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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Proper Prayer
by Sandy McCollum

We've been taught since birth that we must be very good in order to get into Heaven. We've also been taught that in order to pray, all we need to do is ‘talk' to God. It is not necessary to kneel and put your hands together, nor is it necessary to prostrate ourselves on the floor or speak in tongues. You can pray in any position, in any place, out loud or silently, in congregation or alone, in complete contentment or in extreme emotion. When we're in church, a man stands before us and prays out loud while we all ‘pray along' silently.

Long ago, when the bible was being lived, people were in tribes much smaller than the cities of today. There was less distraction, as serving and depending on God was a way of life for most. He made their crops grow, He made their king prosperous, He made their armies victorious. When people prayed, they prayed alone and in groups and everyone there was emotionally charged about the topic of the prayer. Everything they prayed for had something to do with their very survival, and they really needed what they asked for. Thus, when a prayer was answered, they felt true joy in having it and their appreciation came from their heart.

In modern times of today, many things have changed with the evolution of human beings. Technology and convenience were practiced until they turned into instant gratification and it only makes sense that as humans evolve, even our most ancient beliefs would be practiced in more convenient ways. It's our nature to change what we can in our benefit.

There was a time when more people than ever stopped turning to the church – and stopped making it a family value, so the churches changed some of their practices to allow more ‘kinds' of people to participate. Just one example of this is the somewhat recent allowance of gays and same-sex marriages in some states and churches – although this author is not against those kinds of changes, it wouldn't have happened even fifty years ago. There is a need for change, so things change.

Metaphysical topics are hot right now, and probably will be for some time to come. Paganism (this interpretive term is meant without offense here as a blanket any-religion-not-Christ-based label) is the fastest growing belief system on Earth, today. There's more doubt in God today than there's ever been, especially if you consider how many more people cover the Earth now than did in biblical times. It also means there's more believers, too, but it's a staggering number of people changing entire belief systems.

Imagine if you were God. You told your kids they could talk to you any time they want, knowing they were a self-based creation. Constantly, you're being called here and there and everywhere all at once, being called for help, being called for praise, and being called so a child can say good-night to you. Most ask for things they don't really need, along with the things they do need, just like any child. Some ask for things for others who are also praying for the same thing at times, and some just complain. Then there's the memorized pray-ers who script through verse without taking a breath, and the repeaters who say a memorized verse over and over again, on a daily basis.

Pretty soon you have so many children that you create angels just for the purpose of help in receiving prayers. The population grows again and it isn't long before you have a host of angels dogging you the same way the children did before, and most of it is done without emotion or sincerity, and many of these requests are selfish and not necessary.

Sooner or later, you're going to say, "Only bring me the sincere ones."

Reciting verse over and over is a help when using this method to quiet the mind and prepare for proper prayer, but should not be substituted for prayer. Example: the Rosary prayer is repeated again and again to put the pray-er in a quieted state closer to God before another prayer is said. Chanting something repeatedly is helpful to put you in the right state for meditation, and it's much the same with prayer.

Off the topic just a hair, but important to include is the presence through history of Witchcraft. If you've ever read a spell or heard one, it's really a prayer to a God, Goddess or other entity. When they do their spells, either alone or in groups, they do it with high emotion for the subject of the prayer. We've all seen stories where the witches dance around a fire and carry on, as it helps to ‘psyche' them into whatever high emotion is needed for the spell.

Energies of the Earth are real and are gifts to be used, and a witch merely is one who knows who to ask and how to use the energies. High emotion is an important part of making sure the energies are accessed. Witches still do spells in ancient ways, and they still get results like they used to. Spells didn't change with the times.

Back when the bible was being lived, people prayed for what they really needed and they prayed in grateful thanks and fear of Him. Emotion was high and they didn't memorize rhymes to repeat every day. They truly meant what they said, meant it with emotion.

There is no doubt that you feel you're sincere when you pray. You probably really mean it when you pray, "...and please heal Aunt Martha's cancer." However, you include it in your prayers every day at the end of a list of people to bless, and the only time you did it with real emotion was the first time after you found out she was ill.

Emotion is just one of the things missing in true prayer. Another thing is something we all can do, but some of us will have to practice it at first. That other thing is called ‘creative visualization' and children do it all the time. Sometime during the growing up process, some of us sort of ‘grow out' of creative visualization.

Creative visualization is when you close your eyes and try to see a particular image (the subject of your prayer) on the darkness of your eyelids, concentrating on the picture, causing you to focus on the subject of the prayer. Sort of like a trick we could borrow from the witches to help us concentrate on the one thing we're trying to achieve - a proper prayer.

In praying for Aunt Martha's cancer to be healed, it would be helpful to close your eyes and imagine Aunt Martha standing before you (or however it's easiest for you to imagine her) and see pure white energies and the Light of God washing through her like a wind. The energies are clean and white when they go into her, and contain hunks of black blotches when they come out. The black blotches represent the cancer, and imagine the brilliant white energies washing her clean of cancer while you pray.

This kind of prayer takes some time. It's not the kind of thing you can do while driving in your car or at the dinner table with hot food waiting, and that brings us to the third missing element of proper prayer – time.

Our lives are so hustle-bustle and stress-filled that we often pray on our way to work, while in the shower, and any time we can. That's okay, but we need to alternate it with new, proper prayer, too. Even in church we don't take a lot of time for new prayer, and sometimes much of it is due to recited verse. Nobody knows what the person at the podium is going to pray, so you can't concentrate too hard on it. No time is taken to get in the proper frame of mind, no time to work up emotion over the subject of the prayer at hand, no time to creatively visualize something someone else is praying about at the podium.

Time, however, is not the last of the four missing elements. We've all heard the saying, ‘there's power in numbers'. It's also true in emotionally charged prayer; several concentrating and emotionally charged people praying together with like mind-sets can achieve the miracles of God. That's the reason the bible clearly tells us we need to congregate for worship. Not so we all have to attend a ritual in service to Him, and not so we can show how dedicated we are by never missing a service, but so prayer can be more effective when shared, along with other benefits of gathering.

More churches are re-catching onto this forgotten fact and prayer chains or circles have become popular again. Although, these prayer chains and groups are no more effective than you praying on your way to work in traffic, if they are not emotional about what they're praying for. Some churches have actually ‘picked out' the members of their congregation that have the ability to charge their prayers with feeling, and formed a group that does nothing but pray for others. These groups claim - and should have - a higher rate of answered prayers, but there's no way to calculate statistics for this theory.

Keeping all this in mind, you can get closer to God and have better communication with Him if you are earnest and make efforts to so properly. The way we were originally taught.

God Bless!

See Also:

Are They All Healed When You Pray
Everyone in the healing ministry experiences failure when praying with others for healing. "Failure" in this connection is simply not seeing the healing happen that you prayed for. This article briefly discusses some of the causes and suggests some solutions.

Teach Me to Pray
Please teach me, Lord ... I want to know exactly how to pray.
I need some words which ones are right? Tell me what to say.

How Should You Pray?
There are no specific pre-requisites or location or time to pray. However, some forms are more effective than others in unleashing its healing potential.

Some useful hints on prayer

Sandy McCollum spends much of her time writing when she's not outside. She's been published in hundreds of periodicals and won the 1999 President's Award for Literary Excellence. A grandmother of three, she's returned from Alaska to the hustle and bustle of the big city of Portland, Oregon.

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