Dear Neale: There has been something rolling around in my thoughts for some time. Maybe you can help me with some direction. I know prayer is wonderful. I often put myself in a prayer mode just to capture that Love feeling. I do pray. However, if things happen perfectly in our "perfect universe" then what are we praying for? I mean, does prayer change "what is?" Please help me to understand more about prayer! I wish you love, and I give you thanks.
Sincerely, heart felt,
Dear Stacey: You asked an intriguing question, one that has occupied the mind of man from the beginning of time, I suspect. The answer is contained in Conversations with God, so let me refer back to my own memory of the text.
A prayer of supplication is not the most effective prayer, because a prayer containing a request actually pushes the result away from us. That is because when you ask for something, you are making a statement that you do not now have it. It is this statement which appears in your reality. And so, if we continue to pray for world peace, and more love on the planet, we will continue to experience that we do not have world peace and more love, because if we did, we wouldn't be asking for it. Therefore the most effective prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving.
God tells us that "gratitude is the attitude." When we are thankful for the result which we would like to perceive in our lives, that results come closer and closer into our realities. Prayer does not change "what is"; prayer changes our perception of what is. I will give you simple example.
If you are going out on a picnic, and head for the pasture to be with your loved one on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon, and if it begins to rain cats and dogs, and you are soaked to the skin with your beautiful hairdo totally messed up, and your wonderful romantic picnic washed out, you may think that this was somewhat less than perfect.
On the other hand, if you are the farmer living in the big farmhouse over the rolling hill on the other side of the pasture, you may consider that the very same exterior experience of the downpour is absolutely perfect. So we see, that not only in this simple example, but in every instance, all of life-and the question of perfection itself-is merely a question of perspective.
One of the most effective prayers I ever came across I discovered in A Course In Miracles. That prayer is: "Thank you, God, for helping me to understand that this problem has already been solved for me."
So, Stacey, in our "perfect universe" what we are praying for is for a grander understanding and a larger ability to experience the perfection of things exactly as they are now showing up. We are also offering a prayer of thanks to God for whatever other specific outcome we would choose, at the same time stepping away from any expectation or requirement that this outcome be produced. This is how all masters pray, and it is why all masters are always happy, at peace, and unperturbed.
To understand all of this more deeply, may I suggest that you read Conversations with God again?
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