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 Does Prayer Work?
When we talk about the value of prayer, it's very important to talk about HOW we should pray, because if we pray in the wrong way, our prayers will not have the value that we are expecting.
Before we jump,
though, into how we should pray, let's just remember how prayer works. Consider
first, that all beings, in both the physical and spiritual realm, are immersed
in the Cosmic Principle. This is the subtle, fundamental substance or medium
that permeates throughout the universe and acts as an intermediary between
spirit and matter, and gives rise to phenomena like heat, magnetism, and
electricity, and to matter itself.
The Cosmic Principle reacts to impulses of will. When a thought is directed from an incarnate to a discarnate being, or vice versa, a current of energy is established between them that travels through the Cosmic Principle and transfers the thought from one to the other, just as air transmits sound waves. Thought, unlike sound however, can travel infinite distances. This is how spirits communicate with one another, and it is how our prayers reach the beings to whom we direct them. What actually determines the power of that energy current is the strength of our own thought and desire.
When we address our prayers to God, they are heard by superior spirits who are responsible for executing God's will. Likewise, when we pray to those spirits charged with great tasks in the aid of humanity, like Bezerra de Menezes, Emmanuel, the Virgin Mary, and others, those prayers are answered by a team of collaborating spirits that represent them and work in their name.
We can also pray to a friend or family member who has disincarnated. However, we should be careful not to habitually ask our loved ones for resolution of earthly matters. And we must also understand that sometimes they are unable (due to their moral or mental state) to receive our prayers. In that case, the superior spirits will either direct our thoughts to our loved ones or will, themselves, answer our prayer. André Luiz refers to such a case in the book "Between Heaven and Eearth" (title translation of a book not yet available in English) when he tells the story of a young girl named Evelina.
Evelina's mother had died a few years prior, and her father had remarried, but things were very difficult at home. Her younger brother died in an accident and her stepmother, who blamed herself, went into a severe depression. Her father, unable to handle it all was on the verge of desperation. Evelina prayed to her mother each night asking her to come to the rescue of the family. Unbeknownst to Evelina, her mother was terribly jealous of her husband's second wife and had been chasing after her with mental torture.
prayers were so heartfelt and sincere that even though they found no receptivity
in her mother, they did reach, through a phenomenon called refraction, a
supportive institution in the spiritual plane. And from there began a rescue
expedition by a team of loving spirits who were able to answer Evelina's prayers
and bring tranquility to her family's home. Evelina's story shows us that, when
we pray with sincerity, we can be confident that our prayers will be heard by
God and the friendly spirits. What else can we do to see that our prayers are
heard and answered? Spiritism answers that question by teaching us about the
true and sincere prayer, which is not just said or thought, but felt as well.