Like anyone who prays constantly and consistently I can make bold to say such a thing with supreme confidence.
I have seen the effects of prayer in my life.
Maybe because like with many faiths around the world, mine is a daily practice. With prayers said both at sunrise and at sunset. Maybe I would have been harder pressed to see the results of prayer if only once a week, sporadically at best. I don’t know.
There have been many scientific tests and experiments done to try and get the effects of prayer down on paper so to speak. Some were done with looking at individuals and how their own prayer manifested in their physical and mental bodies – which we should all know by now are not separate entities; and some were on the effects of prayer coming from an outside source directed at groups or individuals.
Some say the results are inconclusive, as many other factors were present that could have had effects – well duh, the inter-connectivity of Life – and some say the results were pretty clear. But the overall fact remains, that when studied and tested, SOMETHING happens when you pray and when prayers are directed at you, for you and with you.
What kind of prayer you may ask? All kinds. It did not matter from what faith the prayers came. And that should be of high interest to those on any Spiritual quest. One kind of prayer, or another source of faith is no different, no better or worse, no less or more effective than each. The power lies in the action of prayer no matter the source.
The power lies in utilizing the energies, the Light that is in each and every one of us and concentrating, and focusing and directing our thoughts and our essence to feel the connection between ourselves and the Divine. Or the Universe as I like to see it.
How surprised and delighted was I to find in my studies and dabblings in quantum physics, distinct parallels and defining lights to the Buddhist teachings I had learned long ago as a young adult! That the Positive Thinking and the Good Vibrations of the hippie-esque culture I was exposed to growing up and in college were actually true and powerful forces that we bring to bear when we pray.
I grew up in a faith where we were supposed to commune with God directly. There was no intermediary, no pastor or priest, no preacher to interpret the experience. How powerful is that? The Quakers – and the Shakers too I believe – were called thus because as they communed silently with the Divine, they would quake and shake, seated there, so powerful was the experience of the Presence of the Creator of All Things.
I can’t tell you if I ever experienced such things. As young children we are brought in for just the last 10 minutes of the hour of silent prayer each Sunday, or First Day as it was called. As you grew older and graduated out of First Day School, you could if you wished, experience the full hour that was Quaker Meeting, the gathering of the faithful to pray and experience a direct line to God.
I can’t tell you if that happened to me, and if it did, was I too young to understand that’s what was happening? I can only say to you, try sitting in silence and prayer and meditation for 10 minutes. Try it for an hour. Maybe your spirit will touch the Divine.
As an adult, I’ve had my Spiritual Awakening and I will never forget it. I have also had two or three other moments of Enlightenment since, that I think were only possible because I was already Awake, like a tuning fork I was ready to receive the “knock” that would set my Life vibrating with the Truth.
It is like no other thing, and there was a Golden Light coming from everything, and like the difference between 2D and 3D there was a clarity of everything around me and then I just Knew. I have been changed from that moment since. And yes, I was in deep prayer when it happened, and I can touch back onto those minutes where me and everything around me was so Clear and Present and Understood.
What do you do with your Power of Prayer? I look at people who self-profess to be of one religion or another, and I look at what they say and what they do. I’m happy to say that most people have an understanding of the root basics of their individual faiths.
That Love is something powerful and good and that our lives should be based on that. That doing well by others, helping others, giving dignity and respect instead of judgement and dismissal.
A lot of that comes with deep study and the time it takes to understand the history of your faith, to know where, how and why your teachings, scriptures and books came to be. To know that as humans we can “mess up” and turn and change meanings and knowledge and move ourselves away from original intent.
Know that you have the power to change your life, and to change the lives of others. That is a power to be wielded with eyes wide open, to be fully Awake to all possibilities and to have your heart Open and to truly Care what happens to you and those around you.
It is hard to see the good in everyone, and I don’t pretend to have that ability. Though I do try with my personal Second Chance To Make a First Impression policy. But I also employ a healthy dose of common sense and my instinct for self preservation is sharply honed.
You might be having a bad day the first time I meet you. The second time we meet might go better. If the third and the fifth time feels similar to the first time, and that cycle keeps repeating, I get to decide if I can either help with what’s happening to you, or maybe it is not my place to do so, and I step aside and avoid having you in my life. I call it cleaning house. I do that every so often. Sometimes certain people are toxic for your life, and you have to opt them out.
Being a good person isn’t about loving Everybody. In the abstract perhaps, but in the reality of your daily life and living, you can’t have everybody be a part of your life all the time. Being a good person is about first being good to yourself. That is not being selfish, it is about making sure you are strong, healthy and vibrantly Alive so that you can continue to be that good person and do good works in your life, and be able to help others.
If you are bowed down by all the things you have taken on, if you have your energy sucked out of you constantly by toxic people in your life, if you can’t say “no” and don’t prioritize and never take the time to work on yourself: You will not last. Believe me, I know. I used to be that person, and it wasn’t until I saw my own mother’s health failing because she was that person too, that I finally understood.
Wake up each morning with a plan, with a prayer on your lips that has come from your heart. Make each person you interact with become a Lesson for your life. Practice giving out smiles to those who are frowning. A kind word, a sincere compliment, a hug, a moment where you See the other person and acknowledge them: in those moments you are changing your world.
Realize that the impossible is not. That we are already living in the future that was thought up inside our minds. That the dream is reality, and what is real is our dreaming. There is not always goodness that comes and is and exists, and we must be Aware of those things too, and strive to change them for the better.
Two years ago it looked like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) were going to become the status quo for our food production and consumption. Was going to be the way things were, and that we would be go down the path of ignoring what Nature teaches us, to our detriment and yes, to threaten our very survival.
It was only small voices, pleading in the void. Small farmers, and organic growers and people who understood the dangers. Now I see on the landscape of the large, of the every day people gaining more knowledge and adding their voices to the small. I see hope where previously I saw only despair.
Where disappearing bee colonies was the stuff of science fiction movies, but more and more everyone is coming to the understanding that the death knell for bees is the sounding of the bell towards our own demise. And if our future that we are living in, can be changed for the better, we are like the robot who became Enlightened: Our metallic enshrouded life has a heart that beats and a soul that shines, and we can change in order to survive.
And I pray that these things are True.