Group: Corona Del Mar TeaM
This evening's lesson is concerning prayer. Prayer is your contact with spirit forces. While prayer can sometimes seem of a low level sort, even your most human prayers do have value. Prayers tend to increase one's capacity for receptivity, even though the content of the prayer may be totally earth-bound. Prayer is your way of adjusting life's difficulties. It is your way to stop, consider God's will; listen and hear His answer. It is your channel of direct communication with the spirit forces in charge of the specific request. You may not think of the direction in which your prayer goes, but do not worry. The universe mechanisms for handling prayer, direct that prayer to those spirit forces who are charged with formulating an answer. All prayers are answered.
Effective prayer takes practice and we must understand what effective prayer is. First, we should consider a purely earthly prayer. In your own mind think of a prayer that you would pray that you would consider purely earth-bound: pray for a new piece of furniture, a refrigerator; pray for new tires for your automobile. Do that right now. [Pause] Feel inside how that felt. Feel inside whether or not you think the prayer was answered. Feel inside your increased capacity, for prayers of that nature will indeed increase capacity.
You may also receive an answer as to how to accomplish the task. If you did, then perhaps your prayer was answered. But, let's take it one step further. Now pray in your mind for the health of a friend; pray in your mind for the welfare of a neighbor; pray in your mind for increased service. Try that now [Pause] Do you feel the difference? Do you feel the higher level of prayer? Do you feel that it was directed better? Do you feel more illuminated by it? As we change the level of our prayers, the level of receptivity also changes.
Now, let's go one further. Pray for guidance in your daily life. Pray for help from the Eternal Father in your understanding of life's vicissitudes. Pray for your fellow man, those that are less fortunate than you. Try that now. [Pause] How does that feel? We have taken three steps, from the lowest to the highest. Those prayers that receive immediate attention are those that are the highest and of complete lack of self-interest. When you pray, direct your prayer. You may pray for increased capacity to understand God's will. You may pray for divine guidance. You may pray for the welfare of city, state, nation, planet. You may pray for the welfare of all of mankind. And as your prayer expands in its encompassment, the answers will be forthcoming.
We've talked about prayer. Now we must talk about the other side of that communication. Prayer does have two sides: one is the outflow of the thought; the other side is the inflow from above. So when you pray, make certain that you complete the cycle. Listen with your inner ear. Listen with your heart. But you must listen. Prayers are answered. Prayer is the greatest spiritual growth component that you have. It is something that we all do too little of, including me. Think on this, this coming week. Try the three different levels of prayer. Listen for those answers. They are there. That is my lesson for this evening. I wish to allow Signa a few moments with you this evening. She will answer a few questions. . . . .
STUDENT: Signa, when Bertrand told us last week that the lesson this evening was going to be on prayer, I've really been thinking about prayer a lot this week and reading as much in The Urantia Book as I could about it. And then a song came into my mind that had some neat words to it. The words said that "prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door". I thought that was pretty neat.
- Why More Than One Teacher To A Group?
SIGNA: One moment. [Pause] As this group begins to grow, the size will dictate how a second teacher will be used on an on-going basis. There are certain responsibilities that I have concerning the class that are different than Bertrand's. You could say that this class is, somewhat, of an experiment. The teaching mission has learned a great deal as it has progressed with the teachers who are currently active with their groups. Many things have been tried. This is one other. We perceive that the interaction of a group of believers, such as you and such as will enter this group, may benefit from a dual source of information. There also is the possibility of an additional transmitter receiver, at some time in the future, who would assume responsibility for one of us and allow the first and second groups to continue separately. This group may wish to divide, so there is a possibility of that as well. It is something we are monitoring.
- Any Reason to Mix Teacher Sexes?
SIGNA Yes. It was felt that it could be of value to have both female and male teachers together. Your society has been undergoing considerable adjustment in the past ten, twenty, thirty years with respect to the equality of the sexes, and, again, this is an experiment to see how a pair of teachers is received by a group that is mixed male and female. . . . .
- Morontia Appearance of the Sexes
SIGNA Yes. We do have appearances that are somewhat linked to our past. As one progresses, those physical traits will tend to subside in favor of the differences in spiritual natures. As you become more spirit, your physical connection passes away. Does that help your question?
- Questions About The Lord’s Prayer
STUDENT Signa, I have a question of Bertrand about the lesson.
SIGNA Yes, one moment [Pause].
STUDENT Hi Bertrand. I read in The Urantia Book the section on prayer. I think it was around page 1617. If I recall, Jesus in Gilboa. Something that was really interesting and curious to me, the Lord's prayer, because I know it is not in the Bible, I'm pretty sure it is not in the Bible. How did it keep on? Was it just re-told in history and people memorized it and remembered it?
BERTRAND Yes, yes that is true. It is a sacred prayer that Michael delivered to his family. It was a family prayer. He also used it in his teaching mission from time to time, and it always evoked awe in the listener. And over time it has changed, but the flavor of it, the power of it is still there. It still moves many many millions of people when it is uttered.
STUDENT But that, I think it said in The Urantia Book that it was actually a prayer from outer space, or along the lines of those other prayers that Michael taught that were actually prayers from other worlds. Is that right?
BERTRAND Could you be more specific? Because I believe that it was a prayer that was used in his family first. A discussion of the prayers from outer space was with the apostles much much later. The Lord's prayer was continually used by the Master.
STUDENT Well, I'm sure you're right. I don't actually see where it says that in The Urantia Book it was his family prayer, but, oh, well yes, reading "Jesus gave the apostles the prayer in collective form as they had prayed it in the Nazareth home."(144:3.7) Okay, you're right, naturally. But I thought it was one of those ones that he didn't tell them it was a prayer from, oh I see, "many of them were from other inhabited worlds, this fact Jesus did not reveal to the twelve."(144:5) So, you're correct that that was not one of those. Sorry.
BERTRAND Carry on . . . .
- Raising Children Requirement on Mansonia
STUDENT . . . . Well, could I ask one question about whether or not you have to have a minimum of three children? The way I read the part in The Urantia Book (47:1.4) was that the people that are on the commission are parents of three children, but I did not find any place in the book where it said everybody else had to have three children.
BERTRAND I can comment on that. Having been through the process myself, I have some personal data to relay. The commission established for my planetary ascenders looks at an individual's parenting experience and matches that against a pre-determined set of parental requirements in raising children. If you pass those requirements, you are approved for passage on beyond the nurseries. The number of children that you have is somewhat irrelevant, but the number of requirements must all be met. If the creation of one, two, three children or more do not give you the experience necessary to pass those pre-established norms, you would indeed spend time in the nursery until you had acquired the requisite experience. Does that help?
STUDENT A lot, thank you. (LAUGHTER)
- New Zealand Group Not Active Now
STUDENT Has this been a concern to Machiventa?
STUDENT How long was their group functioning?
BERTRAND I believe just under two years. . . . .