Q: How Christians pray
This comment came in from Bill, a reader in Illinois:
Recently, I've been told in no uncertain terms from a couple of very conservative Christians that prayers are going up to the ears of Jesus Christ as the mediator between man and God before they reach God as the Father. In fact all prayers are answered or not answered by Jesus. Of course, this way of viewing prayer is a physical human way of viewing prayer. Even so, prayer is practiced by many this way. I mean, Christians pray to Jesus as God, then Jesus decides if the prayer requests are worthwhile to send on up to the Father (the way I understand it).
I don't think it has registered with metaphysical Christians that this prayer process above is how most Christians pray. Is it worth commenting on?
I'm no authority on how the various sects of Christianity teach their adherents to pray. But on this praying to Jesus subject, I've often thought, "Hasn't the guy done enough for us already? Give him a break!"
Kidding aside, it seems to me the prayer theory Bill's highlighting assumes a few things:
- God doesn't hear us directly, or care about us as individuals.
- God's got too much to do, so can't answer every prayer.
- God has set up the universe such that things could go wrong, but through prayer we can get Him to alter His own design for a better outcome.
- God needs an administrative assistant to handle appointments and scheduling: i.e., Jesus.
- God is essentially the same as human beings, only bigger.
Okay, yeah, to me, this isn't God. I couldn't worship that kind of being, any more than I could worship the Roman god Jupiter or the Greek goddess Artemis. That kind of being is one to bargain with, to try to get around, or to avoid, if possible. You'd want to stay out of its line of sight, actually, because who knows what it would throw at you.
So, who is God? Who is Love? Who is Life? Who is Mind? I'm talking about an infinite Being, wholly Spirit, with no—repeat, NO—human characteristics of any kind. A Being so totally transcendent that it defies time and space. A Being who, once understood, obliterates discord of every kind by the simple fact of its omnipresence.
When you pray to this God, you're not asking, you're understanding. You're aligning yourself with what already is. It's *you* that changes, not the Divine nor its creation. And all that's changing about you is your thought.
Let's all pray to that God today, and see what happens.
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