Posted by secondchurch on October - 5 - 2017

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” — Mahatma Gandhi

If you are like me, you are struggling with your prayer life – if you have a prayer life. Between the massacre in Las Vegas this week and the tragedies in Puerto Rico and Mexico, I am overwhelmed and don’t know what to pray for or how to pray as I ought. So I have gone back to what I learned in Buddhist meditation. I know, a Christian pastor should pray as a Christian, which I do most of the time, but I learned best how to empty myself and to re-fill my emptiness from Buddhists.

Like Jesus, most gurus agree that the Divine abides in peace and love, which are the essence of the Creator. The Divine within has no awareness of the suffering in this world because that suffering is not due to the Divine’s wishes. 

While this may make the Divine seem inert, it is not. If you touch the Divine with prayer and meditation, the Divine will touch you with compassion for yourself and the world, which is exactly what we need when we are overwhelmed and how the Divine within you will affect the pain of the world. 

The following are loose guidelines for self-emptying prayer: 

  1. When you don’t need anything, acknowledge and appreciate that through prayer. Gratitude is the beginning of faith. Ask to be made ready to receive what God has to give you. 
  2. If you feel deprived of love, compassion, friendship, or determination, God will grace you with these things if you open yourself to Silence and Stillness. Jesus and Buddha said the Divine is within you. Ask to be shown and you will see / feel God’s Holy Presence. Always have patience and faith that it will come. It takes practice to be still and open to the gift of silence.
  3. You don’t need to pray for an outcome, but that is difficult for some people who expect “results” from everything. If you pray for an answer, look for that answer within. Only if the mind is silent and receptive will you be able to catch hold of the inspiration that will come. 
  4. The most beautiful prayer is for the welfare of all beings in the world. Then you are also included and so are the suffering people about whom we are so concerned. If you allow the mind to go introvert toward its source, then your prayers will reach the source of All Things. You are not separate from the All of the universe. By going inward you will contact that which is beyond your mind’s outward imagination and perception. Pray for all beings’ welfare.

Recap: Mind silent and receptive; filled with a longing for peace and divinity;forget the thoughts about the world, just for this moment; wait with apt attention and relaxation to feel God’s Presence and guidance.

Don’t search for words. Find peace within.

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