Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Belief #2 - Power of Prayer

As I study various religions throughout the world, there are many things that seem to be consistent with all of them. The obvious one tends to be that their religion is the only way, and all others are doing it wrong. The second most common thread is that of prayer.

Each religion calls it something different, or goes about it in unique ways, but when it comes right down to it, whether your chanting, dancing, singing, or speaking to your god/goddess, you are attempting to tap into some unseen mystical force to affect a change. For this article I will call any of these ways various religions use to join their thoughts together as prayer.

It’s interesting to me that all religions have the belief that there is some invisible energy that they know is out there, but they can’t explain. They know that if they all get together and think the same thing that sometimes they can make a difference. Or can they?

Unless you’re living under a rock, you have heard about the power of prayer. Are we really affecting things with prayers? Can we change our lives, or the lives of others, through some intangible force of nature? My thinking is not really.

What prayer does for people is gives them hope. Prayer provides the necessary vehicle to focus our subconscious mind on the good things in life. By praying we bring those things to the forefront that we want to occur in our lives, and push the bad thoughts deeper down inside of us.

When a large group of people gather together, and all pray for the same thing, it reinforces these thoughts and strengthens the belief that whatever is being prayed for will happen. It’s the old saying that there is strength in numbers.

The human mind is both weak and powerful. Its weakness comes from the susceptibility to be influenced and controlled subconsciously. Things happen to us daily that change our actions. Bad habits are formed from our inability to sometimes control our own actions. The power of our minds pretty much comes from the same source. It is our subconscious that keeps us safe, and throws up warning flags when danger rears its ugly head.

The subconscious, a curse, and a blessing..

A lot of what we do is based on instructions received from our subconscious while our minds are on autopilot.

This is why placing a message to yourself someplace that you will see it every day, such as on the bathroom mirror, is the method used by many to obtain their goals. Reading this message several times a day will implant it into your subconscious so that unknowingly to you, your mind begins working behind the scenes to make happen what you are trying to achieve.

We can pray for someone to get better, but the plain truth is, we’re not helping him or her a bit unless they are actually in the room hearing our prayers. If they are present, all of the emotional and positive thoughts may very well improve their ability to heal. Not by some religious force, but by affecting their subconscious and strengthening their belief in their own ability to get better.

Sometimes the physical ailments are beyond our prayers, and no matter the amount of soul strengthening our prayers do, the person will not get better. It isn’t because God does not care, it’s because the sick person cannot fight the ailment mentally.

Doing a dance to the gods so that rain will come, or the crops will grow, will never work. If it rains soon after the dance, we will assume our prayers were answered. If the rain stays away, then the gods must be angry. Our prayers cannot affect the weather, because it has no subconscious to affect. It simply is nature, and will flow as it was designed, and not by the whim of a bunch of scantily clad loonies prancing about a campfire.

In order for prayer to work, and in this I mean the subconscious altering power of it, there needs to be a strong belief and a focus. In the Christian faith, that focus is God, and his son Jesus. Because everyone has the belief that God is real, and a part of them, they all focus their collective prayers onto God. This strengthens their focus, and gives everyone a central conduit through which to channel their emotions.

Wiccans know that there needs to be a focus also. It’s interesting that in the Wiccan faith they will tell you they believe in a god and a goddess, but it seems to me that they don’t really believe in this the same as Christians. To Christians, God is a real entity, floating somewhere in the heavens and playing with our lives here on Earth.

To a Wiccan, the god and goddess represent the Yin and the Yang, male and female, the basics of the natural order of things. Many Wiccans pick and choose which god or goddess to focus their energies and prayers to. It could be Thor, the god of thunder from Norse mythology, or it could be Isis, the goddess of love from Egyptian mythology. Which god or goddess is not the point of the exercise, it’s merely a means to the end result.

For a Wiccan, it’s the focus of the prayer, not so much that they think that Isis is really sitting on a cloud listening to the prayer. In this respect, Wiccans are not fooling themselves into thinking there is some mystical being that controls our lives.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it in the future. It amazes me that followers of a religion can laugh at other religions, such as the old Greek or Native American religions, yet steadfastly believe that their mystical hocus pocus belief is real. The truth is, in another couple hundred years I believe that most of the religious hold outs today will be forgotten and amused about over a dinner table in the future.

So belief #2 is The Power of Prayer. I believe that there is indeed power in prayer. The power to help each other through hard times, the power to achieve a strong focus on the positive things in life while moving the negative things into a lesser spot in our subconscious minds. Prayer is a good thing, and it should be embraced and used whether or not you believe in a higher power.

It’s more important to believe in yourself, and in the goodness of those around you. If you require a focus to strengthen your belief, then utilize the one that works for you. Whether it is God, Jesus, Thor or Isis, choose a focus you are comfortable with.

No comments:

Post a Comment