Topic: Effective Prayer
Group: SE Idaho TeaM
TR: Bill K.
Elyon (Bill): Good evening my dear friends. I am Elyon, invited to speak to this group this evening by your Melchizedek instructor in residence, Minearisa. We intend this year throughout the Teaching Mission to experience tradeoffs in leadership and "guest speakers" as you would say it between groups. As you probably surmised, I am going to talk about effective prayer.
The essence of prayer is its motivation, not its mechanics. The heart of prayer is love, for love is that bond that connects the person praying to the person or situation being prayed for. Because the heart of prayer is motivational, is attitudinal, is essentially spiritual, it transcends both the physical form and even the mindal aspects of thought. Isaac presented some well-reasoned concerns regarding the mechanics and the thoughts that he has struggled with, and others of you correctly perceived that he was bogged down in technical issues. The complexity of the spiritual operation of the universe is such that your minds cannot comprehend the vast majority of it, and have difficulty understanding even the smallest part. This is not to denigrate you for you are God's creation, each of you. It is merely a fact of a difference in experience and ability.
Therefore, it is to the matter of intentionality and attitudinal concerns that The Urantia Book addresses the topic of prayer. Do not worry about how a prayer is answered. And yes, it is true that some prayer cannot be answered until the Morontial career and some, in fact, await completion on Havona and Paradise itself.
If love is the essence of prayer then it really is a lot simpler, for God does not need your advice as to how he should administer his Universe. And you cannot supplant another's freedom with your most earnest feelings. But you can wrap your brothers and sisters in love. Therefore, as you pray, imagine (if this is helpful for you) yourself in the presence personally of this person you are praying for. Visualize them physically and then imagine that you can see past their physical boundaries and into their hearts, their souls. As you do this, realize that you see in them that same divinity that you glimpse at times in yourselves, that gift of the Fragment of God himself, united or uniting with your precious personality, another gift of God himself.
I am not suggesting that words are futile or that you should not struggle to frame your love verbally, but I am saying that when words fail and confusion reigns in your mind, should that be your problem, that you let go of all that concern and let the feeling of love that is prompting your praying course through you, filling you, deepening your channels of receptivity, creativity, compassion, concern, and correlate you with the other together in love.
The caution which our Master put into prayer form which is well known to you "Nevertheless not my will but yours be done" is a caution against arrogance and false pride. It implies that despite our best intentions, our wisest thinking, and our grandest dreams, that we are not in a position by virtue of existential status or experiential achievement to decree what should be done, what should happen in any situation and for any being, ourselves included. Only the all-wise, loving, infinitely merciful, grandly generous, perfectly fair Parent of all is in that position. His will be done not because he has the power and none can resist, but his will be done because he is goodness itself and everything takes origin in him, the First Source and Center, the Universal Father.
There is much more that I could say, but I am cognizant of the weariness of many of you, including this TR. I believe that your discussions were most sincere and effective. I would add one final thought to this consideration of prayer in its effectiveness, and that is not to become anxious and guilty as a result of discovering the loftiness of experience that is required for prayer to be fully effective. Prayer is not limited to the mortal career. It is something that you will continue to experience and use in your Morontial progression, and you will become more apt students, better righteousness-recommenders, better prayer artisans. You will hone your skills here as you do in all things.
And now, one more thought has occurred. The antidote to hatred of another person whom you regard as an enemy is to pray for them. For in the praying you must perchance open your heart with an intention of love. Prayer for one whom you are angry with or disdain makes it possible to forgive, to let go of the pain, to pull your ego out of the prideful hurt that it is nursing and to affirm your brotherhood/sisterhood. This is not to say that you should necessarily place yourself in jeopardy with this other person. That is a different matter. But for even those whom you fear to contact interpersonally, those who you feel are your enemies, it will benefit you, if no other benefit is derived, from time spent wishing that person good. For love is the desire to do good to others. I am Elyon. My remarks have concluded. Good evening.
Minearisa (Cathy): This is Minearisa, your instructor in residence, with a short comment on Elyon's discourse. You may think of prayer as positive intentionality. Think of it as love which flows like a river, for with time and consistency, all rivers can erode away the hardened aspects with which they come into contact. But it takes consistency and the pressure of love in order to evoke change in the physical and emotional surroundings. I wish to thank Elyon for his insights and open the floor to questions.