From time immemorial Prayer has been respected as a vital place of the soul to connect with the expanse and all benevolent peace, love and joy of the Universe is one respect or another. We may differ on what’s more important in every day life and what actions this manifests into more.. but that was the case. So how did we get to a place where prayer became a spell and the intent became a roger over and out?
I’m wondering if we have to go way back to when the angels fell and certain ones taught humanity the ways of war and what was called “astrology” in the infamous book of Enoch. Of course that word could entail so much and now that there is quite a bit of proof there were advanced civilizations way back when, well we can see that it just may include things like weather manipulation and gene splicing. But as shocking as that might be it’s the simpler distortions that beg for a clarification.
You see it’s been said that the great work of the adversaries of actual humanity have been the work of separation. As the Hebrew Patriarch David laments the all encompassing love of the Divine, and the Christian Father of Humanity is stated to have nothing that separates us.. We have become alienated by something called sins. These two we may argue about what they are .. but can we suffice it to say that they are our moral failings.. our flaws. The point of contention though for me is not that we have offended God but that we have caused such a chasm with our fellow man. It is this that I believe prayer answers and reaches beyond the mere incantations of too many trying to appease.
This is where the Christian intention of in the Shem of Yeshua.. the NAME, but not as a place of demarkation.. like i’m not praying to anyone else. It’s in the “character,” or more so “out of it” that we come into the most benevolent outcome for ours and humanities sake. This Character of Jesus is not really an intellectual thing but rather the fulfillment of a promise given by himself when he first came. I will note that for all of those thinking the spiritual life is sin management and seem to being getting a PHD in it for themselves not to mention others.. that the Master simply says.. simply “go and sin no more.”
In this character we are trusting that the same one defined in 1st Corinthians 14 by St.Paul is in fact at our disposal, or rather His Spirit’s application as we aspire into greater depths of redeeming authenticity in our everyday life. But that’s not all.. because we have never been left alone. All of the angels of heaven in their particular duties in carrying on humanity themselves are in consort with the Christ self, and the Sacred Spirit. Prayer at this point then becomes our part to play in enacting and sorting out the river of His ultimate love through our being and lives. Is this through grand gestures, deep commitments, or shopping lists of good deeds?
Um maybe, but probably not.. why.. because all of those things have that same stench of the separation that we began with.. While there’s a person trying to figure out the best spell to get God, ourselves, or others moving.. it’s always us in the drivers seat. Prayers often sound a lot like the messages coming from pulpits, people trying to divinely authorize their feelings, opinions, and conclusions. What if though it’s much more than that.. that when we refuse to come from a place of fear, anger, or even hurt with our prayers.. .. as the Early church Father Origen put it.. release our useless babbling, or at least sit with them and realize that’s the best we can do and maybe somewhere in them there is held a deeper intent.. as Paul says again.. that the Spirit can pray through us in such situation.
Then the need for spells is over. It reminds me of something that happened to me last year.. I had after many years kind of given up on formal prayer, and still have trouble. I found it uncomforting and much like whispering in a remote cave or trying to throw something over a giant wall. Some I know have that similar feeling that you’ve left a message on God’s answering matching and he just well.. forgot.
I’d ready every book on the subject it seemed for many different denominations and even other faiths.. trying to get to the bottom of this… then I ran across some stuff on tarot. Attended a few meeting of tarot readers and began to at least see a way where God could get through to my busy mind possibly in images and archetypes. Now I still think there is some truth in those things, however i feel it was great that I never took them implicitly. I’d also spent a few times listening in to other readers at a local metaphysics bookshop. I felt that they weren’t telling them all that they saw.. and kind of like those preachers Paul warns about .. they were tickling their ears. Since then I’ve only given a couple of readings for others and they weren’t all so cheery.
I also had a good friendship with a reader for a year or so.. who was taught by her granny from New Orleans the old ways. The big takeaway is that though these things were a little more real than prayer was.. the best prayer seemed to do was give me a temporary peace or euphoria.. and that was more from my Pentecostal church days. I’m not sure if this is just not part of what they call in psychology as emotional plea bargaining. It does seem that this is more emotional than spiritual.
But last year I started to seriously wane on the whole intermediary of the cards much as I did of churches themselves. I was reminded of the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah saying they will be taught by God.. even Jesus himself stating that his Sacred Spirit will come live “among” us.. I say it this way because of my pentecostal days where we would invite the spirit.. again by apparently giving him a cozy and accommodating place to come to… of course this belies that we can always do this… much as other incantations and spell binding ceremonies purport.
The key for me as I ruminated on everything of my now almost 40 years of supposed salvation (i’m still in serious doubt about what happened at that church camp when I was 13).. is how many of us feel when we meet a fortune teller.. how come we have to introduce ourselves.. why can’t they simply tell us who we are.. if they have those kind of powers. That’s because it’s not magic and there is a process.. but what is the real process of this thing called prayer then? Prayer is the active relationship with the divine in and around and through us. It has much more to do with the cultivating the intuition and more aspiring and integrative ways, than affirming the separation of ourselves from God and more importantly each other. How many times I wanted to shrink under the table as the Christian businessmen’s meetings made a Pharisaical spectacle of our faith at the local restaurant in my 20s. That was NOT Prayer we can be assured.
The Process more explicitly has so much more to do with finding quiet places for our souls, meaning for our minds. Meditation, Contemplation, and Mindfulness now all seeming in vogue in our culture.. are actually ways for us as Christians to “see” more of the hidden aspects of faith and be “shown” what we are to do. This may sound scary to some, mostly because it employs a trust that some of us frankly may not have.. or may not have right now. remember there were those who walked away from Jesus because his sayings were too hard to take… What do you think he meant by eating his flesh and drinking his blood.. do you honestly think it was a cute reference to the future ritual of communion, come on? a friendly misunderstanding? It was metaphorical to a limited extent in the way it depicted how ” serious” this is to be.. but it honestly needn’t be scary. It reminds me of this extreme fitness trainers book i’m reading right now. Where he talks of we need to be more deliberate if we’re to overcome our weight, stamina, or eating issues.