The Art of Prayer

BirdCage“Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmoste centre in us all,

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error: and, to KNOW,

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.”

-Robert Browning Spencer

 

  Shall we pray to God’s Presence and Power in the cosmos, opening ourselves to the infilling of Spirit?

or…

Shall we center on the Spirit within, allowing it to emerge?

 The wording of these questions, as posed by my instructor Dr. Tom, requires first answering for ourselves some deep questions. What is prayer? What is God? Who am I? And, what is my relationship to God?

Essentially we are asking about life, the Universe and everything. This being a blog post, I don’t intend to cover them all. Rather, I pose these questions for your own personal reflection – and mine.

Often one’s approach to prayer depends on your answers to the above questions. What are your current beliefs about your relationship with the Divine? We can pray to God, for God, with God, and as God. When we pray to God our relationship is like that of child to parent. Praying for God is devotional prayer, we wish to know and experience God. In the sense of praying with God, God is an energy or power one can “plug into.” Mystical prayer is praying as God. This is praying without ceasing and living within the awareness of the Divine.

 Most major religions practice some form of prayer. It is amazing how this one word is interpreted and practiced differently throughout the world. Some say that prayer is communion with God. This communion is often practiced in conversational form. For others it is the practice of the presence of God.

 How we pray is a direct result of the lenses we wear – our beliefs and ideas through which we experience the world. Is one answer more right than the other?

 As we question our own answers to these questions perhaps we will find that it is possible that through prayer Spirit can be both infilling and emerging.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas. To leave a comment simply fill out the form below including your name & email address, website is optional. Thank you!

Love & blessings on your journey,

 Jeniffer

 

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