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
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
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
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?
©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and definingyourworld.com. All or
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