Group: Nashville TeaM
Ham: Greetings, children, I am Ham and I welcome you this evening. We shall begin with an examination of prayer. Early prayers can be angry accusations, "God why did you do this to me", or personal pleas for something to be given, "God do this for me".
Sometimes, in fact often, there is bargaining involved, "God do this for me and I will do this for you". But, as you grow in the spirit, your prayers tend to become less and less self-centered and self-motivated. Increasingly, you learn to truly pray for others and also to pray for changes in yourselves. This shift from asking God to change the world for you to asking God to change you for the world, is a long one.
Human beings are still very uncomfortable with the idea of talking things over with God. Prayers are still quite formal and also quite specific. Growth in the spirit tends to reveal a manner of praying which is very unspecific, a more generalized, Father help me to release my selfishness and to become more like you.
All human beings have a deep animal urge towards self preservation. This is manifest in craving after comfort, craving after reassurance. There is a deep need to feel safe and sometimes we must excuse human beings when this inner core of selfishness arises. You must understand yourselves in this way that to be completely unselfish would be not to be human. As you look about you in the world, you see this deep core of instinct driving much of humanity and you must forgive these brethren for they are driven by the same inner fear that drives yourselves at times.
Embracing humanity involves embracing all of it and embracing yourselves involves embracing all of you. People who have survived terrible experiences are often later racked with guilt over having experienced that inner will to survival that blocked out everything else. But this is part of being human and your human parts are just as real as your spiritual parts. That drive towards self-preservation was put there by Father for the good of all his people.
Do not be ashamed of yourselves for being human beings. Do not make the mistake of creating an ideal that is purely spiritual and imagining that you should live in that ideal then chastising yourselves when you fall short. You can, however, through the life of prayer gradually make steps towards the spiritual without abandoning your humanity.
We spoke last week of the ideal creating a false reality, the idea of being completely detached and unconcerned with the world. The spiritual life embraces the human life, it does not supplant it, it enhances it. As you continue to grow in the spirit, many things in you life will change. Things will be easier to cope with as you grow in self-acceptance and self awareness. Hardships will come, yes, but you will find it easier to live with them. Have the courage to increase your prayer life. Pray for all of those around you and pray for yourselves with complete sincerity ask to gracefully relinquish the things that do not serve and to embrace ever greater spiritual realities. Learn to expand your relationship with the Father. Bring him actively into your lives with prayer.
- To Whom Should I address My Prayers?
Ham: Certainly. It is really quite a moot point. Addressing prayer to either one or both will give the same result. In this entire local universe, the Master represents God the Father and his spirit and his mercy reflects perfectly the Father's love. For all practical purposes, it really shouldn't make any difference. When you address the Father, he sometimes relays those prayers to the necessary agencies, but so does the Master. It is really not anything which would change the outcome.
- About Depression
Ham: Severe depression is as much a spiritual crisis as a physical one. It reflects a need for the Father's spirit, for his comfort and his healing. People, even when they believe in God, don't always know how to turn to him and often make their situation worse by turning away. Praying [for a person suffering depressions to ask] that she can open herself up to spiritual comfort, that she can turn to the Father completely . . . .
[Help through prayer for depressed ones]. . . is not a fault in the abundance of the Father's love or mercy, rather it is a lack of understanding, a lack of ability to receive it. Giving . . . words of spiritual comfort may not show immediate results, but [they are] . . . very thirsty for this comfort and the words will go deep. Let the Father guide you in this matter and all will be well. . . .
- Praying for One in Depression May Direct More Angelic Help
Ham: Well, a person in her spiritual state [referring to a specific individual] is not always surrounded by the angelic help that someone in your state is. Praying for someone is often directed toward the angels involved who can open opportunities for help. In other words, you can act like an angel would giving her spiritual sustenance or the angels can guide her towards other sources of this same essential food. your understanding?
- The Father Already Knows the Problem But Praying Bangs on the Door for Help
Ham: . . . Didn't the Master illustrate when he spoke of banging on the neighbors door for some bread to feed a midnight guest persistence and the sincerity of the request sometimes moves things along faster or in a little different way than they might have gone without. The Father's ears are always open to the requests of his children. . . . .
- Self Doubt
Ham: Soldiers on the eve of battle often become frightened and full of self doubt. Then come the morrow are they inwardly prepared and ready to face their duties. Sometimes, you go through this syndrome of severe self doubt before the battle. Realize that this is simply a part of your training that each new challenge being faced and tackled regardless of the outcome is helpful to you. Therefore be at ease. . . . .
Very well then my children. It is wonderful to see you all doing so well and making such steady constant progress. Embrace each other, love each other, for you are indeed on a special mission together. These ties will not be broken throughout eternity. Therefore, love and be loved. Accept your appointments and as always go forth with my love and my prayers beside you.