Unanswered Prayers? Hogwash!
Why do so many prayers go unanswered?
Is God listening? Is God there? Does God even exist? These are powerful questions and a great many people have asked them. And I thank God that we have the freedom to ask these questions. Four centuries ago, such questions might have been followed by an invitation to the Inquisition or to the stake for an impromptu cookout. Hmmm-m-m, roasted me! Marshmallows anyone?
The stereotype of those who ask such questions is one of a bright, intelligent individual who may have been brought up in a religious home, but who began to question the meaning of things. Some things just didn't seem to add up. The more intelligent the individual, the more odd all this "God" and "spiritual" stuff seemed to be.
The stereotype of those who believe is one of dull, unintelligent individuals who don't know better, but for whom such belief gives them feelings of comfort and protection — a blissful delusion.
Don't believe the stereotypes!
Certainly some brilliant scientists have no use for God or religion, but there have been many scientists who were or are devoutly faithful. And IQ has nothing to do with it. Your author has an IQ of 139 (borderline genius by some accounts). And all three of my younger brothers have IQ's far higher than mine — 149, 169 and somewhere above 200. That last number (off the charts!) belongs to my youngest brother. I remember bringing up the subject with him of pressure gradients and adiabatic lapse rates, and the conversation quickly went over my head. The point is, my whole family remains deeply spiritual, yet incredibly intelligent. Well, except for me (remember, I'm borderline). So much for stereotypes.
The Nature of Asking
Would it surprise you to find out that God always gives you what you ask for? No exceptions! Ever!
Typically when people ask for something, they "want" that for which they are asking. They "wish" for it. This way of asking contains a problem.
I grew up thriving on mathematics and logic. That made computer programming relatively easy for me. I made a career out of it. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in it, summa cum laude. All of science is fun for me. When I look at a word like "wish," I frequently see it from a programmatic viewpoint. I ask myself, "What does 'wish' look like? How would I program it?" To me, "wish" is the idea of "self looking at the object of desire from a distance." If you present this idea or mental image to God, you will receive exactly that — namely, "self looking at the object of desire from a distance." In other words, you never get there. You never get what you want or wish for. You are left wanting, because want is what you asked for.
Asking another human for something and asking God for something are two very different actions. You have to know how to ask.
Who We Really Are
Genesis 1:26 says that God created Man in His own image — that of a non-physical, spiritual and immortal source of creation. Yes, that means one thing — that we are baby Gods. Baby humans look like their parents. Baby gods look like their parent. Simple.
Add to this the complication that these baby gods fell off the rainbow and hit their spiritual heads. They had been poisoned by the Forbidden Fruit — a conceptual matrix of beliefs, desires and fears — and had developed a pseudo self with which to interface the physical realm, because they had fallen into a deep, spiritual sleep — the "long sleep" or "death" God had predicted for them. This pseudo self we typically call "ego." Instead of the spiritual invulnerability with which God's children had been accustomed, the ego was completely vulnerable and obeyed the laws of the physical realm. Ego obeyed the laws of action and reaction, something Sir Isaac Newton explored in great detail. This action-reaction component led to something we endearingly call "karma." Jesus talked about this when he told his students about living by the sword leading to dying by the sword.
Like any parent, God wanted His children back. His sleeping children had been wandering aimlessly, attaching to anything that felt friendly or interesting in their dream-like state. God thus created Homo sapiens to give His children each a window onto continuity of consciousness, and the ability to develop intelligent speech, and to create the liberating freedom of civilization. Only through these new creatures did His children have the ability to develop philosophy, spirituality and religion. Yet, the path has been tainted by ego at every step. High priests, following the urges of ego, perverted the divine teachings, making it difficult to attain the spiritual reawakening that had been promised.
Those who had been divinely inspired had compiled the needed wisdom, hiding some of it to make the spiritual quest an invigorating challenge. After all, a prize too easily gained is not valued nearly as much. Just look at all of the lottery winners who lose not only their winnings, but everything else they had before their big windfall.
If this all sounds like a fairytale, don't fret about it. Just know that these bodies, by themselves, cannot affect the laws of nature. Only the child of God within can alter or break those laws.
In 1971, during spiritual counseling, I experienced being outside of my body with full visual perception. No eyeballs or brain synapses were involved. I stood in midair, 6 meters off the left shoulder of that which was supposedly mine (the body known as Rodney Carl Martin, Jr.), and 5 meters off of the ground. The evening was dark and overcast in Los Angeles. The Chez Claude restaurant parking lot, next door, was largely empty. The grayish-blue blinds between me and my body were closed, so I could see neither my body nor the body of the counselor sitting across the table from it. However, I could see clearly the pink stucco on the outside of the building — the bumpy texture and the cracks. I could also see that I was not casting a shadow on that wall. This was the non-physical, spiritual (true self) part of me.
In 1977, I created my most potent miracle on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. On one of the busiest streets in the world, three lanes of thick westbound traffic became two within seconds, leaving the center lane wide open, all on the answered prayer I had asked moments before. Only a spiritual child of God can bend or break the laws of nature. A purely physical being cannot achieve such a miracle.
How Not to Ask
Don't be selfish. Ego thrives on selfishness. Ego is a created, pseudo-self, physical universe construct. It can no more create miracles (answer prayers) than can a rock.
By the same token, don't get arrogant. Such rowdiness is equivalent to selfishness. It's got "me-me-me" written all over it. Anything attempted from ego will obey the laws of the physical universe.
Don't think of the prayer as urgent or important. You could inadvertently make things worse by asking for the wrong thing.
Remember this wise saying: You get what you put your attention on. If you have some urgent need, is your attention on the goal, or is your attention on the state or condition you are fleeing?
How to Ask
The antidote to ego seems to be humility. You need to perfect this state. It needs to be a profound and utter humility. I'm not talking about self-abasement, groveling or the like, though prostrating your body can sometimes help to get yourself in the right frame of mind. The idea is to subdue the false self (the ego) and to listen for the quiet stirrings of the true self, the immortal child of God within. Sometimes, this true self awakens for a moment through a flash of inspiration.
When you ask for something, the idea is to picture the end result as if it has already occurred. For the entrepreneur, this will sound exactly like "goal setting." And when goal setting works, this is why. The object is to picture the desired end result, but to maintain 100% confidence. Any doubt will spoil the pudding. It's a bit like being pregnant. Either you are 100% pregnant, or 0% pregnant. There is no in between. So, 100% confidence is what you attain.
Think about it. The picture of doubt is one of failure. If you have any doubt, then failure is what you will get. And scientists think they're so smart using skepticism. They don't see that with skepticism, they're adding a touch of doubt to their "prayers." You might say that all real scientists don't "pray." But know this fact: All children of God are creating all of the time. Yes, this includes scientists. It is our nature to create, but frequently no one is impressed. Skeptics hold the greatest confidence in physical reality, so they end up maintaining the status quo. Nothing exciting there. Their creations are ho-hum.
Once you have the mental image of what you intend to create, you then "not-know" that mental image. Simply turn your awareness away from it. This can be accomplished by placing your conscious awareness on something else, yet while maintaining your subconscious attention on that image. All the while, you need to maintain 100% confidence and 100% humility. If "not-know" is a difficult idea, think of it as "allowing" the creation into existence, without worrying about it — without the need to check up after it.
What happens when you pray the right way is that ego is subdued and the child of God becomes once again one with the Father. For those few moments, the true self is "walking with God." And this is far, far more valuable than any physical thing gained through prayer.
Achieving greater self-awareness is so important to making this work. You can achieve this through meditation, through challenging yourself followed by self-assessment, and numerous other ways. The most potent method for me has been through spiritual counseling. Scientology has become somewhat a strange stepchild in our modern world. Ego has invaded that cult just as much as it has invaded Christianity and other religions. Yet, Scientology spiritual counseling is powerful for scraping away layers of spiritual blindness. Granted, it is not for everyone. Some of the controversies surrounding that modern religion even give me the shakes, yet despite those controversies, the spiritual counseling techniques remain the most powerful tools for allowing an individual to get in under the hood of the ego and to tinker with the things that make it tick.
If you attempt to pray for something, yet find your attention stuck on the tragic circumstance you are attempting to resolve, there are a number of techniques you can use to break free. Perhaps the most potent method might be called "avalanche." The object is to picture yourself pulling in more of the tragedy on top of yourself. Like the Norse berserker, full of battle fury, you simply face the source of difficulty and say to it, "Bring it on. Give me more!" The idea is to take over the control of your attention. Since attention seems to want to fix on the tragedy, the idea is to pile that tragedy on fearlessly. Once you feel the thrill of going down in flames, then you can put your attention where it is needed. You are now in control, again.
If something feels too important, that can trip up your prayers. One method to resolve this is to picture the goal as unimportant. As a spiritual being, step back several trillion kilometers from this planet and see just how small it is. Down there on that distant speck called Earth, is an even more insignificant problem about which most of the 7 billion inhabitants remain unaware. Yes, your problem is indeed small.
Sometimes it can help to hold onto anchor points outside of your current environment. Picture in your mind, holding onto the Sun on one side, and the Moon on the other. Feel them move relative to the Earth on which your body is standing. For a spiritual child of God, such visualizations are easy.
Beyond Prayer and Miracles
As children of God, we cannot help but create. With the proper practice, we can create the things we would wish to create. But getting a prayer answered is not the goal of it all. Far more important than creating what would seem to mortal humans to be a miracle, is the need to awaken fully and permanently. We need to find ourselves "walking with God" all of the time. This is our most important prayer, and yet we may need to view it as utterly unimportant. Remember, ego likes for things to be important and we can do far better than to coddle ego's likes and dislikes.
So, the next time someone talks of prayers going unanswered, tell them "Hogwash!" Prayers are always answered. You merely need to be aware of what you have asked.