- Religion and Philosophy»
- Islam, the Quran & Muhammed
How To Make Your Prayer Effective With Meditative And Contemplative Prayers
Intro To Meditative and Contemplative Prayers
This is an introduction to Meditative and Contemplative prayers. If you don't have the time to read it, scroll down to the Meditative Prayer.
For those with time to read the intro, I will begin by saying we pray because we are faced with problems in life for which we don't have the resources to solve on our own, and by praying we hope to receive divine help from God to solve those problems. Our hope presupposes that, although we do not see God, we believe he exists in spirit.
For the belief in God to have any meaning though, we should be aware that being a spirit, God's help would come to us in spirit form. Let's say you have a tooth ache, praying all day would not stop the pain, until you take a medication to stop the pain, or go see the dentist.
This is the reason the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant Churches have spent billions of dollars on building hospitals around the world. They know from centuries of human experience that God does not normally perform miracles simply because we want him to do so.
Even so, we know from empirical evidence that God answers all prayers, though not in material form, in spiritual form. Now, what does this mean? It means God would give us the spiritual means, in the form of divine wisdom and power to create the conditions in which the things we ask for in prayer would become ours in material form.
While this is a simple to understand spiritual principle, putting it into practice and staying with it until the desired result is had, has been a major problem for billions of people around the world. To understand this is to become aware that everything good we hope to do to improve our lives would trigger counter currents aimed at thwarting our efforts.
If our efforts to improve our lives are not scuttled by lack of money, they would be by physical or mental illness, or relationship problems. Knowing this as the reality of life, is the reason we should fortify ourselves by the "universal divine law" that asks from us nothing more than, "to treat others as we would want to be treated".
Living by the universal divine law, would maintain your spiritual connection with God, and guarantee that, in spite of the present difficulties you may be facing, you would have in material form what you ask for in prayer. This being true, I have found that Meditative and Contemplative Prayers are the most effective.
Your family members and friends may pray for you, but to be certain that you would receive the desired result, your own prayers are most effective in connecting you directly with God in spirit.
What Is A Meditative Prayer
It's the view of some in the West that meditative prayer is a tradition of Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and the like, resulting in the de-emphasizing of meditative prayer in traditional Western religion.
The truth is that meditative prayer has been a part of Christian religious practices since Old Testament times, as we read in Joshua 1:8 where God said, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night"
To prep yourself for a meditative prayer, devote 5 to 30 minutes on reading a holy book of your choice. Having been raised as a Christian, I read the psalm, or inspirational verses on faith from the New Testament to prep myself for a meditative prayer. I've found that reading a holy book before a meditative prayer helps focus my mind on things spiritual.
In the Christian denominations where meditative prayer is practiced, it involves selecting a subject of interest to you. Find a quiet and private place, sit in a comfortable chair and empty your mind of all thoughts not connected with the subject of interest. Become aware of yourself in the here and now, while avoiding cognitive analysis or fantasizing about the subject of awareness.
Then put your problems before God, asking him for help through verbal or mental prayer. When satisfied that your request is sufficiently presented, stop focusing and praying. Empty your mind of all thoughts, be still, and wait for God's response. When thoughts begin flowing back into your mind, it's an indication that subconsciously you have received God's answer, and the meditative prayer is over.
In Psalm 19:14 we read, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
What Is A Contemplative Prayer
In a meditative prayer we talk with God, putting before him our burdens, asking for his guidance and divine help, then we sit still and quiet, until we hear the voice of God in our thoughts. With contemplative prayer, we sit still and say nothing, allowing our souls to talk with God in our behalf.
A meditative prayer may progress into a contemplative prayer, but it is advisable to take a break between the two prayers; since at the end of the meditative prayer many thoughts would come to your mind, and you would need time to sort them out to avoid confusion, regarding the right course of action to take.
During your contemplative prayer, you need a quiet and peaceful place. Sit at your dining table with a lit candle before you at eye level. Put the candle in a proper candle holder, so that it cannot tip over and fall, before starting your contemplative prayer.
Your contemplative prayer should last no more than 5 minutes. Look into the flame of the candle. You would see 3 regions of the flame: the innermost region is dark, the middle region is yellow, and the outermost region is light blue. The 3 regions of the candle flame are symbolic representation of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, united in a single flame.
Sit still, remain quiet, and look into the candle flame, believing you are looking at the face of God. Allow no thoughts to enter your mind, focus your mind on the moving candle flame, and believe you are in the presence of God, talking with him in spirit.
Contemplation consists in seeing at a simple glance the truths which would previously be discovered only through prolonged discourse.— St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The importance of the contemplative prayer above all other prayers is that it is designed to remove all doubts from your mind, that through your soul, you have seen the face of God, and have actually received in your mind and body his divine wisdom and power to enable you create the conditions in which the things you hope for would become yours in physical form.
However, it would be a terrible mistake to expect a miracle immediately after your contemplative prayer. It is completely in the hands of God when a miracle would happen. As mere humans we cannot make a miracle to happen. What we can be certain about is that at the end of the contemplative prayer, we have received God's wisdom and power, which are all we need to create the conditions in which what we pray for would become ours in physical form.
An important precept you should keep in mind is that you cannot use God's wisdom and power to cause harm to others. If you harm someone with the wisdom and power you receive from a contemplative prayer, you can be sure they did not come from God. You must know before you start praying that Satan can reach you through a contemplative prayer, if your aim is to use the wisdom and power you obtain to do harm to others.
Be fully informed that during your contemplative prayer, your soul is interacting with spiritual entities. Your protection against connecting with evil spirits is to begin your prayer with malice for nobody. If you have any hostile thought for a member of your family, or friend, go and reconcile with him or her before you begin your contemplative prayer. It's very important that you do this.
If anyone told you simply praying would bring you what you want, run from that person as fast as you would from a burning barn. If manna ever fell from the sky, evidence in modern times has clearly shown that bread does not fall from the sky. Prayers bring you the substance of the things you hope for, you have to give them physical form by your thoughts, action and perseverance.
Reaching For Divine Gifts
You have received God's wisdom and power, now what next
At the end of your contemplative prayer, you have received God's wisdom and power. Divine wisdom and power is now flowing into your mind and body. Let your words and action be driven by confidence, and don't be stopped by the thought of failure, because you shall not fail.
Those who fail are those who are not prepared for success. Your contemplative prayer has prepared you for success. Send for your, "How To Use God's Wisdom and Power" with your comment, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I do not charge for the information.