How to use Prayer
Rev. Cheril Goodrich ©
We live in a time when people are reaching out to their spiritual nature. People want to find their own way and receive their own answers. No longer do we seem satisfied accepting another’s interpretation on how to live our lives, but it all seems like a big mystery. How do we find our own answers and how can we tell if we are being heard? Praying seems like a logical choice when problems arise, but how do we use prayer to its greatest benefit and how do we know if it is working?
When Jesus walked the earth, He set forth an example when He was asked how to pray. We recognize this as The Lords Prayer. The first sentence tells us that there is another realm; “Our Father, which art in Heaven”. In essence we are reaching to another realm that could not follow the same laws that we do in the physical realm, otherwise there would not be a problem. So we are asking that we be shown a new perspective regarding a situation we are in. Many times when we approach prayer we believe we know what the problem is, and if we are not willing to accept a higher viewpoint then we seem to remain stuck in the problem. The first part of the Lord’s Prayer shows us that in order to move beyond our problem, we must accept a different interpretation and this interpretation comes from Heaven.
In the physical realm we pride ourselves on being responsible thinkers. We investigate with logic what is going on, and many times we use our logic to explore how another may think or feel, but may assume we know without asking them. This places us at odds with the first part of the prayer. If we do not leave our associations about what we think, then we cannot attain a higher perspective about the matter. This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks when we pray. The reason being, when we already assume we know what a problem consists of we look for the answer to a prayer the way we believe the prayer should be answered. This is a violation of mind.
If we were an expert in a chosen field, and someone asked us a question regarding our expertise, and when we gave the answer this individual argued with our answer, wouldn’t we be offended? Eventually wouldn’t we allow them to do it there way and see they were incorrect in their assumption? This is what happens many times in prayer. The answer that we get does not seem to have anything to do with our question, so because we are looking for a different answer, we do not hear the answer. The answer is not wrong, but we have not understood our question.
Prayer is an adjustment that is made in our thinking process. When we want something in our physical life to be fixed, it is because we believe the problem exists outside our own thought system. The higher realm does not understand the physical realm and isn’t that why we offered a prayer, because we needed Higher Help and a way for the problem to end? The answer is always that we have made an error, and that error is in our thought system. By not allowing the higher realm to answer in a way that will end the problem, we believe we already know the answer before we ask. To ask an expert for a solution is not to add our own interpretation to the answer. To add our own two cents is to give the solution a new meaning. This changes the solution and now we are ready to believe that prayer does not work.
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” This part of the prayer is telling us that God has a Kingdom. We are asking that we be shown His Will so we can see that the problem only exists in our mind. Many believe that we have to turn our will over to God. This is a violation of a Spiritual Law because God gave us free will forever. To try to give to God what He is not asking for violates not only our mind, but also His. What God gives He gives forever, so to try to surrender our will to God means we are trying to get God to take back a gift that He has bestowed upon us. So what does it really mean when we are asking for His Will to be done? What we are asking is that our will join with His Will. Alone our will is weak, but when joined with His Will our will becomes a mighty force that has abilities to heal and reach far beyond the physical realm. The effect of joining our will with His is how we join with His Kingdom.
In reality it is impossible to move out of the Kingdom of God. Our mind is still connected to His Kingdom, but in our confusion we have forgotten this truth. When we ask for His Kingdom we are asking to be reminded that we are still a part of His Kingdom and how we can bring His Kingdom into the problem so it is no longer a problem. His Kingdom has the whole answer to any problem, and we want a whole answer so that it never occurs again. This is His answer to us, His Kingdom.
“Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. We may assume that we are asking for physical sustenance when we ask for our daily bread, but The Lord’s Prayer is a spiritual prayer that aligns our mind with God’s way of thinking. Because we understand eating at a physical level means nourishing the body, to ask God for our daily bread means that we are asking for spiritual nourishment. This spiritual nourishment will show us how we have trespassed against someone else, and this is the problem that is occurring that needs correction. Many times we assume that someone else is doing something to us. True forgiveness looks at a problem and dismisses it, and because God does not hold us accountable for our transgressions, we are not to hold others accountable for theirs.
We believe that problems we are experiencing are in the present because it seems we are in the midst of a problem now. But in order to understand the problem we must be willing to see what is really wrong. Being willing to see what is really wrong aligns our mind with a new perception that shows us where the mistake really began. This is spiritual bread because it is digested into the mind and understood as spiritual nourishment. When we address our trespasses as the same as those that are held against another, we begin to associate with our true nature, which is spiritual. Being spiritual means there is no difference between myself and another. Being able to see ourselves clearly helps us recognize that trespasses are all the same and if we can be forgiven for ours, then we should be able to forgive others.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” becomes, help me to see what is real. I believe my problem is real and it appears as though my problem is allowing me to encounter what I don’t want, or what is evil. Temptation is the wish to see what is not real. Seeing what is not real is an ability that can only be experienced in the physical realm. With this in mind we are reaching to the spiritual realm so our mind can understand that what we are perceiving is an idol, or an illusion. This includes all sickness and unhappiness. In our spiritual nature it is impossible to encounter anything but joy. Therefore to experience anything else places us in a position of denying our true Being and allowing a false sense of self to over ride the true . When we believe it is possible for this to happen it seems as though our problem is greater than what God created. This is an impossibility and asking that we not be lead into temptation is asking that we not see the impossible.
“For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever.” Here we are acknowledging that our belief that something in the physical realm can have power over us is impossible. When we make this the end to our prayer we acknowledge that only God has the authority to decide what is real. We also acknowledge that only His Power has ability no matter where we may find ourselves.
We are in a very precarious position. When we pray and do not believe we receive an answer it is because we are blocking truth from entering. If we want truth to enter then we have to be willing to give up our idea of what the truth is. On the surface this seems to be easy, but because the mind is so creative it hides a thought keeping us from seeing the real problem. The time has come for us to understand and communicate with other realms. We cannot do this until we understand our own self. We can only do this by understanding the part of our self that has the ability to reach into other realms. What has this ability is what we have brought with us into time. This is our mind, it is not a brain. The brain was made by the mind so it understands being physical. It is a reference library for the mind so it knows how to react when, for instance, someone behaves in a certain manner. Behavior is a physical anomaly and can only happen when one occupies a body. This makes behavior a main reason for prayer, to understand our own or someone else’s.
When we say the Lord’s Prayer we are acknowledging that we do not know what the problem is that God does. It is up to us to do our part in the correction process. Prayer is not a mindless game; it is a request that we see ourselves the way that God sees us. Without prayer it would be impossible to see what God does, and our prayers would forever go unanswered.