We frequently receive prayer requests. Sometimes they’re personal appeals, but they also come via the Internet. Lately, I have seen a resurgence of the “Pray for Our President” emails. Yesterday a Facebook friend even requested prayer to help our soldiers prevail in Iraq’s sweltering 122° heat. These requests made me realize that we’re taught to make several presumptions when we pray:
- God is a Being that lives outside of us—in fact, in outer space;
- Like a genie, God grants wishes;
- Collective prayer can influence God to do what we want, and
- If we don’t pray in earnest, God will not lift a gigantic finger to help His distressed children.
Rarely do we consider the possibility that whatever is happening—no matter how it appears on Earth’s surface—has an underlying divine purpose. It certainly doesn’t occur to us that an immortal soul inside a person designed the experience because it had some evolutionary, purgative or karmic value.
We’ve accepted the idea that we are merely bodies—a reality created by the same folks who told us that we have dominion over an Earth that is the center of the Universe; the sun, moon and stars revolve around it. The only time we acknowledge that we have a soul is when we discuss its fate. It’s as if its life doesn’t begin until ours ends.
What if This Thing We Call “Reality” Isn’t?
Have you ever seen a film in an Imax 3D theater, where you were completely surrounded by moving images, and there seemed to be no separation between you and the action on screen? You knew it wasn’t real life when you bought the ticket and sat in a seat. Yet, there you were, heart pounding, teeth and fists clenched, blood pressure rising, screaming in horror—essentially freaking out.
And you weren’t alone. Most of the audience was sucked into this fantasy world—except the few who were snickering because everyone else believed it was real.
What if we are more than we’ve been told? What if we are eternal souls spending a fleeting moment in Universal Time by entertaining, educating and evolving ourselves on Planet Earth? What if we write and perform scripts featuring the experiences we want to have, characters we want to meet, and lessons we want to learn during our brief time on stage?
What if we’ve donned intelligent sensory costumes uniquely designed for Earth’s atmosphere—human bodies? When we’re in them, they breathe. When we leave them, they are lifeless and must be disposed.
As souls, we know we are actors on stage; but our sensory bodies believe that the experience is real. When our bodies don’t like the scenes they’re in, they’ve been taught to think, believe, visualize, demand, and definitely pray for a different ending.
Can Prayer Change a Soul’s Script?
Ask mega-church pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestseller “Purpose-Driven Life,” whose wife was diagnosed with cancer. During an interview with Billy Graham Ministries’ Decision Magazine, he revealed, “We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.”
Is God heartless, or are we merely clueless about what God is and does? For centuries, we’ve done the same thing, expecting a different result. Why? Because we’ve been taught that thinking and questioning are signs that we have no faith.
We demonstrate our faith by praying to an outer space Being who looks like us. Sometimes the Being gives us what we want, sometimes not. But, with a few adjustments in our technique, we can get what we want through prayer—every time.
How? By becoming the ones in the theater who can distinguish reality from realistic cinema, the ones who unwaveringly affirm that there is no spot where God is not, the ones who recognize God as an invisible divine presence within each soul—regardless of the body costume it is wearing or the personality, race, gender, mental and physical health it is projecting in the physical world.
We do it by disavowing absurdism, the belief that humans exist in a purposeless chaotic world, a world so meaningless and disorderly that our God solves problems by boastfully killing every living thing, sent an innocent child to be tortured to death so that His guilty children could go free, and has threatened eternal torture to anyone who doesn’t believe that He performed these inhumane acts.
Fear of condemnation from an indisputably human and un-Christlike outer space God, earthly authorities, and even friends has forced us to demonstrate our faith by not daring to filter these details through the divine-versus-diabolical sieve. Instead of defending God’s divinity, we have declared inerrant a book that not only has blatant errors it claims that God’s behavior is fearsome, erratic and demonic. Ergo, our egos now worship a bi-polar, but mostly sadistic God. And from this God, we expect compassion, forgiveness and favor. Fascinating stuff.
Trusting God Enough to Let Your Soul to Do the Talking
If you knew you were a powerful soul who breathed life into the body you are wearing, would your prayers still focus on material things? Some bodies want—and get—so much more because they know what prayer is. More important, they know what it isn’t:
- Prayer cannot override the will or re-write the script of another soul, just as we cannot change a scene in a movie we’re watching.
- Prayer is not a platform for begging. It is an opportunity for our bodies and brains to consciously connect and commune with the Divine within.
- Prayer is not a pipeline to tell the omniscient God what we want. Doing so implies that God does not know everything and diminishes God to a vending machine.
- Prayers are always answered. But if they do not align with our souls’ desires or missions, the answer is always no.
My most powerful and productive prayers ask for direction. They express trust, submission to and acceptance of the will of the Invisible Spirit within me that I call God. My words change with the situation, as will yours; but I can share the essence of prayers that deliver precisely what I desire—every time.
When a situation has become untenable (finances, job, home, relationship): “I trust that whatever is happening now is in Divine Order, was not designed to harm me, and advances my mission as a soul. I know that it will change at the most perfect time and in the most perfect way. I accept this as an opportunity to practice patience.
“If there is a lesson to be learned through this situation/encounter and I have not already grasped it, I declare my readiness to receive and prosper from that lesson so that I can evolve to the next step on my path. Thank you, God, for your ever-present support and wise counsel.”
Death of a loved one or a love relationship: “Dear God, I hold the dear soul I knew as __________in Light, and allow myself to grieve the loss of his/her physical presence. I ask for support as I release my attachment by accepting this soul’s decision to follow its script and adhere to its schedule. I remind myself that Life is eternal, nothing is unforgivable, and all is well. Thank you, God, for this understanding.”
When facing conflict: “Mother-Father God, I choose peace, and I stand ready for the shortest route to that peace be revealed. I may or may not have any spiritual history with these souls. But whatever role I played in creating this mess at any time in my eternal life, I now shower the Christ Light of forgiveness upon it, knowing that darkness and light cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I trust that this situation is being resolved for the Highest Good of All. For that, I thank you, God.”
What’s your most powerful prayer?