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Prayer as a Four Part Process
By Susan Helene Kramer
– asking for guidance by using our own words or set prayers.
2. MEDITATION – being still in body, which is conducive to the settling of the turbulent waters of issues in the mind, confusion falling away so that the voice of our conscience can be heard.
3. APPRECIATION – caring, thankful, and loving thoughts, which in turn energize our body.
4. APPLICATION – putting the inner guidance of our conscience into action.
Supplication can be
a way of asking for our prayers to be answered.
Supplication with meditation, hand in hand, and energy uplifted by appreciation can carry out a useful plan. Supplication is a part of the process of requesting order and harmony to flood into our lives:
The set prayers from religious traditions, or our own spontaneous thoughts, can set us in the frame of mind that something outside our ordinary daily thinking and experience can intercede in our lives – some call this our Higher Self; some call this the name of God from their own tradition. We can ask for events to turn a certain way when we want a specific outcome, or we can ask for the best (though perhaps unknown to us in the moment) outcome to happen in our lives or in others' lives in general. Both ways we are intentionally putting forth our energy.
This is an example of a prayer asking for the 'best' outcome:
Lord, clear my mind
That your beam of light and love shining through me
Will reflect perfectly through the crystal of my soul
Till all that seems me becomes all that is Thee
Till everyone and all in creation reflect all that is Thee.
Whether or not we use a set group of words in our supplication, we need to spend the moments following our supplication for meditation and reflection. Deep meditation and reflection allow answers to filter into our waking mind, ready for action.
Meditation is the
medication for healing ignorance of our eternal Self. We know about our sensory
organs, we know about our emotions, we know about our thinking mind. But until
we quiet our body, emotions, and thinking mind, we do not have conscious
contact with our all-knowing Self, which is part of the main eternal core of All.
Meditation is part of a cooperative process for inner peace and harmony. The joyful effects experienced from the inner stillness of meditation eventually flow outwardly into daily life. Joy invigorates us with plenty of lively energy for caring and sharing; in joy we feel happy and fulfilled.
Going within, spending time in reflection brings forth clarified reality. When we perceive past and ongoing events clearly, we see where we are heading. Living each moment with care and in our highest consciousness of good allows happiness in our present and future.
Perceptions refined by reflection in quiet time lead to a clarified mind. We aid ourselves in fulfilling our human potential by maintaining and nurturing a stable secure base.
When we are out of balance the results of our actions are, also. To produce results for the highest good we need to consistently live from our highest consciousness. By living a balance of work, play, and contemplation we stay centered. Directives from conscience perceived through peaceful thoughts, feelings of contentment, energized body and directives from conscience bring about the best outcome.
Appreciation uplifts both the giver and receiver. A smile is
an appreciation. A gentle touch or hug conveys loving appreciation. Encouraging
words appreciate a person's potential. Giving shows we care. Appreciation is
part of a process that uplifts our energy and clarifies our thoughts:
Appreciation goes forth through our thoughts, words, actions, and returns the same instant as uplifted energy in our body and mind. Appreciation is consciousness awakening – consciousness of love awakening. No matter what our age, we are students of life till we learn how to appreciate and preserve harmony in our life.
To maintain control in our lives we must harmonize for the best resolve in each situation, regardless of temptation for personal gratification. We become masters of our destiny when we consistently act on what is best for all concerned. We master our destiny, able to enjoy ongoing contentment, by living in accord with the highest good of which we are aware.
When we add the gift of ourselves in the application of our prayer life to others, we also bring much happiness to ourselves. With this attitude we allow our caring heart to open and hold gifts beyond measure: contentment, peacefulness and lovingness – received right in the moment we are being caring.
Application of the peace achieved through prayer and meditation is an integral part of the whole process: It is practical to be caring and giving, because we are not wasting time thinking about what someone owes us.
There is no downside after giving when we do not expect a return; we retain our natural harmony and peace. Giving freely when the opportunity arises allows energy to flow easily through our actions.
And then, when we experience a true need, our harmonious pattern of living will draw just what we need to us, from within us. This happens because when we are feeling relaxed, logical thoughts come up in our mind to best resolve the situation.
Spending time in prayer – supplication, meditation, appreciation – plus applying the gift of ourselves through caring and sharing, awakens gifts within ourselves – abiding peacefulness; lovingness.
Article and photo of Sedona by Susan Helene Kramer
Helene Kramer is an international author of more than 50
books and thousands of articles on rhythmic dance, ballet, music, philosophy,
relationships, social issues, yoga, meditation, and practical spirituality for
children, teens, adults and those challenged, with some translations in Dutch,
French, German, Greek, and Spanish, and with her husband, Stan Schaap- http://www.stanschaap.com lives in The
Text from this booklet first published as an article in Seeker Magazine, March, 1998.