I was glancing through A Little Light on the Spiritual Laws and my eye fell on the Law of Prayer. That book was published in the year 2000, a long time ago but is very relevant for us now.
Prayer is communicating with God. Worry is negative prayer. It is telling God how frightened you are. It also reinforces all the things that you don’t want to happen so we must direct our thoughts to source in a positive focused way.
The way you pray is important. Imagine you are a rich powerful omniscient king. Moreover, you have the highest interest of your people at heart. Every day there is a long list of supplicants wanting to talk to you.
There is a beggar who whines and grovels, desperately abasing himself for money. He is an eternal victim and you know that if you grant his wish he will spend it unwisely and tomorrow will be begging again.
The bargainer says, ‘If you will grant me this, I will work for you.’ As an omniscient king you read his heart so he cannot fool you.
Then the manipulators come up to you shaking their fists. ‘I’ll be angry with you if you don’t give me this job.’ ‘If you don’t help me, I’ll kill myself.’ ‘If you don’t give me a break I’ll give up completely, so there.’ From your detached position on your throne are you likely to grant these requests?
Your next supplicant is a trickster. He is shooting a line with a let’s see what I can get attitude. He thinks a petition is worth a try but he has no intention of changing his way of life. Sorry lad!
Following him comes a sad woman with a droopy face. ‘I don’t deserve anything. I am a miserable sinner but please give it to me anyway.’ You know that her pitifully low levels of self-worth and deservingness will ensure that she will soon lose what you give her.
The greedy person follows her. ‘I want more, more, more.’
At last there is the person who looks you in the eye and says, ‘this is what I want to achieve. These are the plans I have already set in action. This is what I need from you.’ You get off your throne and become a fully supporting partner.
Then there is the person who prays from her heart. Her prayer touches your heart. You respond to those prayers.
Another prays with purity of intention. These you grant.
So God does answer all prayers. Sometimes mercifully for us he says, ‘No.’ Thankfully we do not get everything we pray for.
© 2023 Diana Cooper