THE MEANING AND POWER OF PRAYER
Why Pray |
for our Problems |
Appreciation, Praise, and Reverence | Prayers for Others |
How Prayer Works | Prayer from the Heart | What to Ask for |
Intent | Jesus' Example
How Can Prayer Help Us With Our Problems?
In what ways can
prayer work to help us resolve our problems?
Our call for help
is answered with the aid of our spiritual mentors. They are at our side, giving us strength and
offering support — communicating with us through our intuition by day and during
our visits to the Spirit Realm by night (as our physical bodies sleep). These
friends inspire us to find ways of resolving our problems. The decisions that we
then make ultimately represent the exercise of our free will. This is how God
helps those who help themselves.
It would be much easier, we may think, if once in a while our spiritual mentors could spell out the answers we seek in big neon lights. Unfortunately, however, in that case, there would be no merit for us, for we’d not have been required to make any choice, and we’d have done nothing to show that we know what is right and can follow through with courage.
This is illustrated by a story told in "The Gospel Explained by the Spiritist Doctrine", in which a man traveling man traveling in the desert has lost his way and eventually faints from exhaustion and thirst. He prays to God for help, but no angels come to give him water. Instead, they inspire him, through intuition, to lift his tired body and travel a little further down one of the nearby paths that leads him to a stream. In this experience, the man learns that God has helped him to make use of his own strength. He realizes that, having been unconscious of the help he was given at the time, his trust in God and observance of God’s will was tested. Kardec’s lesson here is that a person of faith would thank God for the guidance and strength they received. A person without faith would vainly pat themselves on the back for the great idea they had or attribute their fortune to chance.
So how far does this help from prayer and good spirits go? Kardec asked the question in “The Spirits Book”, "As we pray for ourselves, can we prevent our trials from taking place or change their nature?" The spirits respond by first reminding us that prayer always helps by giving us strength and a positive outlook, that many of our sorrows are actually self-inflicted, and that we are better off going through some trials, as part of a bigger plan. However, they tell us that God does have instruments to intervene in our favor, but we must have patience and not look for quick miracles, because help will come so naturally that it will seems to be the result of the ordinary course of events.
Keep in mind that prayer can also help us avoid suffering by keeping us in tune with Spiritual Counsel, which often warns us when we're heading down the wrong path. We can also pray to God and our spirit guides, asking them to steer us from those painful errors. Then it's up to us to heed their warnings.