Monday, 23 November 2009

Prayer


The true mystic never prays to God with a petition that He intervene in human affairs in accordance with a conclusion reached by the petitioner. The mystic, in other words, never attempts to analyse human situations or to pass judgment upon them and, on the basis of that judgment, to petition God to intervene in a manner that will adjust conditions in accordance with the human conception. The mystic knows that to attempt to do this is the attempt to assume the infinite understanding of our human problems and to put one’s human self and human conception and understanding on a par with Divine Understanding.

What the truly humble and understanding petitioner should express in his prayers are the most rational and reasonable desires of his heart, based upon his comprehension of universal law, order, and universal justice.

The mystic would not ask for that which he might need and yet realize that it is something that if granted to him would deprive someone else of it, nor would he ask for that which he should earn or create himself or obtain by the sweat of the brow. He would not ask for that which if given to him would constitute a unique or extraordinary expression of divine mercy and love unless he has earned it through some extraordinary gifts to human kind given in the name of God, nor would he ask that certain things be done that are of purely local value and interest to a few and of no concern to the majority or perhaps of opposite value to a majority.

Take for an instance, the conditions that existed during the great World War (I) when many Christian countries were lined up on either side of the battlefield as enemies. Throughout all of the Christian countries involved in the war there were constant prayers offered not only in the homes of individuals but also in the churches on Sundays and other days by representatives of religion. These prayers were often long petitions to the God of the universe to make the individual country in which the church was located victorious in the war.

This meant that during the war there were thousands of ministers in six or eight countries asking that God bring sorrow, grief, pain, and suffering, loss of life and vanquished positions to thousands on the battlefield while in other countries ministers, devoted to the same Christian religion or other forms of religion, were praying to their God that their people be saved from pain and so-called death but that the soldiers on the opposite side be visited with His wrath and judgment.

Can any mystic or any rational person believe that God took any interest in our human affairs at that time, to such an extent that He would have listened to these petitions and granted victory to one side and disgrace to the other? And can we believe that if God had any personal interest in us merely as human beings He would have allowed the World War to have been started or to continue for even a day, let alone several years?

It is only when we believe and understand that God was interested in the souls of these persons and realized the lessons that they would learn through such conflict – through such resort to primitive instincts, to such violation of divine and man-made laws, and to such repudiation of the higher instincts of human brotherhood – that He permitted the war to take place or that he permits other wars or other things here on earth to affect our existence.

The mystic cannot believe that God is concerned in human experiences to such an extent that He is watching what we eat and is ready to intervene in our partaking of wrong food because it may cause us ill-health; or that, having an interest in our human welfare and, therefore, knowing of our wrongful acts, He remains wholly indifferent, refuses to intervene, and deliberately allow us to suffer while He is conscious of our human situation.

For these various reasons, the mystic claims that God is not interested in us as human beings and that He will not grant us the petitions we utter as human beings and will not intervene in our purely human experiences. He does believe that God is mindful constantly of the spiritual evolution taking place within us and that He guides and directs our affairs so that this evolution may be maintained and increased in its value and ultimate contribution to our spiritual unfoldment and progress.

- Source Unknown 

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