How I Learned to Pray
“For me, God is no longer some old fellow with a long white beard sitting in a fancy chair who grants boons to some but not to others. The Living Light Philosophy teaches that God is an infinite, divine, intelligent Energy, a consciousness that lovingly sustains all form in all universes.”
I was raised in the Christian tradition and I was taught that if I lived right and petitioned God with prayer, He may grant my desires. So, as a child when I prayed that my parents not divorce and my prayers went unanswered my world ended and I turned my back on the God I understood at that time.
Since those troubled days, decades have passed and my world has ended many times, when, by the laws that I had established, everything that I believed I valued was removed from my life. In the time it took the sun to set and the beautiful colors to turn dark, everything upon which I depended was gone. Yet, through all those storms, I have not turned my back on the God of my present understanding, and I pray even more often. My understanding of God and of prayer has evolved. And what I choose to value in life is also being refined.
For me, God is no longer some old fellow with a long white beard sitting in a fancy chair who grants boons to some but not to others. The Living Light Philosophy teaches that God is an infinite, divine, intelligent Energy, a consciousness that lovingly sustains all form in all universes. My understanding of those teachings is that this Divine Intelligence does not give to one or take from another, but sustains all our choices, whether our choices are wise and return to us harmony or are ignorant and return as discord and disaster. It is our choice as to which laws we establish, and we establish laws with our thoughts, words, acts, and motives. Our experiences, the effects of laws we have established, are the instruments through which we awaken. And when we have had sufficient experiences, we all learn to choose more wisely. Some of us awaken very quickly. Others, like myself, are not so quick on the uptake.
Since God is no longer a giver and a taker, I no longer pray for things. I do not pray for a new car or a bigger home, for I can, through my own effort, work. For me, God is no longer a more powerful Santa Claus. And although I often pray for others, I do not pray that they have certain experiences (or avoid others) for the simple reason that I do not know what is truly in the best interest of their spiritual awakening or the unfoldment of their soul. So in my present understanding, which is ever subject to additional refinement, I pray for the spirit of peace and divine right action. I pray for what is in the best interest for the greater expression of their soul, their true being. When I am feeling really good, when I am filled with vitality and the joy of living, that is when I pray, with the intent that a portion of that goodness may become available to them.
The philosophy also teaches that prayer is an aspiration of the individual soul to the Allsoul. And for me, it is also a surrender, a greater acceptance of that divine Principle of Goodness of which we all are an inseparable part. It is a joyful celebration that we, our true beings, are flowing harmoniously with that Divine Intelligence that sustains, yet is above and beyond, form. And regardless of what our experiences of the moment may be, regardless of the often-tumultuous storms of creation, we all have the divine right to a conscious awareness of our own Divinity. One of the avenues of that awakening is prayer, a conscious aspiration to awaken to the Divinity within us.
As odd as it may seem, I learned to pray when my prayers went unanswered. When we lose everything that we believe we value, and we do so repeatedly, we begin to awaken to what has more lasting value and to awaken to the goodness that cannot be taken from us. Without the great storms of creation, we might never learn to pray or awaken to the greatness that is within us all.