THE POTENT POWER OF PRAYER BY GORDON HIGGINSON
Spiritualists do not have a special knowledge of why their loved ones are taken at the time of passing. They have the knowledge of continuous life. The Spiritualist does at least know that no life is wasted, no experience is wasted, although we cannot see the whole pattern.
Concerning prayer, I have often said that the training of mediums should not include instructing them how to pray. I stand by that. By the time a person is entitled to describe himself or herself as a potential medium, they should have knowledge of what prayer is.
I believe that prayer is important in our lives, perhaps the most important part of development. It has such powerful implications; it can have such an effect upon us. It is no use developing the psychic unless you have also learned about yourself as a spirit being, a part of God.
When you pray, you become the prayer. We understand that God is an inner power, not outside at all. When you ask for something in prayer, it is no use expecting an outside power to come along and give you what you have requested. But if you recognise that and become your prayer through the sincerity and depth of your thoughts, then you have the answer.
God has to find the ways and means whereby your prayer can be answered. How does this happen?
We have, through prayer and intention, opened the doors to the spirit world, bringing this other world close. Instead of being “Up there” a million miles away, we have brought it here, close to us. We have discovered a world that is ours. We belong there; we have rights which are waiting to be claimed. The more we explore this, the closer it comes.
Given that we accept there is no God as a personality, why do we pray? Who is going to hear us?
Surely it is our loved ones, those who are closest to us who will hear us – those who have been given spiritual charge of our welfare upon earth. Here in Spiritualism, we often call these guides or helpers. Very often it is these who put thoughts into our minds for our moral and spiritual development. It is important that we learn to listen to these.
Prayer is not all about asking, demanding even, when we think that we are asking for the right things. Prayer is listening, communicating, being at one with reality – the reality of God. In prayer, we become our God. And if we listen, we are given the answers, the strength and knowledge to see through our troubles not from an outside source, but from our inner reality.
In that touching of our soul with the Great Soul of the Universe, we are filled with love and humanity. We no longer want for ourselves, but that which is right for humanity. It may be that we have our part to play. Then we will be given the strength of purpose to fulfil our task. It might be that we have to stand back and allow events to shape our lives so we are given the understanding that helps us to do this.
It can take many years to learn to pray properly. Some will never learn. But all the time we have to try. Of course, the more we try, the better we get.
I have sometimes been filled with the most complete feeling of love and belonging through prayer. Then I know that I am in touch. When I thank God for all that I have, I am reminded of that which has been given to me. When I give thanks, I am reminded forcibly of the beauty of the universe and I am with God.
I always think that part of our prayers should be an acknowledgement of the closeness of the spirit world, not because my friends in that world need to be reminded, but I, as a human soul, need to be reminded of the love which is so freely given from those realms.
Each person will experience prayer in his or her own way because each of us is different. There are some that will use a formula, but I do not think that this has great value. When you use these same words over and over, they become at best not a prayer but a mantra, and that is a different matter entirely. Prayer must be stimulated from the heart, not the memory.
Each medium that works upon the platform will have to know how to pray for the sake of others. Their own prayers will be very different in content than those they express in public. Prayer crystallises within you what you are feeling about yourself, your fellow man and about your God. It is an expression of where you are and what you are.
If you have absorbed the love of God and Spirit, this will be manifest in your prayer. If you have a sincere desire to help and to make progress in your own progress, this will be heard by those near to you. You will become an instrument of your desires through the help of the spirit world.
All too often the effect of the subconscious mind is under-estimated. We have all that is needed within us. Prayer can free us from the limitations we place upon ourselves. As Spiritualists, we know there is another world. We know that there is nothing supernatural, that everything is in accordance with natural law.
The young are our future. If we do not take the time to train them in the way of the Spirit, we are neglecting our own future.
After all the suffering and the bloodshed – and despite the advanced knowledge of today – the world must be seen by many to be no better or more sane. We make the same mistakes again and again, create the same conditions of hunger and want throughout the world, and continually neglect our true nature to pursue a dream of avarice and power.
This must change. The responsibility for that change is ours. We cannot delay; we cannot leave this to tomorrow. We owe this effort to our children and their children. Spiritualism is a sane and rational religion. I truly believe it is the hope for mankind’s future. I also believe it is the only religion which has taken change into its basic understanding.
The amazing discoveries of science have given man an immense confidence in his own powers. Life on this planet has been transformed into a new age of advancing science and technology. In less than 60 years, man advanced from the first powered flight to the first landing on the moon. Where were the spiritual needs of the world in all this?
Has man become all-powerful and able to achieve all his needs? Indeed not. He is dependent on God. He cannot make the sun rise; flowers grow or prevent death and rebirth.
But there is an awakening. I see a hunger for a new vision of life. The door to spiritual vista will open when we allow the flow of inner impressions to break into our souls and guide our lives.
When we bring the love of God and the deep desire to serve only God into our lives, then we will understand our relationship with all life. In this state of awareness, there is inspiration from those in the spirit life. We must not fail them.
From Two Worlds, November 2003