The concept of Prayer seems old fashioned to most. With connotations of pleading to some far off God in the hope that He will answer and give us what we want, this kind of prayer in our modern day lives appears to lack personal power or any sense of connection to ‘real life’.
And yes, in this way Prayer is outdated and needs to be re-interpreted.
But what if there is a new way? For us to understand that Prayer has a True Form and in this form is still as powerful, available and useful as it has ever been throughout time, and potentially of real significance in our lives. What if this true form could help in every aspect of life (solving problems, guiding, supporting our maturity and growth) and is actually a natural and harmonious part of being alive in the world?
In this new form (instead of pleading to some external God) we open ourselves up to harmonising with the beauty, grace and balance natural in the world and ourselves; and then from and through this harmony, answers come to us. We still seek (but not to some far off God) and we still receive (but freely and naturally as a consequence of being in harmony).
Interestingly this true form of Prayer still does need some concept of something larger than us (some religious or spiritual framework); something for us to ‘harmonise with’. True Prayer connects us to our intricate balance with the whole, our Truth, to God (or whatever substitute word works for us here).
But in this modern world we discuss these concepts less and less. With less God, and no substitute we can forget the ancient knowledge and our own intuitive understanding of our natural balance with the whole.
In this day and age we find ourselves relying more and more on just our intellectual minds to solve our problems and this gets complicated. In searching we find ever increasingly detailed and conflicting information, guidance and support. We can become overwhelmed with advice from experts, or so busy with trying to follow it that we never have a moment to spare; and then the advice changes! We can find ourselves caught in a mental hamster wheel. Often the advice is not wrong, it is just too complicated and not personalised enough for our own specific lives. This path is limited.
But there is another way. Through the correct concept of Prayer (instead of filling ourselves up with more information) we can take ourselves off for a quiet moment and just rest there. And as we relax and harmonise to a larger natural goodness, we ‘tune in’ and find in response the answers come through us secondary to this balance. They percolate from a larger source than just us, but that we are a part of, intricately connected; and when they come we recognise them as a moment of clarity, of Truth, of communion with our authentic selves, and realise they were there all the time, just waiting for a quiet moment to be revealed.
This kind of Prayer works because we remember our place, our balance and our True Harmony with the world we live in. We acknowledge our relative place in regard to the laws of Nature and to the great laws of Spirit. We are secondary to these laws to some extent. We did not choose to be born, chose to walk or grow, sleep or decide our own specific talents. A tree does not plant itself or tell itself to grow. It is the same for us. There is a part of life we must always be humble to and learn to balance with. And this larger balance is natural and good. (Biblically the quote is ‘And God made everything and it was Good’)
In this age of intellectual self-development (and no religion) we have put ourselves and our thoughts at the forefront believing that ‘we change ourselves’ or ‘we are in charge of our thinking’. But this is too self-centred and puts way too much pressure on us. It is not True Balance.
In Prayer we take time to ‘settle and harmonise’ and the mind, thoughts and feelings become secondary, not primary. They become a barometer, a guide, a measure. Instead of trying to change them, we believe in them, give them a gracious listening ear and are gentle with them, treating them as a friend. To the anxiety, the sadness, the anger, the joy, we allow them to show themselves and give them an audience. We honour them and learn from them, and ultimately we live in balance with them.
As an example I know for me when I have been feeling anxiety, sadness depression it is often a sign that I need to change something, to move back into balance, and often the fastest way to do this is just to believe and honour them. Sometimes I have put off what needs to be done as I am busy just trying to ‘rid myself’ of the feeling or thought without taking any other life action.
True Prayer processes thoughts and feelings into reality. Being holistic it includes the mind but is not led or controlled by it. The mind becomes a secondary tool in the process. As we gently allow space for everything to settle so our thoughts and feelings calm and balance and only then can we know clearly what action to take, where to go, who to talk to, what not to do!
In this day and age we may have lost the art of this process, of contemplation, of real relaxation, of True Prayer.
There are as many and varied ways of Prayer as there are people. Some people prefer a specific teaching or practise, meditation, yoga, church or singing, dancing, a walk in nature, some fishing or hunting or some time just mooching at home. But it always involves listening, pondering, allowing things to settle and work themselves through naturally. Then, in this relaxation and harmony, we receive the answers.
They come through as Truth and we recognise them as such. Sometimes surprising, sometimes the opposite of what we felt was pressuring us, often validating, when we receive an answer in Prayer we intuitively know it is right, and it feels good. As we Pray more and more we naturally let go of things that take us away from our truth and move towards things that support us and our unfolding lives.
Prayer is our own special connection with the very essence of life which keeps us and is eternal truth, goodness and grace. And through this on-going process we are given the space to grow and mature into the very person we were born to be.
Feel free to open, connect, learn and grow through this lifelong process which builds a holistic relationship to our deep truths, internal ancient wisdom and a Truly Balanced Life.