I receive many messages from people asking about "how to pray" for various wishes, from many others asking whether prayer is worthwhile and effective, and yet others asking why, when they pray, their prayers are never answered.
The fact is that true prayer can be extremely effective - but what then is "true" prayer?
This passage from the Bible provides an answer:
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. -- Matthew 6:5-9
This is a very powerful passage and one that teaches many aspects of prayer when understood in its true context, in other words in accordance with the true inner real teachings of the Bible and in particular Jesus, in which context we will now analyse in more depth.
"when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door"
This first part of the passage advises people to "enter into thy closet" and "shut the door" - but what is the hidden meaning behind this statement?
To "enter into the closet" does not mean to physically go into a "closet" or other enclosed space such as a bedroom, it rather refers to a state of consciousness. Thus, "entering into the closet" actually means preparing ourself for inner communication by shutting out the "background noises" of the physical world around us that we might become closer to our Subconscious mind and therefore to our Source, the Universal Mind of God.
So how do we "enter into the closet". We can do this by entering into a state of meditation, in other words an "altered" or expanded state of consciousness.
Our Ultimate Reality discusses meditation and how to achieve it in great detail, but in summary we might proceed as follows:
Find a location where you will not be disturbed and a place to sit where you can relax, but without going to sleep. This could be sitting cross legged on the floor for example, or sitting upright on a firm chair such as a dining chair, hands on knees, not leaning back against the backrest. You will notice that most true meditation postures involve minimal contact with physical support or indeed physical contact general;ly with the surroundings. The reason for this is to make it easier to "forget" the presence of the physical body thereby remaining totally focused within.
Another good time to "enter the closet" however is just before sleep at night while lying in bed, providing the experience is controlled, without actually drifting off to sleep. Aas we approach a natural state of sleep, our body starts to focus away from the physical body, and towards the inner states of consciousness, until finally we leave our body completely during REM sleep.
Next we are told "and when thou hast shut thy door".
This means reaching such a state that the find is totally stilled of all thoughts, and all input from the physical world has been excluded in other words "shut out". The "door" being referred to is the "door" between our inner and outer worlds which must be firmly shut - with ourself on the inside, so that only total blissful silence and awareness of our inner Being remains.
This involves a high degree of deep physical relaxation and concentration, both of which are discussed at length in Our Ultimate Reality, such is their importance.
So we have now entered our closet and shut the door - in other words we have entered into our state of inner awareness and connection, and excluded all sensory inputs from the physical world as well as extraneous thoughts, leaving us in a state of blissful silence and connection within. This state is a pre-requisite to powerful and effective prayer.
The passage then goes on to say:
"when thou and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly".
This means that once you have entered into this state of communion with The Source, God, our "Father", the connection is thus made, and we may commence our prayer to Our Source Within, and which communication will be one of thought transfer and communication with or Subconscious and Universal Mind, which no one else will be privy to.
Next we are offered the following serious advice:
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
This is extremely importance for those who have been following the conventional or traditional concept of prayer, where people will simply repeat the words being spoken by another, or actually speak the words as if addressing a benevolent deity in the form of a request or a plea for help. Words thus spoken will have no true value, and accordingly no true effect will result, apart from perhaps a feeling of wellbeing having performed some "religious duty" and "said your prayers". I realise this might come as a shock or even hurt the feelings of some people, but this is what the Bible clearly teaches, is unquestionably true, and I would not wish anyone to continue to utter such words in a place of "worship", while kneeling before a bed" etc, believing it actually has some real purpose. Or as the passage from the Bible states "for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking" which of course they will not, and therefore we should "Be not ye therefore like unto them:" in other words we should do not as they do.
Finally in this passage comes the truth for proper and powerful prayer:
"for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him"
Herein then is the reality. Once we have entered into a state of meditation and our Mind is clear, The Source, The Universal Mind, "Our Father" already knows our wishes, needs and desires, as aspects of God. We are not conveying these to some external Deity who requires being "prayed to" or "worshipped" for rewards and favours, but rather connecting with God who already knows our genuine basic needs in the physical world in order to fulfil our mission here this time around. People only suffer lack and misery because they believe they have to struggle in the physical world to "make a living" when in truth the means for our "living" has already been facilitated by God, The Source, Divine Providence, and all we have to do is open our Minds and allow the fulfilment of our needs flow into our lives.
But again heed you the warning from this passage: "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:" In other words, do not simply kneel down and repeat pleading words to an external deity hoping that the deity will take pity upon you, because those actions, in and of themselves, will not cause it to happen.
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" Matthew 7:7-8
We are all an individual channel of expression and experience of The Source, Universal Mind, God, who will immediately provide anything and everything we ask for without limitation. Again, as we have discussed before, this is because if God were to arbitrarily "decide" what we can or cannot have, then God would not receive the benefit of countless independent channels of experience based upon freewill, and perfection could not be achieved. So in order for perfection to be achieved, every channel of expression, including human beings, are immediately granted all requests, no matter what they are, who they come from, or even whether they would be considered "good" or "evil" in accordance with human ideas.
That said, high vibration Thought Forms, particularly those that benefit the greater good and scheme of things, are massively more powerful than those of low vibration ones that are destructive, controlling and against the great expansion of Universal Mind.
There are three keys to success for realising these requests in experiential reality quickly - Belief, Faith and Gratitude - all of which are taught extensively in the Bible by Jesus, but which are often completely misunderstood by those reading them, often being mistaken for an abstract "belief" in God" and "faith" that God exists and Who is benevolent to and will "save" those who are "obedient" and "worship" "Him".
Again Jesus offers this advice in his teachings:
"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them".
-- Mark 11:25
In other words whatever we ask for in true prayer, it is most important to Believe that we already have them, with complete Faith in our infinite inner powers as individuated channels of creation, as co-Creators with God in the Universe.
Does prayer then work? Absolutely - true prayer works.
When we have "entered the closet" in other words a meditative state, instead of imagining our wishes, needs and desires, Believing that we have them Now, we can "Feel" and Believe that we have them Now. Ultimately it is the feelings that create the necessary desire that first reaches our Subconscious Mind, and then Universal Mind for instant fulfilment by Divine providence, and therein is the true power of prayer.
When we pray, we should never so so in the form of a request to a benevolent deity God in the "hope" that "He" will take pity on us, and send us the request if God is in a "good mood", or deems us "worthy" according to some abstract parameters as set out by theologians, but rather in the form of a joyful acknowledgment, with perfect Faith and in the absolute Belief that we already have the physical experience of our needs, wishes and desires Now because:
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" -- Luke 13:32.
So in conclusion - true prayer, as always intended, and as described by Jesus is very powerful, and anyone thus applying them with true knowledge of what true prayer really is, and with absolute Belief, perfect Faith and sincere Gratitude will surely reap the benefits as set out in the 23rd Psalm:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever".
Again, "Lord" is a reference to our Subconscious Mind as a Divine and intimately connected aspect of the Universal Mind of God, of Divine Providence.
The 23rd Psalms is true to those who pray correctly, with absolute Belief, perfect Faith, with sincere Gratitude, while dwelling within and realising the God power that flows through each and every one of us.