Many religious conservatives are worried that President Obama will pack the U.S. Supreme Court with so-called "progressives" and a decision would eventually be handed down that prayer is unconstitutional. Having learned a few tricks from former President Clinton, defenders of such a decision could answer, "It depends on your definition of 'constitution'."
Actually, if scientists could look deeply into the subatomic levels of our being (which they cannot given the primitive nature of today's science) they would find that prayer is our very constitution. Jesus Christ would say, "Look deep enough and there is nothing but prayer."
It is a moot question to pray or not to pray, because we are prayer. The question is how can we assure that we will see the answers to our prayers rapidly and easily?
Certainly asking for help from a prayer ministry greatly enhances our prayers, but it might be good to know how prayer ministries are evolving and what kind of help is available in this day and age.
The prayer methods and wording of prayers used by historically established religions are usually determined by the founders of the religion and by custom over time. Most religions pray for the well-being of their adherents and for world conditions in general.
Prayer ministries in the older religious traditions have no hesitation about mentioning the unwanted conditions which the prayers are designed to overturn. For example they will pray "Please help Mr. Smith's terrible condition disappear!" and the prayer will be answered, the condition changing for the better if not disappearing.
In fact, traditional Christian prayer ministries pray with unbelievably strong faith for the needs and desires of petitioners, as well as for outcomes which the ministry leaders have deemed desirable for their culture or for the world in general, and they see remarkable, often even miraculous results. Prayer for particular results works wonderfully.
New Age and Metaphysical Christianity
The prayer methods and wording of prayers used by metaphysicians and New Agers are also determined pretty much by founders and customary usage, but in these 19th & 20th century views of Christianity there is more than a little hesitation to mention unwanted conditions, and many prayer workers feel an uncomfortable internal conflict about praying for results.
Those of the metaphysical or New Age persuasion might say, "Don't pray for particular results because in doing so you'd be telling your mind you don't already have those results." For example they would say, "Don't pray for healing because your mind will think you're not already healed."
Do you see the contradiction in this? You must have already convinced your mind in the first place that you don't already have a result ... or you would already have it, everyone would see it, and you wouldn't even be considering the possibility of prayer.
It's okay for the Metaphysical or New Age Christian to say that the purpose of prayer is to convince your mind of the opposite of what it already believes, but honesty requires admitting that underlying all the positive affirmations, positive visualizations, and prayers of gratitude is the desire for a particular result. That desire is in and of itself a prayer.
Jesus teaches us in A Course in Miracles (which is read at least intellectually by some New Age and Metaphysical Christians) that our minds are full of contradictory desires which split our focus into many watered down prayers working against each other. Therefore throughout A Course in Miracles, Jesus teaches us to look inside and find our truest desires because when the contradictions of lesser desires are swept aside and the true desire is desired wholly ... it immediately comes into existence.
One of the leaders of our Utah light group once spent an entire year praying for people in the most successful prayer ministry of Metaphysical Christianity, known as Silent Unity. Every day he watched Silent Unity handle mountains of positive feedback mail from countless thousands of happy people attesting to their prayer requests being answered, sometimes in very miraculous ways. Prayer most certainly brings results!
The new 21st century understanding of Christianity, 100% influenced by the original teachings of Jesus as revealed in A Course in Miracles, relies for prayer instruction not on founders or tradition or customary usage, but on here and now listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
For example, with each prayer request received by our group, we ask the Holy Spirit for unique instruction.
We may hear from the Holy Spirit to pray for a particular request over a long period of time, during a shorter period of time, or very briefly as if we were being guided to help only with "finishing touches." In this last instance the Holy Spirit might be saying in essence something like, "The recipient has already made progress accepting these blessings. It's just about a done deal!"
The Holy Spirit may tell us to pray for a particular request using our entire group during our light sessions, or using a smaller gathering of two or three in a special prayer session, or using a single highly tuned-in prayer worker in some manner.
We may be told by the Holy Spirit to prepare for prayer by chanting, or by deep meditation, or by merging into oneness with the petitioner, or by some complex esoteric exercise, or by some combination of these.
The Holy Spirit may guide us put our entire heart and soul into a prayer, or to use specific visualizations, or to use exact wording, or to address the prayer to some particular spiritual level, or to put together some sequence of these or other methods and contents.
The Holy Spirit does not hesitate to guide us to pray for specific earthly results, because the Holy Spirit knows that it's not what we are asking for that's important, but that we are in touch with a meaningful desire. Prayers which some might call "little" prayers the Holy Spirit sees as equally valuable steps which eventually lead us to awareness of what we really, really, really, really want ... the experience of who we really are.
With the Holy Spirit specifically guiding prayers, each prayer is very unique. We cannot even remember a time when the Holy Spirit gave us the same approach, the same method, the same content, or the same wording for two different prayer requests.
The Holy Spirit knows that even though people's situations can be similar, each situation has it's own unique character. The Holy Spirit is the expert in cutting through all contradictions in human desires and instructing us to pray for what we really need and with the wording and method that really works for our true best interests and in fact every one's highest good, which are one and the same.
Praying only as the Holy Spirit directs has clear and wonderful advantages, true or false?
Finally, the modern enlightened Christian is well aware that the ultimate prayer deep inside everyone, toward which every prayer request eventually leads, is what might be called a "turn me inside out" kind of prayer, a "let me be broken, let me be undone" kind of prayer, for rising above the human condition to an experience of constant unspeakable joy, love, peace, and spiritual knowing.
The modern enlightened Christian laughs at the antics of so-called "progressives" in man-made government, knowing the only movement which can truly be called "progressive" derives from staying in touch with our constitution. And our constitution rejoices in one certain knowledge which we can repeat over and over again as a pledge of allegiance:
than I could ever imagine!"
"...nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21)
Click below for more information on A Course in Miracles Light Sessions:
Holy Instant Christian Fellowship in Salt Lake City