Is prayer efficacious?

Sometimes. What can anyone know about dialogue between a physical/spiritual entity and a spiritual one? And what can be said of the rote prayer by the devout: ‘Saying’ the rosary by Catholics or bowing down daily to Mecca by Moslems? Some would say “It can’t hurt.” If prayer is a means of caring for others by imploring help for them, then the supplicant is enhancing a concerned, loving heart. And humble acknowledgement of a Creator with purpose sustains hope and expectation of Pure Love in the afterlife.

However, praying can lead to personal pitfalls: First, the habit of making one’s self the ‘center of the universe’. “God is listening to ME.” “I am important.” “I have ‘access’ to His power.” These self-deceptions encourage one’s self-centeredness, a conviction of superiority, condescension and insulation from others. Second, by relying on prayer one can easily ignore his or her own resources. Why strive to improve if you are depending upon ‘lofty’ solicitations to keep you safe and guide you? Expectations that ‘your Deity’ is responsible for ‘providing’ undermines your creativity, empathy and self-determination. YOU must use your inquiring mind, constantly reflecting, deciding and making commitments to loving … the beauty of your wondrous self as well as that of others. A passive attitude accomplishes nothing!! Third, the propensity to ‘give up’ out of frustration and anger when prayers are not answered. Becoming forlorn when you feel ‘abandoned’ is self-defeating and pathetic. You have the ‘spark of the Divine’ within. It is there for a purpose!!

All that said, if prayer, a ‘sharing’ dialogue with a perceived, ethereal Entity, enables you to love more, to be kinder and gentler to others and even to yourself, by all means, keep at it. However, if praying does the opposite … ‘closes you up’, makes you feel superior or prone to frustrated rage, it most certainly should be avoided.

We all wish to feel that we are not alone in the universe. Very probably spiritual beings exist in another dimension. It is unlikely they have any influence on the physical world however. For nature follows immutable laws and altering them would certainly prove chaotic. And we are obviously an integral part of nature for a purpose: To learn to love with the resources available.

But our spiritual nature must share characteristics with supernatural entities. Could there be ‘communication’ with them on a level we can only ‘feel’? Are we being encouraged to pray with ‘rewards’ of inner peace and security? Have you felt this in your life? A sense that you are not alone? ‘Someone’ is listening?

Perhaps true prayer, not rote words and rituals, but a deep yielding of self in supplication … perhaps this elicits a spiritual response that bolsters our core. Maybe we are able to develop our own private dialogue with a greater Reality … not expecting too much but feeling a certain connectedness and sustaining hope. “I do believe in prayer to the extent that I feel someone is listening and sharing. There are many moments, quiet moments, when I know I am not alone. At the instant of death ‘someone’ close by will ‘shake my hand’ and say I have been listening … welcome … let’s talk. What do you think?


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