy of other remedial procedures. Prayer has turned many an irritable and complaining invalid into a paragon of patience and made him an inspiration to all other human sufferers.

No matter how difficult it may be to reconcile the scientific doubtings regarding the efficacy of prayer with the ever-present urge to seek help and guidance from divine sources, never forget that the sincere prayer of faith is a mighty force for the promotion of personal happiness, individual self-control, social harmony, moral progress, and spiritual attainment.

Do not be so slothful as to ask God to solve your difficulties, but never hesitate to ask him for wisdom and spiritual strength to guide and sustain you while you yourself resolutely and courageously attack the problems at hand.

The soul of man requires spiritual exercise as well as spiritual nourishment.

Religious ecstasy is permissible when resulting from sane antecedents, but such experiences are more often the outgrowth of purely emotional influences than a manifestation of deep spiritual character. Religious persons must not regard every vivid psychologic presentiment and every intense emotional experience as a divine revelation or a spiritual communication. Genuine spiritual ecstasy is usually associated with great outward calmness and almost perfect emotional control. But true prophetic vision is a super psychological presentiment. Such visitations are not pseudo hallucinations, neither are they trance like ecstasies.

The human mind may perform in response to so-called inspiration when it is sensitive either to the uprisings of the subconscious or to the stimulus of the super conscious. In either case it appears to the individual that such augmentations of the content of consciousness are more or less foreign. Unrestrained mystical enthusiasm and rampant religious ecstasy are not the credentials of inspiration, supposedly divine credentials.

The practical test of all  strange religious experiences of mysticism, ecstasy, and inspiration is to observe whether these phenomena cause an individual:


1. To enjoy better and more complete physical health. 


2. To function more efficiently and practically in his mental life. 

3. More fully and joyfully to socialize his religious experience. 
4. More completely to spiritualize his day-by-day living while faithfully discharging the commonplace duties of routine mortal existence. 


5. To enhance his love for, and appreciation of, truth, beauty, and goodness. 


6. To conserve currently recognized social, moral, ethical, and spiritual values. 

7. To increase his spiritual insight—God-consciousness.
To some individuals prayer is the calm expression of gratitude; to others, a group expression of praise, social devotions. sometimes it is the imitation of another's religion, while in true praying it is the sincere and trusting communication of the spiritual nature of the creature with the anywhere presence of the spirit of the Creator.

Prayer elevates man because it is a technique of progressing by the utilization of the ascending spiritual currents of the universe.

Genuine prayer adds to spiritual growth, modifies attitudes, and yields that satisfaction which comes from communion with divinity. It is a spontaneous outburst of God-consciousness.


God answers man's prayer by giving him an increased revelation  of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. Prayer is a subjective gesture, but it contacts with mighty objective realities on the spiritual levels of human experience; it is a meaningful reach by the human for superhuman values. It is the most potent spiritual-growth stimulus.


Words are irrelevant to prayer; they are merely the intellectual channel in which the river of spiritual supplication may chance to flow. The word value of a prayer is purely auto-suggestive in private devotions and socio-suggestive in group devotions. God answers the soul's attitude, not the words.


Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. Pray only for values, not things; for growth, not for gratification.



If you would engage in effective praying, you should bear in mind the laws of prevailing petitions:
1. You must qualify as a potent prayer by sincerely and courageously facing the problems of universe reality. You must possess cosmic stamina.
2. You must have honestly exhausted the human capacity for human adjustment. You must have been industrious.
3. You must surrender every wish of mind and every craving of soul to the transforming embrace of spiritual growth. You must have experienced an enhancement of meanings and an elevation of values.
4. You must make a wholehearted choice of the divine will. You must obliterate the dead center of indecision.
5. You not only recognize the God's will and choose to do it, but you have effected an unqualified consecration, and a dynamic dedication, to the actual doing of the God's will.
6. Your prayer will be directed exclusively for divine wisdom to solve the specific human problems encountered in the  attainment of divine perfection.
7. And you must have faith—living faith.

[Adapted from the Revelatory Paper on Evolution of Prayer  as included as paper-91 in the Urantia Book ]


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