Perfect Prayer vs Conscious Prayer
As a child I was taught like many of us “how” to pray. The Our Father, The Hail Mary, the Act of Contrition to name a few. My, I had a difficult time memorizing them. And of course you had to know them word for word, or…..well apparently God would not understand your request! How insulting this would be to God, if God were into being insulted. Obviously, He’s bigger than that.
But, really, does this not make the statement clearly, that we make God in our image and not the other way around?
I have been a praying soul ever since I can remember. My first prayers were for my family of course. I believed that if I prayed for them, God would help them, even if I could not see it. It seems to me that I was always talking to Him about my family. They were unhappy and scared and I wanted them to be happy, to feel loved. I also needed them to be an example of what God could do. But alas, I did not see this in my lifetime with them. What I did gain through prayer was a relationship with the Spirit that I would tell everything to. Sometimes, I would talk to Mother Mary, it seemed to me She was a bit more available. And She became the Mother I had lost to alcoholism. I felt close to God the Father even more than Jesus for a long time. God the Father was my protector and Mother Mary my provider of comfort.
There came a very painful time in my life in my late teens after Graduating from High School that I told God off. I no longer wanted anything to do with Him. If this was the best He could do, I was done.
My loneliness grew, my despair tore me apart emotionally. Now I had no one to turn to. My pride would not allow me to turn to the God I felt as a youth. Then, a friend came into the hospital I was in for a visit. I was on a psychiatric unit for severe depression, suicidal attempts, and an apparent drinking problem! Jim handed me a little book called Metaphysical Meditations, by Paramhansa Yogananda. In this little book were short “thoughts” on God.
I could read one and at least try to focus on its meaning because they were short and to the point. They weren’t called prayers, but I felt that as I read these “thoughts” on God, Life, the Universe, I began to have a peek at hope.
After a time, I was released and I found this friend and his friend who were learning how to meditate. This was a whole new concept. Talking to God was one thing but listening for an answer, well that was something that I did not know was part of the Praying process.
After many years now, decades really, my prayers have changed, as has my concept of what God is.
But after returning to a relationship with God as I understand Him/Her, the element that has not changed is the childlike faith that was in me came alive again and has expanded into an unconditional love for God.
There is no such thing as a Perfect Prayer, unless you count simply speaking with that Presence honestly.
There is something we can call Conscious Prayer. This is when we sit, or kneel or lay down and consciously draw on the child like faith within us and then stop and listen to what He/She might be wanting to say in response to our pain, or joy, or question.
Oh how God longs to hear us, He has everything, except our love! This we must give freely. He waits with undying patience, for eternity, for our voice to call upon Him/Her.
“Oh how I have missed you” this will be the first words you may hear.
I know, because they were the first words He said to me.
Prayer from Whispers from Eternity by Paramhansa Yogananda: Spiritual Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer
O Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God, may the halo of Thy presence spread over all minds.
May the religion of matter-worship be converted into loving, direct worship of Thee. Since, without Thy power to love, we cannot truly love anything, may we love Thee first and above everything else. May the heavenly kingdom of Bliss, where Thou dwellest, manifest itself with all its divine qualities on earth, and may all lands be freed from limitations, imperfections, and miseries. Let Thy kingdom within us manifest itself without.
Father, leave us not in the pit of temptations, into which we fell by the misuse of Thy gift of reason. When we become freer and stronger–should it be Thy wish to test us, to see whether we love Thee more than any temptation–then, Father, make Thyself more tempting than temptation! O Father, if it be Thy wish to test us, help us keep our will power strong enough to meet all Thy test.
Give us our daily bread: food, health, and prosperity for the body; efficiency for the mind; and above all, Thy wisdom and love for our souls. Teach us to deliver ourselves, with Thy help, from the meshes of ignorance which we have woven through our own carelessness.