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
The Example Left By Jesus
There is no magic formula that will make the perfect prayer, because to follow a formula is not to follow one's heart or one's own thoughts. However, as an illustration or model of how to pray, Jesus left his disciples with the famous example from the Sermon on the Mount that we now refer to as the Lord's Prayer.
"The Gospel Explained by the Spiritist Doctrine" begins Chapter 28, A Collection of Spiritist Prayers, with this model prayer, and after each verse, illuminated spirits have suggested a commentary to reinforce its meaning and tell us how to embrace it in our daily lives. Without going through each commentary in it's entirety, here is a sampling of the comments on each verse.
Father Who Art in Heaven, hallowed be your name…
This is the line of praise that we talked about earlier. It means "Oh God, we believe in You, because everything around us reveals Your goodness and Your power."
kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
God has given us laws of wisdom and justice that govern our universe, and these laws are written upon the conscience of each of his children. The day will come when we will all believe in God with a strong faith, respecting and abiding by his laws willingly through the use of our free will...whereby, our planet Earth will become a peaceful world of loving and charitable beings.
today our daily bread
We ask God to give us the means of providing for our needs through our own work and the moral support and spiritual nourishment for our inner growth.
We ask Him to help us to not complain about our destiny, to bless us with courage and strength. In turn, we make every effort to take responsibility for the suffering that we, ourselves have caused, to do our part to seek solutions to that which we can change, and to accept with serenity that which we can not, trusting God's divine providence, and seeking to act without envy or ill-will toward others.
us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
We recognize that each infraction of God's laws is a new debt that we must redeem. We ask him for his forgiveness and make the effort on our part to try not to incur new debts. We also recognize that we have no right to ask for God's merciful forgiveness if we cannot give the same to those who have wronged us. And we know that our suffering at the hands of others is part of our trials here on Earth. So we ask God to give us the strength to erase all the resentment, hate, and bitterness inside us…. and we make the sincere effort to do so.
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
We ask God to give us the strength we need to resist the suggestions of misguided and ill-meaning spirits who seek to take advantage of our imperfections and weakness. And we ask that the good spirits inspire us with the desire to correct our imperfections and guide us in the right direction.
So be it.
We close our prayer in which we have solicited God's blessings for ourselves and for every suffering spirit, both incarnate and discarnate. And we know that we have asked for the realization of our desires, but we are respectful of God's infinite wisdom and justice, and therefore accepting of his will.
Kardec, Allan. "Ask And It Will Be Given To You." The Gospel Explained By The Spiritist Doctrine. Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from 3rd edition in French). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 2000. 255-266.
Kardec, Allan. "A Collection of Spiritist Prayers." The Gospel Explained By The Spiritist Doctrine. Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from 3rd edition in French). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 2000. 267-306.
Camilo (Spirit Author), Teixeira, J. Raul (Medium). "O Direcionamento Da Oração" [The Adressing of The Prayer]. Correnteza de Luz [Current of Light]. 3.ed. Niterói-RJ, Brazil: Frater. 1999. 159-164.
Peralva, Martins. "Almas Em Prece" [Souls in Prayer] Estudando A Mediunidade [Studying Mediumship]. Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil: Federação Espírita Brasileira [Brazilian Spiritist Federation].1998 (20th ed). 170-173.
Peralva, Martins. "Eficácia da Prece" [Efficacy of Prayer]. O Pensamento de Emmanuel [Emmanuel's Thoughts]. Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil: Federação Espírita Brasileira [Brazilian Spiritist Federation].1998 (20th ed). 159-164.
Schubert, Suely Caldas. "A Prece" [Prayer]. Mediunidade: Caminho Para Ser Feliz [Mediumship: The Path to Happiness]. Votuporanga- SP, Brazil. Casa Editora Espírita "Pierre-Paul Didier". 1999. 92-97.
De Angelis, Joanna (Spirit Author), Franco, Divado (Medium). "Da Lei de Oraçã" [On The Law of Prayer]. Leis Morais Da Vida [Moral Laws of Life]. 3. ed Salvador-BA, Brazil. Livraria Espírita Alvorada. 1986.
Joanna de Ângelis Responde [Joanna de Angelis Responds]. 2. ed Salvador-BA, Brazil. Livraria Espírita Alvorada. 1999. 165 (q.135), 171 (q.141). Compilation of Answers from the Spirit, Joanna de Angelis in various texts (through medium, Divaldo P. Franco) / compiled and organized by José Maria de M. Souza
Simonetti, Richard "Oração" [Prayer]. Para Viver A Grande Mensagem [To Live The Great Message]. 6 ed. Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil: Federação Espírita Brasileira [Brazilian Spiritist Federation].1995. 125-128.
Simonetti, Richard "Oração" [Prayer]. Não Pise Na Bola [Don't Step On The Ball]. 9 ed. Rio de Matãp-SP, Brazil: Casa Editora O Clarim.1999. 150-152.
Simonetti, Richard "Ante A Oração" [Regarding Prayer]. A Voz Do Monte [The Voice On The Mountain]. 9 ed. Rio de Matãp-SP, Brazil: Casa Editora O Clarim.1999. 117-120.
Richard "Como Orar" [How To Pray]. A Voz Do Monte [The Voice On The
ed. Rio de Matãp-SP, Brazil: Casa Editora O Clarim.1999.