Prayer

“Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer has become impossible and your heart has turned to stone. If you have never had any distractions you don’t know how to pray. For the secret of prayer is a hunger for God and for the vision of God, a hunger that lies far deeper than the level of language or affection.”    Thomas Merton

Prayer gives us hope.  Whereas meditation unfolds the wings contained deep within the heart, prayers unlocks the cocoon to inspire flight.  We silently listen and quietly observe through meditation.  Prayer helps us find lasting value and soulful embrace

It is our belief that prayer is the manner with which we each speak to God.  It is a means to have dialogue with that which we consider having greater power and influence over our lives.  While meditation is how we can clear our minds and open our hearts to the inner voice dwelling deep within, prayer holds the participants ability to will his spirit in a way that speaks to the forces of life we call God.  It is through the direction of this personal free will that we undertake and make the effort to pray. 

 Many of those throughout history have undertaken efforts to pray only to be dismayed at the lack of response, affect, or change in life circumstances.  They are told that when prayer is left unanswered it is not due to a lack of the confirmation that God or a greater power exists, but that circumstances within the individuals life need to be altered such as sin or karma.  Therefore, we propose that response to prayer is not of great importance in the immediate moment of prayer.  It is first significant that we find the courage to begin prayer.

We look at prayer as the other half of a coin containing meditation on the flip side.  The victory held and contained in prayer as well as meditation can be found in the effort to implement; that is the effort of directing ones free will toward answers to life’s questions outside of the realm of the laws and science of this world.  Just as we can not measure the depth of ones love, we can not measure the importance or value of prayer.  The farmer does not understand the workings of the seed and its DNA structure.  He only relies upon his faith in understanding that through the planting of the seed, he can sustain the physical lives of himself and his loved ones.

             “There is a voice that doesn’t use words.”   Rumi

It is in the faith the farmer has in a single seed, that we encourage the practice of prayer just as that of meditation.  The farmer understands that the seed will not bear fruit in a single day.  It is through the continual efforts which the farmer directs in the sustaining of the plant’s growth in which fruit is rewarded.  It is with this faith of things unknown that the farmer relies.

We each need to refrain from looking for immediate results or responses to our efforts in prayer.  In this attempt for immediate results we are truly deaf to the language of the heart, the dialogue of the soul.  We must understand that we cannot only listen with our ears.  We need to hear and trust in the silent words of faith.   We need to have the faith of the farmer to rely on his daily and consistent efforts.  It is through consistency of practice we must rely. 

Thus through the continued efforts to express our will through prayer do we find the unfolding of the great majesty of life.  There is far more available to us in this world than meets the eye.  Take the time to sit quietly and discover the beauty and magic within.  To do this, we must first quiet the mind and open the heart.  Listen to the voice of the heart. It speaks in a very different language, a language that cannot be heard with the ears, but only with the heart.  This is the language of God.  God listens to our hearts and that which emanates from it.  With an open heart we become like the farmer with his seeds.  The mystery of life then travels from our heart and into our prayer.  Our prayers then take flight and our journey  through life now just begins.  We discover that we have never been alone.  We discover that we have always been loved.  We become aware of the beauty and magic of God and how our spirit has always been one with His Spirit. If we would only be persistent in letting go and finding the trust held in hope. Silently listen and quietly observe the lasting value waiting deep within the wings of the heart.  Hope then fulfills its unspoken promise through God’s loving embrace.

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” 

– Max Lucado  .


 

… your Brain on Prayer and Meditation by Nicole Spector & nbcnews.com

This is your brain on prayer and meditation

How does the ritual, regardless of personal faith or intention, affect our behavior? Deeply, experts say.
Image: Prayer

There is research backing the idea that meditation and prayer can trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain.Getty Images/EyeEm

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Four Simple Autumn Prayers by asec-sldi.org

Four Simple Autumn Prayers

Simple prayers to share for the fall / autumn.
Thu, Oct 19, 2017

Since this is such an incredibly beautiful time of year at ASEC headquarters, we wanted to share some simple seasonal prayers for autumn.

An Autumn Prayer

Abba, Father, the trees are ablaze with your glory.
The seasons change, but you never do.
You are always beautiful,
in the green and freshness of spring
as in the golds and reds and chills of autumn.
Make me like you.
Let my life reflect your beauty,
season after season,
as the calendar of my life turns and turns and turns.

The trees are letting go of this year’s foliage.
Help me let go of both blessings and burdens,
and surrender them both to your loving care.

Fallen leaves pattern the ground with variety.
So design my own fallings and failings
into whatever design will please you most.
In Jesus’ name, I pray,

Amen.

Autumn Prayer: the trees are ablaze with your glory

When I must go

When I must go, dear God, please let it be
A golden autumn day; when red leaves fall,
When purple grapes in shining clusters hang
And bittersweet glows bright against the wall,

When o’er the barren fields and russet meads
Their last farewells the crickets cry.
Let me make my silent journey
When the homing birds fly south across the sky.

When I must go, dear God, please let me go
As silently as autumn rain,
As still as lacy shadows ‘neath the willow trees,
As calm as is the moon above the hill.

So let me go—and may there be no grief
When life is done and I must say goodbye.
I’ll take my leave with flowers and falling leaf
And lie in peaceful sleep beneath the sky.

–Anonymous

Autumn Prayer: when I must go dear God

Heavenly Rays

As summer into autumn slips,*
O give me grace today
To rise and turn as summer’s leaves
Draw life and strength from heavenly rays.

*first line from Emily Dickinson

Autumn Prayer: as summer into autumn slips

We see the Creator’s hand

In the fading of the summer sun, 
the shortening of days, cooling breeze, 
swallows’ flight and moonlight rays 
A. WE SEE THE CREATOR’S HAND

In the browning of leaves once green, 
morning mists, autumn chill, 
fruit that falls frost’s first kiss
A. WE SEE THE CREATOR’S HAND

Autumn Prayer: in the fading of the summer sun

Be a Ray of Hope

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