Jump to content

How Do You Pray?


Recommended Posts

Our little experiment in prayer has got me thinking about prayer within the context of progressive Christianity.

 

If you pray, how and why?

 

I you don't, then why not?

 

Is prayer meaningless outside of supernatural theism?

 

 

A dear friend of mine is a Christian humanist (to give him a label). He doesn't pray because he admittedly cannot get past his childhood image of prayer being between himself and a big man in the sky.

 

Does prayer require a belief in God? A belief in a certain kind of God? A certain kind of belief in God?

Edited by fatherman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you pray, how and why?

 

My prayers are pretty informal. I usually pray before falling asleep at night and they are rather chat-like in nature.

 

I pray for wisdom, understanding, insight. I open myself to dreams and often pray for hints to come to me in that form.

 

Is prayer meaningless outside of supernatural theism?

 

I don't think so. If anything I think it might be more meaningful outside of supernatural theism in that I don't expect things from prayer that I did when I was of that mindset. I don't treat God like a waiter anymore.

 

Does prayer require a belief in God?

 

Um, yup, otherwise you're having a conversation with yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Seriously, I do tarot readings on myself where I believe that is what I'm doing - talking to myself, delving into my subconcious. I don't call it prayer though. Meditation maybe?

 

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our little experiment in prayer has got me thinking about prayer within the context of progressive Christianity. 

 

If you pray, how and why?

 

I you don't, then why not?

 

Is prayer meaningless outside of supernatural theism?

 

 

A dear friend of mine is a Christian humanist (to give him a label).  He doesn't pray because he admittedly cannot get past his childhood image of prayer being between himself and a big man in the sky.

 

Does prayer require a belief in God?  A belief in a certain kind of God?  A certain kind of belief in God?

Bishop Spong once wrote a book, Honest Prayer. I don't even know if it's still in print, nor have I checked Amazon for its availability. But, in it, he uses the model of the Lord's Prayer (how apporpriate!) as a basis for considering the nature of prayer. One of the points that he makes is how prayer changes us, how in prayer we are opened up to that which is holy and transcendent. It's been quite soem time since I've read it, so I can't recall enough just now to give you much more on the book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does prayer require a belief in God?

 

Um, yup, otherwise you're having a conversation with yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Seriously, I do tarot readings on myself where I believe that is what I'm doing - talking to myself, delving into my subconcious. I don't call it prayer though. Meditation maybe?

 

I have a friend that, depending on the day, calls himself an Atheist, Humanist, or Agnostic. He rejects the idea of any transcendent power that intervenes......at all. He does believe in a type of energy (yet to be discovered by science) that can be altered by prayer. He also has some belief in an offshoot of the collective unconscious that can be altered through prayer. He calls it prayer, not meditation.

 

I am afraid that I have offended him on both accounts. :( I "accused" him of a belief in God....... and I challenged his using the word "prayer." I'm still not sure, though. :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend that, depending on the day, calls himself an Atheist, Humanist, or Agnostic. He rejects the idea of any transcendent power that intervenes......at all. He does believe in a type of energy (yet to be discovered by science) that can be altered by prayer.  He also has some belief in an offshoot of the collective unconscious that can be altered through prayer.  He calls it prayer, not meditation.

 

I am afraid that I have offended him on both accounts. :(  I "accused" him of a belief in God....... and I challenged his using the word "prayer."  I'm still not sure, though.  :blink:

 

Is he a fan of "The Celestine Prophecy" ? It's amazing the quibbles that are to be had over semantics. I would guess that quite a few of us here experience God as an energy that welcomes our participation. Underdiscovered by Science? Perhaps not.

 

As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

 

    * Max Plank (inventor of quantum theory)as he accepted the Nobel Prize (1919)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He rejects the idea of any transcendent power that intervenes......at all. He does believe in a type of energy (yet to be discovered by science) that can be altered by prayer.  He also has some belief in an offshoot of the collective unconscious that can be altered through prayer.  He calls it prayer, not meditation.

 

He can call it prayer if he wants. He could even call it Ralph if he wants. :D;)

 

Personally, I'd call it magic (and I do).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He can call it prayer if he wants. He could even call it Ralph if he wants.  :D  ;)

 

Personally, I'd call it magic (and I do).

 

This girl wears her ovaries on the outside! :P

 

Magick, to me, is one of those secret words that I'm afraid to say among my Christian friends (conservative or progressive), I see no difference in a good spell and a good prayer. I'm not Wiccan, but I do appreciate especially the highly principled approach they take to magick. Their rule (if I'm not mistake), is that a spell should never be used to manipulate someone (especially not without their permission). Many traditional Christian prayers are highly manipulative. "Lord, please make my brother repent from his sin." "Lord, please bring a man into my sister's life." Until our will is entirely in line with God's will, how can we pray like this? Well, I suppose it doesn't hurt ask, does it?

Hmmm...at the very least, this kind of prayer denies acceptance (acceptance is a more powerful agent for change than manipulation and coersion). At the worst, it really works! We pray something into reality that may not be in the best interest of the person we are praying for.

 

How about "Thy Will be done" (the Radical Prayer) ?

 

Just spouting off a bit here! Carry on...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This girl wears her ovaries on the outside!  :P

 

:blink: I asked my husband, but he doesn't know either, so I'll ask - "Could you 'splain Lucy? I don't get it."

 

Magick, to me, is one of those secret words that I'm afraid to say among my Christian friends (conservative or progressive), I see no difference in a good spell and a good prayer.

 

I'd highly recommend the book Witch Crafting (Click) by Phyllis Curott. I don't believe she's Wiccan, but I'm not sure. I do find her approach quite unique.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd highly recommend the book Witch Crafting (Click) by Phyllis Curott. I don't believe she's Wiccan, but I'm not sure. I do find her approach quite unique.

 

Intriguing.

 

I really liked "Real Magic", by Wayne Dyer. I'm a big fan of Wayne Dyer and his methods, but I prefer to temper his stuff with Christian values (guilt, denial, sacrifice,etc). His stuff isn't anti-Christian or anything, it just focuses a lot on the magic of getting what you want.

 

A few more words about this form of prayer.

 

When we connect consciously with the Source of all creation (let's call it the Stream) we enter the world of the infinite. The Stream does not know scarcity. It only knows abundance. It's enough just to connect. It's Will is to meet your highest needs (think hierarchy of needs here, not David need's a new BMW). I don't always know what I really need, but the Stream (or God) does. That's why connecting or becoming consciously open to the Stream and praying Thy Will Be Done is sufficient for powerful transformation.

 

So the Stream is concerned with what is ultimately best for me, but being created in God's image we are Creators as well. We can surrender our lives over purely to the divine Will, or we can put forth our own will into the Stream. Connecting to the stream is a symbol for an altered or elevated state of consciousness, similar to a dream state but fully conscious. In dreams, our desires are instantly made manifest.

While connected to the Stream, a powerfully expressed desire can also be made manifest. This is how yogis and fakirs perform their magic. This is also how we exist right at this moment. We are emanating from God's will and desire for us to exist.

 

I've gone deep enough into this subject here to pose the question. As a Christian, should I be practicing manifestion/magic to get what I want? Just cause I can, does that mean I should? In some ways, I'm a good old puritan. "Folks shouldn't be able to get everything they WANT! If that happened then EVERYbody would be happy!"

 

(a little wordy today...sorry)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a Christian, should I be practicing manifestion/magic to get what I want? Just cause I can, does that mean I should?

 

When I used to "practice magic" it was understood that just because you affirm, envision, call forth or otherwise attempt to manifest your desires doesn't mean that it will happen. It's understood that (except for "high magic") it's not our will being done, but God/dess's. Phyllis Curott focuses on this point A LOT. Like I said, she is more spiritual in her approach and not so "gimme gimme" oriented (as some pop wiccan authors are).

 

For me - magic, ritual, incantations, meditation, prayer - are ways to help ME connect to the Divine.

 

There are other magical traditions that believe you can force God/dess or nature or whatever to bend to your will. High Magic traditions are more of this mindset (like Golden Dawn) and other hermetic lineages. I don't care for them much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really liked "Real Magic", by Wayne Dyer. I'm a big fan of Wayne Dyer and his methods, but I prefer to temper his stuff with Christian values (guilt, denial, sacrifice,etc). His stuff isn't anti-Christian or anything, it just focuses a lot on the magic of getting what you want.

 

PS

 

I used to really really like Wayne Dyer. Now I just sorta like him. :huh: I got a bit turned off when (it seemed to me) he started to focus more on getting what you want and less on spiritual ideas and God. It started to feel like "prosperity gospel" which makes my stomach turn. Many pagan authors are the same way, which is why I like Phyllis Curott.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really liked "Real Magic", by Wayne Dyer. I'm a big fan of Wayne Dyer and his methods, but I prefer to temper his stuff with Christian values (guilt, denial, sacrifice,etc). His stuff isn't anti-Christian or anything, it just focuses a lot on the magic of getting what you want.

 

PS

 

I used to really really like Wayne Dyer. Now I just sorta like him. :huh: I got a bit turned off when (it seemed to me) he started to focus more on getting what you want and less on spiritual ideas and God. It started to feel like "prosperity gospel" which makes my stomach turn. Many pagan authors are the same way, which is why I like Phyllis Curott.

It's kind of ironic to be able to lump into one category many of the New Agers and pagans along with evangelical Protestantism, but there it is--it's all about me. It's all about my salvation, growth, enlightenment, or whatever.

Self-centered spirituality has no particular face, but wears many masks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me the soul is not to be realized by studying and taking instructions because it is not realized by the intellect or learning, but by the person who longs for the Truth and to such a person the soul reveals the true being. With help from above or God's pure consciousness I can get out of my mental situation, but this help can only come when it is requested or when I am open for it. Jesus said, "Knock and the door shall be opened", and the knock usually happens when I have arrived at the end of my self-destructive tendencies. If it wasn't asked for or accepted, it would interfere with my free will and a violation of free choice. This asking is called prayer, prayer is not just asking for certain actions or objects, soliciting God as if He were withholding, begging Him as if He were not willing. Prayer is just the simple organization of my thoughts so I can think about what I really desire, but it should be for what is good and does no harm to others. The real purpose of prayer is simply and solely to arrange my thoughts so that I will be open up for the realization from above.

Everything moves from thought to action, some call this magic. It goes thought, idea and then it manifest so unless there is first an image the thought cannot move. Prayer, which is a mental act, accepts an image in the mind as an answer, then celestial energies act upon it so it can manifest. We should give thanks for everything good or bad because one has to believe that one has the answers to the prayers asked, this is the image that is to be manifest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service