No one can pray for another. I overheard that statement as I worked with my client. A gentleman was debating prayer with two ladies. One silently listened, the other constantly interjected. I understood what he was saying. Prayer is personal. It requires your heart, lips, and voice. It is like breathing. No one can do it for you, but they can assist the process. This assistance is intercession. I think it can go both ways. If we maintain our separateness by hanging onto to the individual I, then I only can pray for me, but can intercede for you. If I see us (the person for whom I am interceding, or the whole of humanity) as one, then I can pray for another.
But what good is praying/interceding for someone if they cannot receive, or do not know how to receive what is being asked for? It would be like constantly dropping a catch in a cricket match. Hence we have to be taught to receive. Across all religions we believe Divinity to be of abundance, yet we suffer lack. Are we in the right place, or are our hands properly positioned to catch and hold that which we ask for? A praying people asked to be taught to pray, and they were taught. That prayer has been recited for centuries, yet many of the conditions that prevailed before the teaching remain. Maybe it is time to upgrade the request and ask to be taught to receive so that our blessings stop grazing our fingers leaving us with tall tales of things we almost did and almost got, except that we dropped the catch.
After work I accepted a ‘free’ ride home. I sat in the vehicle where I greeted two other passengers. They were off to a prayer meeting. Long story short, I ended up at that meeting listening to the Pastor talk of his days when people gathered to pray and prayer was really prayer because people had needs. Now, he opined, we own so many things that we don’t know what to pray for and the fervency associated with prayer is dying. Soon enough we formed small groups with the task of praying for each other. My group had four – two men, a lady, and I. We held hands and each stated their prayer request. I was the spoil-sport. I had no prayer request. Not because I have it all like the Pastor mentioned, but I’m so grateful for all the essentials I already have that in the moment I could not come up with a genuine need. Everyone was smiling at me and the pause was stretching into eternity, so I suggested that whoever is praying for me should do so as they are guided.
I sat there listening to the familiar vocabulary used in prayer. Some things never change. Then it was my turn to pray for one of the men who needed a promised promotion expedited, and his own home. He lives in a cramped setting with his aunt and his fiancée would be visiting from overseas soon and he would need his privacy. So God has to act fast. I need to come to grips with the current Christianity that allows for what used to be called fornication back when I warmed the benches. Maybe that should have been my prayer request, but discriminating between Christianity then and now is not necessary as God does His work despite traditionalists’ views. So I buckled down to a brief conversation with God asking that He brings my dear Brother into alignment with His will so that he can receive and hold the blessing that are enroute to him. I also asked for discernment that he may understand the purpose to him living with his aunt and holding the position he has at work, for if the purposes are not fulfilled and he finds a way to prematurely eject himself from the situations, they will bee-line and return at a more inconvenient time in his life. There was silence. Then it seemed to resonate that I was done praying. Then there was the collective Amen and smiles returned to everyone’s face. Hmmm. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a hit in prayer meetings.
Even Mr. Smith (Matrix) was clear on the fact that we are guided by purpose. Our unawareness of the specifics of this purpose does not mean we aren’t still being used to fulfill it. Our physical sight saves us many of the distresses that walking blindly would have imposed. So too we need to strive for better insight so that purpose ceases to be mysterious. History bears record of attempts at defining our purpose as a species, so that if we can’t figure it out on our own we need only look in the right direction. Here is one version of our purpose:
- develop our nervous system through inner work to activate its latent abilities
- physical development through conscious exercise, right breathing and eating
- develop our sense of interdependence and altruism
- develop the priority of common cause
- develop better family, conjugal, and social relations
- develop an abundant livelihood through the quality of our work
- develop a grasp of Truth, and attain Truth in this world
- to work with ecology
Judging from the above, there is a balanced programme for our development, but it is so comprehensive that we can understand why the concept of reincarnation prevails. It will take lifetimes to master all that. I have a Teacher who reiterates that knowing and realizing are very different. To realise is to make something real in oneself. Hence realisation of ourselves is a life-long journey of making all the above points real in our lives. If we are making strides with Truth, but eating badly, we are missing our purpose. If we are the best spouses or parents or friends, but litter, we are missing our purpose. It is a lot of work. Quite possible our only true work. Thus each day we are expected to make effort to experience a little deconditioning, reconditioning, and even unconditioning in order to fulfil purpose…become awakened, realised, enligntened.
And where do we go to sign up for classes? While this is higher education, our Western culture generally ignores this aspect of our soul, so we cannot hope to attend universities to attain such. Religious organisations exist that provide some help. I say some because they often promote a combination of the intellect and conventional religious behaviour, rather than provide a systematic approach that covers all the above points which are necessary for our full development. But it is double-edged: some help is better than none, and a little knowledge is dangerous. Whatever strides I gain I undermine with my little knowledge, puffing my chest because the religion or society to which I belong offers better ceremonialism, intellectualism, and psychic distraction than yours. Purpose is not based on religion or philosophy, but rather the reverse. Purpose is a totally personal commitment to involve God/Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Whatever religious practices we add, are allowed.
God is…Real. Reality is God. For us to realize something means that in that moment we achieved God-perspective; something in us clicks and we are in awe. The awe wanes though we may try to hold onto it, but having realised a thing we can no longer just know it. If the percentage of our God-perspective increases daily there will come a time when mountains will move at our behest. So why aren’t we doing the inner work to get the mountain-moving results? One client said: prayer is not something I say, I live it. At her request, I wrote my name in her prayer book. She wants to tell God of the person who massages her. She is over 100 and still mentally alert and physically active. Folks of this calibre seem to have a constant stream of afflictions to ensure prayer is a ifestyle. Unattractive. Thankfully there are prayer meetings and we can be hopeful that every once in a while someone who has realised prayer will be present to fervently take our request higher.