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lani

Prayer

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Sorry if I am repeating themes here but do people have personal experiences of prayers being answered? I know this is a subjective experience but I am doubtful if prayer is more of a meditative experience that we get benefit from as opposed to something that a higher power responds to.

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1 hour ago, lani said:

Sorry if I am repeating themes here but do people have personal experiences of prayers being answered? I know this is a subjective experience but I am doubtful if prayer is more of a meditative experience that we get benefit from as opposed to something that a higher power responds to.

Yes. I started a small nonprofit in 1990.  On two occasions we were in financal difficulty and I prayed for insight as whether to fold or not.  Both times an unexpected donation for exactly $3k arrived that week.

I also experienced a very complicated set of family issues related to aging.  I prayed, especially at communion for insight into the resolution of this insolvable problem.  The answers arrived just in time.

Praying for evidence of the efficacy of prayer is the first step since you have doubts.  Pray for evidence, insight, revelation, faith.  Don't pray for a pony; pray to feel like one.

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Many years ago, a few times I prayed that I would lose my virginity to an attractive woman (not the least selfish of prayers I know) , yet so it played out.  

I also prayed on two occasions that I would get the jobs which I was seeking at the time.  On both occasion I got the jobs,.

Did God answer these prayers?  Now, to me, it would seem illogical if that was the case, but I guess I'd have an argument for the affirmative.

Present day, personally, I can only imagine prayer as a meditative experience rather than an interventionist God actually doing something in response to prayer.

 

 

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In true obedience there should be no ‘I want this or that to happen’or ‘I want this or that thing’but only a pure going out of what is our own. And therefore in the very best kind of prayer that we can pray there should be no ‘give me this particular virtue or way of devotion’ or ‘yes, Lord, give me yourself or eternal life’, but rather ‘Lord, give me only what you will and do, Lord, only what you will and in the way that you will’. This kind of prayer is as far above the former as heaven is above earth. And when we have prayed in this way, then we have prayed well, having gone out of ourselves and entered God in true obedience. But just as true obedience should have no ‘I want this’, neither should it ever hear ‘I don’t want’, for ‘I don’t want’is pure poison for all true obedience. As St Augustine says: ‘The true servant of God does not desire to be told or to be given what they would like to hear or see, for their prime and highest wish is to hear what is most pleasing to God.

 

The above is from Meister Eckhart's talk on "True Obedience" from his "Talks of Instruction". Obviously couched in theistic language yet many in the non-theistic tradition of Buddhism recognise in Eckhart a "dharma brother". As I see it, much revolves around selflessness, in all its guises. Which is not to lose the self, but to know it for the first time. 

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