Sunday, November 4, 2007

Self-help Prayer Formula

Basics: The basic daily practices for a spiritual life are prayer and meditation.

When –

Daily: Prayer works best on our mind and body when it’s cumulative. Daily prayer is a good idea.

At Days Beginning: We begin first thing in the morning. We ask "a Power greater than ourselves" to direct our thinking during the day ahead. Especially important is being willing to let go of self-pity (depression and victimization), dishonesty (mostly within self and with others, but also with money), and selfishness.

At Days ending: Before going to sleep, we review our mental life for that day, looking for traces of resentment or fear – especially rationalizing or justifying our behavior out of fear or resentment. In addition, we plan to make any necessary apologies or amends during the 24 hours ahead. Here it is crucial to avoid "worry, remorse, or morbid reflection.

We ask questions: What more do you want to say? Where shall I go now? What shall I do next? What do you want from me God?

Pray for self and others: Pray for others as well as for yourself. This is not simply an admonition not to be selfish; rather, the force of your actions is too powerful to be directed inside only. By including those you care about in your prayers, you are solidifying the bonds between you.

Style –

The collaborative style: Here, God is the co-pilot. You talk to God, listen, consult, and the responsibility for solving a problem is shared. Collaborators gain the most from their spiritual coping. They get a strong sense of spiritual support from God. A crisis becomes an opportunity to grow spiritually, to learn more about your life and God.

The deferring style: We leave our problems fully to God. It’s a good response to a situation when it’s truly out of your hands. But it’s not helpful if people use it to sidestep their own responsibility. ‘Let go, let God’

The self-directing style: You’re in charge. God gave us the resources to solve our problems and now it’s up to us to handle them. We aren’t really looking to God for help, either because they just don’t think it’s God’s place to solve their problems or because they’re cynical. This style works well when seeking the power of the Higher Power if we really know what to do.

Petitions and inward communication: It is either a petition to God or, in its wider sense, is inward communication with your real self. In either case, the ultimate result is the same.

Focus: We can pray for the cleansing and purification of the inner self, for freeing it from the layers of ignorance and darkness that envelops it. The enveloping ego can stop us doing what we really ‘need’ to do or say.

Vital things: Prayer is a means of bringing orderliness and peace and repose in our daily thinking and actions. Take care of the vital things and the other things will take care of themselves.

Twenty minutes a day: Prayer and meditation are important simply because you owe yourself 20 minutes each day to reflect on who you are, what you have become, where you are, where you have been, and where you’re going.

          Spiritual Connections: How to Find Spirituality Throughout All the Relationships in Your Life
by Sylvia Browne

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