Monday, February 11, 2008
Final Essay Dr. of Spirituality – The Miracle of Prayer
Rev Sharon J. Mayer
Prayer. Each religion has a form of prayer and from an early age we are taught to pray in one form or another. For those raised in a Christian home the first prayer may have been “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.” This might be followed by “God bless…..” sometimes involving a very long list to keep from having to go to bed. Then there was a prayer of grace before eating. As the child grew up they were exposed to the “Lord’s Prayer” during church services as well as other prayers... Some children understood what prayer was about and some just mouthed the words.
Now there are churches that tell the parishioners that if you pray hard enough and believe enough you can have any thing you want including all the money you might want, a new car, home etc. Just pray and follow the Prosperity Gospel and it will be given to you. If these items don’t come the person is told they did not pray hard enough.
But are these prayers correct? Is that the proper way to pray? What is the Lord’s Prayer really about? Why should we pray with love and continually? The lessons in Miracle of Prayer explain what we are to be doing and how to correctly pray. It teaches to use prayer for thanking and thanksgiving, for a means to receiving the bountiful blessing we are entitled to. This doesn’t mean fancy cars or unlimited funds but our needs being met on a day to day basis.
I use to ride to work with a wonderful gentleman who was a preacher from Africa. He would have a conference call going with abut five or six people each morning and they would be praying in French and other languages. Every other sentence was a thank you to God. This kept up for about a half an hour as we rode along. I could not understand all that was said but I could understand the thank you that punctuated each sentence of each of the people in the group that were praying. I would be so uplifted and calmed by the experience each day. I was sorry when our schedules changed and I no longer rode with this person. Until I studied the lessons in Miracle of Prayer I did not understand the reason for my uplifting was that all of us were joined in thanking for our particular blessings of the day to come even before they happened. Because we did the thanking the best happened to each of us. It was a wonderful experience. As taught in Miracle of Prayer the people in the group believed that they were in communication with God and he was in communication with them on a personal basis. These trips to work and the wonderful feeling I got from the experience were the beginning of my quest for a way to spread the love and my joining the ministry of the Universal Life Church Seminary.
During the class we were asked to try praying for someone and some things and to report what the experience led to. I found that when I went into the day thanking before hand that there were more good things that would happened then bad. I was calmer and more focused on what needed to be done then distractions caused by the bad things that might happen or in some cases did. With a prayerful and thankful heart I was able to bring a thankful day to a close.
I don’t get riches or extra goods when I pray now. I do find that each day I have what I need to be able to get through the day and provide for what is needed. I see that funds seem to go farther and if something is needed it seems to be taken care of without as much fuss and bother. That is the Miracle of Prayer. The ability to handle what happens and to receive what is needed to go forward. It took me many years to understand this with all the outward distractions and false ideas I had about prayer. I am richer for having taken the course and receiving a good understanding of prayer and what to expect. Do I always get an answer – yes – Is it what I wanted? Not always but my needs are taken care of now that I know what to look for and what to expect.
The lessons were well written and using the Course In Miracles and the companion book on prayer helped with the understanding of the material. The excellent course by Rev Siani was what made me purchase the books as I am a person who needs reinforcements to reach a better understanding; and to be able to actually see the parts of the books cited and read them along with the lesions was a wonderful way to enjoy the lessons in a richer and fuller manner. The course was a great revelation and the lessons are stepping stones to further study and contemplation.
To ordain yourself with the Universal Life Church, for free, for life, right now, click on the Free Online Ordination link.
Rev. Long created the ULC seminary site to help ministers learn and grow their ministries. The Seminary offers a huge catalog of materials for ministers of the Universal Life Church, as well as an online seminary program and a chaplaincy program.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar