by Rev. David Strickler
last updated July 28, 2016
Early one afternoon during my ‘give the eyes a computer break,’ I listened to a conversation in which two people were discussing prayer, somewhere a week or more back. Their discussion centered around one or both stating that prayer was asking for something. My reaction surprised me, although it was not out of place in a world, empty and devoid of genuine understanding in a world where, words are constructed and defined from the building blocks of meaningless language as English, especially prayer.
Anyway, I was struck at the myopic understanding of the concept and how a truer meaning of the concept was being destroyed by the dance of personality-egos attempting to communicate with each other on such a profound topic.
Prayer is not asking for something, far from it; although prayer can be used to ask for ‘something’. If the standard definition of prayer is not ‘asking for something’ then what is prayer and more importantly, what is the meaning of prayer and/or what is prayer used towards? Is prayer a tool?
Almost without fail, when I talk or speak about prayer, a memory of movie from 1971 almost portrays a resemblance of prayer: Fiddler on the Roof. Almost certainly, if you watch the movie, you will likely get an idea of what one side of prayer might look and sound like.
To Whom or with what am I having a Dialogue?
Many people believe that they are talking/praying to no-one or that they are just having a conversation with themselves. If a person’s illusion of separateness is allowed to go on unchallenged, an illusion of isolation is created as a subconscious response to the [erroneous] premise, observation and/or hypothesis. A subjective experience a person is praying to no-one, or at the very least, just talking to themselves. Here is where our mental constructs may make us or break us. At the very least, we may come to know limitations we are experiencing due to mental constructs or coping with whatever limitations we as a soul may be experiencing of our body’s unawakened nervous system to the invisible.
With the devolution of mankind came loss of greater interior capabilities, a stunting or retreat of greater abilities within the physical human perceptual organism. Prior to this shift, an ability to access to higher abilities temporarily free humanity from the delusion of duality, provided the method of access was taught.
Some oral traditions appear to point a finger in a direction that access to higher functions (i.e., in oral traditions, the higher interior hearing function, Wernicke’s area) corresponding areas of the neuropathways in human brain that were ‘stripped down’ (gone dormant) to a basic model. This latter is part of a greater model that I teach. Some of the loss of ability to communicate directly to Spirit designated above, came, I hypothesis, as a result of mankind’s development and advancement of necessary tools to assist physical civilization; our technology has become of sorts, a Tower of Babel. This contributes to the illusion of separateness and the fear in individuals established by a conflated illusion of personal autonomy rejecting interdependence of human beings — inability to hear the speaking of Higher Spirit.
With the increasing of awareness of our personal self, provided by the sentence and acceptance of the illusion of separateness provided by generic humanities subconsciousness response to the ‘fall’, our awareness and attention to our greater self as soul emerging from purpose in the primal-will-to-good within the realm of Higher Spirit, generic humanity lost ‘sight’ and the ability to speak in a valid communication inside of a Reality that became diminished after what some refer to as the ‘primeval deviation’. Or what the simple level of interpretation of Christianity refers to as ‘Adam and Eve lost the ability speak directly with God’.
So, if you are a person who has untied part of the illusion that you are just your body, then perhaps the power of prayer is releasing you as Soul from its flesh confusion. Perhaps for some it may be to just invoke the hidden, latent and unused possibilities of your personality that prayer may release within your organism and mind. This could provide a beginning platform to enable awareness of you as a Soul using a biological electro-chemical body for experience in this material world.
Then again, perhaps you should start with the statement I give to everyone that we did not give birth to ‘ourselves’ whether that be body or soul. How can we remember anything prior to our birth when the elementary aspects of memory are not incorporated into the initial burst of energy the promotes the development of the fetus? It is interesting to note that memory does not develop in the human fetus until about approximately 30 weeks: this is thirty weeks AFTER the Soul orders a human body at the production line and then 9 months later takes possession of the human body at the infant’s first breath.
What is Prayer?
Pure and simply speaking, Prayer is a Dialogue, a dialogue about your favorite topic – You – the current state of your consciousness viewed through the filters of the Flesh. Prayer is another chance to exercise self-honesty, to square off with our shortcomings and accept the negativity of our lies and rationalizations. This is the most important Dialogue that you can establish in this lifetime other than learning how to listen to conscience and ‘other’. This is a dialogue that if repeated, creates a flow like an opening the closed windows of a house in order to provide air circulation to relieve the stale air of confinement. Sometimes, what is mistakenly taken to mean a dialogue, are thought conversations taking place between different areas of your brain as for example, “I am hot;” in reality you are not hot, your body is and the area of the brain that monitors temperature is relaying information via your “I-dentification.” Remember, you are a Soul that uses a biological body as a spacesuit—it has built in feedback sensors.
Prayer is also a means to bring one’s desire nature into proper management. Attention is brought to some perceived lacking in one’s ability whether or not that ability is physical, emotional or some other type of lacking comprehension recognized needed in order to move forward instead of feeling stuck within the temporary limitations represented by our body, emotions, intellect or mind.
Prayer can also be a means to enhance awareness of our personality when we come face to face with our own shortcomings and how the inequality those shortcomings produce an imposition on others if we are in a state of unbalance. We may then pray that others forgive us as we overcome the shortcomings in our personalities comprehension or projected, inadequate and equivocated opinions prevent good-ness for other human beings to acquire around us or produce the response of alienation in our environment. It is in those moments that we pray to undo something misunderstood, or to ask forgiveness for being so short sighted or selfish-centered.
Intercession and Prayer.
There can be times within anyone’s life where there are appearances of conditions that can overwhelm anyone. This can range from a cumulative fatigue of a longstanding experience of negative conditions. There are humorous jokes that convey this idea. My favorite and actually asked of me one day, “When did you piss in God’s Wheaties?” Difficulties can get more than steamed up inside the growing personality when in fact that personality is being ‘pressure tested’ by what some call their higher/greater self, or by some angel representing God. Some people seek an intercessor to intercede for them to assist resolution with whatever the problem is so that relief can be had before some type of breaking point occurs, whether that breaking point be in the fragile physical, fragile psychological, fragile emotional, fragile intellectual or some mixture of all of the above said.
Prayer is where we pause and begin an intercession process in our personal events that appear to be emerging on our event horizon. Take for example, some3one throws a ball toward a wall without second thought until the ball appears to boomerang into a direction out of our current position of control. Intercession can be at times, running to get the ball whose trajectory is outside of what we anticipated. On a larger scale, sometimes a person’s view is too limited to the boundaries of their literacy in ANYTHING. A person can easily lose a ‘sense of direction or accomplishment’ from standing within their own limited literacy of comprehension and understanding, Here, the pause can be used to alert our organism we are operating through for greater assistance and unused latencies that reside within us so we can come to know otherwise.
Will, Choice and Prayer
This is often overlooked, the use of free will in order to choose. As Soul our physical space suite may have certain limitations due to its function in the material plane. As soul there are less limitations to the scientific fallacy of communication at a distance. There is no distance to overcome, the only difficulty is in making an open willingness to choose communication with what some term our ‘Higher Self’ or what I teach as our greater self. Soul is the connection to and part of this greater self, similarly, just as ‘you’ represent the constituents in the universe of your body. The use of free will is the first step in transcending the whole mess of limitations inherent within the mundane world.
Our motif about Will should come under scrutiny by first realizing that we do not create free will, it is given freely for us for use, with some wisdom one might hope. This would be the first step in aligning with the true Primal-Will-to-Good that creates and sustains any universes. If we are undamaged, we understand the enjoyment of Good-ness, the experience of Good-ness. If our personality is not operating in this vein or characteristic then our forms of petition in prayer might be nothing more than a festering of narcissism, fueled drunken gluttony, which can be a fair appraisal of an easily acquired symptom when running amok in a society whose god becomes consumerism, technology and Daddy-Mommy corporations.
Will and Choice is also a ‘call to action.’ Many times, we may be facing a choice, especially when there may not be an apparent answer to the prayer. There may be additional ‘leg work’ involved as a part of the answer to a prayer. Often this involves activating a possibility from any personal resources, that would include a public plea for assistance when to a person’s panicked view it appears there are one. Maybe we haven’t exhausted all personal resources yet as is the case with personal disability that has genuine medical merit, maybe an attorney is needed to assist and then a phone call need be made in order to activate that possibility. The infamous network network network ad-nauseum can come into play here. If you didn’t get that job as a Nanny, maybe you need to ask the laqst person you interviewed with for a Nanny to see if they could possibly recommend you to another if they hear of the need.
Our lives are INEXTRICABLY linked together as an individual cell with the body of sleeping Adam (who was never awoken from the sleep). Whether you accept this or not is immaterial, after you die you will discover the truth. Sometimes we must act on some type of choice that we have considered the consequences of the chosen action to the best of our contemplation and consideration. We are responsible for part of what is generated by our use of freely given use of Free-Will.
Prayer and Desire.
You will have a dialogue with whomever you believe you are having a dialogue with based on; how your personality uses the desire energy available to it. When we find some aspects of our experience to be underwhelming, our pool of desire can be interrogated to discover if we actually wanted such an underwhelming outcome. Maybe our limits of literacy co-created, incorporated too low of an expectation in an experience we sought for ourselves. We can then pray to have insight, solvability and right action to adjust the pattern were put into motion.
Sometimes it is not the case and there appears to be an opposite of what we desired, continually negative. To seek intercession for something that appears to be out of the orbit of our experience to that we may correct what might be called a negative anomaly amplified within some circuit or aspect of our personality. Perhaps a person is unable to communicate effectively with others which if understood can use free will to choose a corrected of actions with choices toward self-esteem, courses in listening, or by simply paying attention to something outside our internal universe. In this fashion the energy of desire can be brought into further use and balance by active management of the desire energy.
Misconceptions about Prayer.
So prayer isn’t a tool of just asking for something. Prayer is not God’s cosmic vending machine to pop out pain killers or super-happy-day uppers like Pez candies to prevent you from drowning the shallow depths of your puddle perception. On the contrary, prayer is a tool of cultivation which may not bear any short term gratification. It’s a cultivation to expand our ability to communicate, discuss and dialogue with greater and less dense realms of human consciousness; the living presence of Spirit. Some people call this ‘talking with God” I call this having a conversation with The Self, the Source Self; Source Being; Source Consciousness. While asking for something is might be a fine example of a description coming from within the ravages of the religion of consumerism, I do not consider that a description of prayer. Such a description, if it were to be accepted, would be a debasement, a blasphemy of the integrity representing the Spirit of what true prayer WAS, IS and SHALL BE tool used for the path of return, a tool used for the Daath of Soul to reconnect into the evolution of consciousness in order to transcend the material world of time and space.
Another misconception about prayer presented is the practice of praying. I really disregard much that is spoken about ‘how to pray’ in broadcasting circles of commercialized Christianity. My model is simple; speak simply about your concerns or misgivings especially about yourself and your situations. That is one tough cookie to bite into. Why? Many personalities refuse to square off with the facts in some feigned act of positive thinking and acting like it’s a ‘super-sparkly day.‘ Or where people speak of the agonizing frustrations in their life with themselves, or others, as if it be a true pain. Whereas if they were truthful, they wouldn’t be trying to pull the wool over the eyes of their greater consciousness which can see through such childish complaints. Second, speak your facts out loud if possible, by yourself, so that you can hear the sound and tone of your unspoken thoughts which usually do not get aired from you head: hear what those thoughts sound like. Third and finally, have respect, not for the imaginary spaghetti monster in the sky, but to the principle of the Eternal which lent you some Life power, a gift of IT’S portion of power to explore, to have respect for the true source of that which constituted the gift of your nonphysical life.
A greater misconception held by people about prayer is it’s a one-way street. This may be true if you are only a one way person, a person who has to have things Their Way. If your personality temperament is such, you’ll likely get the feeling of talking to a wall (representing You), getting no response, the you that gives no response to others unless it is your way. Prayer doesn’t support these types of delusions within a conflated personality, the portion of your ego-personality that is unbending to any existence of life outside the non-material universe called time and space. The irony is, that a relationship with our greater self as being a soul speaking with Spirit is a cultivated relationship. Cultivated because the inborn boundaries established by our flesh, derived from the material earth plane. bring about a false conclusion that praying is a waste of time.
What Prayer Is NOT.
Prayer is also NOT a state of consciousness that can be invoked through some digital technology. As wonderful and useful as digital technology can be, you cannot digital-ize or text your way to this state of consciousness, on the contrary, it is developed outside the use of the digital domain and requires a part of the brain that is not attached to such digital devices. And as I said earlier, it is not something that can be purchased off the electronic vending shelf of immediate gratification-consumerism. Some things take repeated immersion to bring adjustment in bent areas of the human personality, whether you want to accept it or not.
Prayer is also not an ordinary activity in your consciousness even though your life is maintained by the Eternal, endlessly meditating upon and sustaining all existence of which you are a meditated part of. Prayer is also not an escape from activity that a person might find redundant or distasteful.
We should also not pray for any specific characteristic that we think we need more of such as patience or strength. You may find your life in situations that demand more strength than your immediate ability to produce or cope with because that is what you asked for, more strength. Just like patience, pray for more patience and you will find yourself in situations trying your patience, the more patience you want the more turmoil you require in order to test your level of patience.
This particular state of awareness developed by dialogue of prayer can be developed, just as handwriting can assist in coming to realize a flow because of the fine motor control that is needed which establishes a form of concentration. It can be developed, just as working with a Sacred language whose letter you are inscribing has a noun and number entwined to reflect a characteristic of consciousness and cosmic energy and means so much more than just a meaningless vowel or consonant sound attached to a letter sterile of anything called English.
The awareness I am pointing toward is more nuanced and less easily distinguished (for some) and recognized thought-banter spoken of above; it is a cultivation of a repeated and intentional (volitional act) of dipping into a flow that already exists that requires use of neural pathways that may be unused and latent in the flesh.
This Dialogue can be visualized as a conversation between you and ‘God’, but is more likely to establish a dialogue between your erroneous material construct and your Soul. This Dialogue initiates an equilibrated flow of your consciousness between you as Soul and your incarnate illusion/ego of a separate self. The small self is differentiated, only appearing to itself to be separate.
Prayer is at often the heart of an event in the human condition, especially when the prayer is prompted by the appearance of an event that stirs questioning, true questions. It indeed appears some people only resort to praying in dire circumstances, almost as if an invocation emerges out of the deep dark levels of humanities instinctual nature, an instinctive response to events of joy, gratitude, or pains and sorrows.
If you have found your way with the noticeably sublime help from something greater than your perception of yourself, then perhaps you have worked your way from the P’shat, פְּשָׁט , explored the Remez, רֶמֶז , pursued the inquiry of Derash, דְּרַשׁ , and have experienced a profound touch by a glimpse of the Ruach Ha Qodesh, רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ , the secret mystery embodied in Sod, סוֹד .
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