What is the Purpose of Prayer?
Prayer is a major part of most religions and can be seen in many ancient civilisations including Mayan, Egyptian and Greek, dating back far beyond 4000 BC. Praying has been considered a powerful force and a way to offer thanks to God and Mother Nature depending on the religion and belief system.
Prayer is a way to communicate with God and connect your soul with the divine. It enhances belief for many. Prayer is a conversation, a way for connecting with the divine and listening for a response. It is quite possible to have a conversation with God and must always be considered a huge privilege. To have the ability to talk to the creator and undergo the realisation that a spark of the creator’s energy is in oneself.
Prayer offers a moment of inner reflection. It offers time for the individual to understand more about their feelings and a moment to feel thankful for life itself and the blessings bestowed upon us. It’s a way to be completely honest with oneself and offer forgiveness to ourselves and others. Compassion can come through understanding and reflection.
To understand the power of prayer, it must be understood that it is relevant to the belief, honestly and intent in which it is done. Just like with every other action in life. Prayer must be done with love and appreciation. It must be from the heart. Empty words will do little to change anything but done with love and passion, prayer can be extremely powerful.
One example of this utter dedication and love for God has been represented in sculpture by one of the greatest artists and sculptors in history. In 1647, Gian Lorenzo Bernini was commissioned and began work on the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. This became a defining work. The story of St Teresa is well known, ‘Teresa of Ávila was a nun who lived in 16th century Spain, at the height of the Reformation. She wrote about her visions in several books, including this description of the scene Bernini depicted: Beside me, on the left, appeared an angel in bodily form…. He was not tall but short, and very beautiful; and his face was so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest rank of angels, who seem to be all on fire…. In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he pulled it out, I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease, nor is one’s soul content with anything but God. This is not a physical but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it – even a considerable share.’
The utter dedication St Teresa had for the love for God was all consuming. That power has huge potential to make a difference in our world, not just with belief but also a physical different if harnessed correctly. Prayer, if done with the whole heart, can heal the sick, fix the broken and change our world.
If the power and connection is understood then the realisation and act of praying can help to build bridges, improve lives and help our soul continue on its journey of evolution. Regular prayer is beneficial for our mental state in a similar way long term meditation can benefit our lives. A moment in prayer can harmonise our energy and body, it can allow us to connect with the God within ourselves and boost our confidence. It can also offer an alternate view of ourselves, others and our world. It’s a way to be thankful for life, everything we have and hold dear.
Prayer can connect people in this world, it’s a shared belief, when people pray together, they are also connecting with each other. This can create a psychic link with people in our world, recognising and connecting through the divine spark within each of us.
Praying together as a group or congregation invites the presence of God into the room and helps to increase the faith of everyone present. People who feel touched by God’s presence have more confidence in themselves and strive to live their life’s purpose.
Some of the philosophy of Silver Birch came through the mediumship of Maurice Barbanell, in the book ‘The Teachings of Silver Birth’. When asked about enlisting help from those in the spirit world his reply was, ‘If you pray with sincerity, you make yourselves, because of the act of prayer, accessible to higher forces. The mere act of prayer opens up the soul. You must pray with your hearts, souls and minds. Mere requests are not prayers. Prayer, truly understood, is a great spiritual exercise. I can best explain it all by saying that prayer should always be regarded as a means to an end, not the end itself.’
This answer confirms that prayer done with mind, body and soul can have great power and make a big difference in the lives of the individual, as well as lives of the people that prayers are aimed at. Prayer in itself is only part of the journey and should be done regularly, with conviction, in order to make the difference in people’s lives and the evolution of one’s soul.
Written by Richard Stuttle