Sunday, December 4, 2011


Crisis is not the only occasion for prayer. Although difficult situations are usually what motivate people to pray – and to seek spiritual counselling or prayer, there is a wide spectrum of other circumstances in which prayer can be a powerful tool for promoting wellbeing.
Prayer, in this sense, can be seen in a special light, offering not just healing but support, strength, direction, illumination and creative force as well.
Viewed from this perspective, prayer is not seen so much as a way to correct things that are wrong as to accelerate things that are already right.
A person seeking help with this idea in mind would not be doing so from the standpoint of feeling powerless or inadequate but rather from the standpoint of why ignore a rich source of support that can assist me in accomplishing my goal? This is true whether one is doing the prayer for oneself or getting assistance from a ministry of prayer.

We can consolidate these various prayer projects under the heading ‘self actualisation’ which includes the following:
1. Prayer to define your personal vision for life in terms of service or vocation. If you are praying for yourself, the prayer could be: “ I now accept that Divine Wisdom guides me into a path of service in which all my innate talents are employed successfully. Infinite Intelligence is revealing to me the ideal way in which I can find joy through work or service.”

Regular times can be set aside for declaring in prayer the results you wish to achieve. Becoming still, you can invite feelings you will have when those results come about; aligning yourself with those feelings is, assuredly, a form of prayer itself. Your prayer can also be supplanted by frequently visualising yourself in a happy, harmonious environment, performing work that is fulfilling.

2. Prayer to enhance job skills and learning capabilities in your chosen field. Such a prayer could be: “I now allow myself to be open to everything I need to know in this field, and I welcome all opportunities for Spirit’s inspiration to illuminate and expand my understanding.
I am strengthened in my resolve to seek out and discover all I need to know, and I am fully supplied with the energy necessary to carry out my purpose.”
The words of this prayer must be joined to a feeling of absolute acceptance, an unequivocal knowing that you have the power to accept the truth of what you have said, and that you do so now. You must assert complete and utter sovereignty over what is or is not accepted in the kingdom of your consciousness.

Then, sit in a period quiet or meditative thoughtfulness and acknowledge the efforts you have made up to this point. In those efforts recognise that there is an energy at your disposal to carry you still further in this learning process. Mentally search for and find the inner momentum you have already created and declare that this dynamic momentum will sweep you along until you know all that is needed.

3. Prayer to evolve spiritually and let the new you supersede the old you. This prayer could be stated: “I now declare that in the freshness of this moment, I release what has gone before and seize the change to express new light, never bound by the past. I choose to learn from my mistakes and love more wisely and genuinely this day. To this I am dedicated.
Again, sitting in quiet, listen inwardly to what follows after offering your prayer. In the solitude of your silent inner listening you will finally discover a sense of the sacred as you reflect on the source of your own nature. Soon you are aware of increased balance, poise, and the stately peace of your inner being. You have been drinking from the wellspring of the inner Spirit and this is the key to spiritual growth.

But what about the results? Can prayer truly provide support that is meaningful in accomplishing specific goals? The answer is yes.

Regardless of the issue, be it crisis-related or simply a desire to expand and explore, prayer figures as a most powerful ally, and it deserves respect. When we broaden our view of how and when prayer is applicable, we enable ourselves to have a richer experience of life.
And finally, if we want to appreciate prayer in its deepest sense, we can recognise that prayer ultimately moves beyond words and concepts altogether into realms where we may regard it in the same way philosopher Alan Watts regarded meditation, when he described it as “the art of suspending verbal and symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin.

Thus our greatest and most powerful prayer may simply be to make our need known and then to quiet ourselves and listen to the Infinite as it plays across our attentive and receptive minds.