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What are the blessings that a prayerful life offers?

Prayer Gives You a Relationship with God

Prayer offers the best gift of all, a relationship with God. It gets us to know Him.

What prayer does at its most basic level, is to put an end to the deep seated discomfort that all human beings experience when separated from God.

Prayer replaces this 'pain', in all its many forms, - with that elusive quality known as inner fulfillment or peace. As St. Augustine stated in his prayers, "you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

"Prayer is an end to isolation.
It is living our daily life with someone; with him who alone can deliver us from solitude."
Georges Lefevre

"The sovereign cure for worry is prayer."
William James

It is somewhat not surprising that depression affects now one out of four people in western society. It is practically impossible to find a sense of integral fulfillment without God.

As the existential philosophers have often stated, the awareness of the free choice we have assign meaning, creates the base human experience of 'angst', - the dread and anxiety of being alive.

These depressive states of being are the effect of this disconnection, and there are examples of it everywhere. Recently here in Australia, Rene Rivkin one of the richest and most 'flamboyant high-flyer' multi-millionaire businessmen, committed suicide. A self-confessed atheist, in his last days he just keep on repeating, 'what's the point going on?'...

Angst is the effect of a prayerless cause. Mother Teresa observed that, 'loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty', and there are examples of it everywhere... Recently here in Australia, Rene Rivkin one of the richest and most 'flamboyant high-flyer' businessmen, committed suicide. A self-confessed atheist, in his last days he just keep on repeating, 'what's the point going on?'...

"The lack of quiet time of meditation and inward communion with God,
drawing the Water of Life from the Fountainhead, is the chief cause
of so much spiritual weakness and stunted growth. . . . What would our life be if we only understood
how to use aright this privilege of Grace!"
Sister Eva (Mother of the Friedenshort Sisterhood)

In the same way a brilliant man like George Bernard Shaw who placed his faith in his own belief systems of human reason instead of God, came to state towards the end of their life: "The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels, which should have established the millennium, have led directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith."

For most though, this sense of angst is covered up with the "business of life" and most recently, with anti-depressants. However, this emptiness and hopelessness eventually finds its way into the heart of all people that have no relationship with God, - simply because the human soul becomes vastly undernourished.

As the great psychiatrist Carl Jung observed, "among all my patients in the second half of life ... there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life."

Prayer is not a ritual.
Prayer is the soul's inherent response to a relationship with a loving Father.
Colleen Townsend Evans

Prayer is essentially man standing before his God
in wonder, awe, and humility; man, created in the image of God, responding to his creator.
George Appleton

Prayer is a kind of calling home every day.
And there can come to you a serenity, a feeling of at-homeness in God's universe,
a peace that the world can neither give nor disturb, a fresh courage, a new insight,
a holy boldness that you'll never, never get any other way.
Earl G. Hunt

All prayers are a form of communication. They are based on the presupposition that we have a direct relationship with our Creator and that we can engage in conversation with Him.

While it is possible, to play an intellectual game and argue back and forth upon God's existence: i.e. whether our creation was part of an intelligent design, or whether it was the pure chance of molecules colliding into each other until a human being emerged, - the self-evident fact remains that it is absolutely impossible for intelligence and life, to have come about through a long, long, long, long series of 'accidents'.

As of 2007 it is time to stop taking life as a 'cosmic billiard game' as a serious idea. To deny the 'the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science', as Christoph Schonborn put it. So to even engage in the argument here, is to a waste our time.

But for those that accept and love God, and define Him as "Infinite Intelligence" or "Source of Life" or "Universal Law", I would like to suggest there's a deeper relation between you and God. While these are certainly attributes of God, the most essential part is that you are his child. Whether or not you have a family on Earth, you definitely have a Father in Heaven.

God is not just an 'impersonal abstraction'. You are his child, his son. There is a family bond between you and God. God is our heritage and family. That is why we are a 'brotherhood'.

Prayer as such, is this communication between Father and Son. It is the spirit of love within you, expressing itself to the Spirit of Love that created you. It is a natural communication that extends beyond the world of forms, into the spiritual relationship and your birthright.

Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven;
it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy!
In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites it to God.
St. Therese

Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend in a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment when in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.
Soren Kierkegaard

It is in recognizing the actual presence of God that we find prayer no longer a chore, but a supreme delight.
Gordon Lindsay

Prayers are joyous expressions. As author Richard Foster observed, 'Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth, but from falling in love.'

For far, far too many people prayer is perceived to be some form of 'grim duty', into which you must 'sacrifice yourself' to... something that you have to 'whip your flesh' into. These notions have survived from the dark middle ages, and unfortunately are still present today. And when one perceives prayer in this 'oh, so pious way', - is it surprising that many miss out on the incredible experience that prayer offers?

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Prayer is the conversation between you and God, - between you as his Son and Him as your loving Father. Would you want your child to view communication with you as some form of 'grim duty'? Or would you want your child to approach you with that sense of awe, wonder and respect that a small child has?

Isn't that what Jesus said?

Unless we become as little children we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ask yourself, 'How does a child come to speak to a loving Father?'

That's our model here.
For when prayer is expressed in joy, prayer then gives joy.

Elated in Prayer

They tell about a fifteen-year-old boy in an orphans' home who had an incurable stutter.
One Sunday the minister was detained and the boy volunteered to say the prayer in his stead. He did it perfectly, too, without a single stutter. Later he explained,
"I don't stutter when I talk to God. He loves me."
Bennett Cerf

It is from this Primary Relationship that all blessings are then added:

1. Prayers Nourish Your Soul
2. Prayers Illuminate Your Mind
3. Prayers Strengthen Your Body
4. Prayers Build Relationships
5. Prayers Beautify Your World

 

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