2003-05-13-Prayer & Communion As I Learned And Practiced It
Topic: Prayer & Communion As I Learned and Practiced It
Group: SE Idaho TeaM
Prayer by Bill: Christ Michael, we are your children and your disciples/apostles. We are privileged to be here tonight with each other and in Your presence. We miss our friends who are not with us and we ask for them strength to weather adversity, wisdom to choose the right path, and tolerance and love in all their relationships. Most of all we ask that they keep their strong connection to You, their source of strength. May we tonight rejoice in the privileges of sonship/daughtership and may we be bold to share the good news of this our sonship status so that this planet can continue to be transformed into that hope that we all yearn for, the era of Light and Life. I ask it Michael's name. Amen.
Christ Michael(Bill): Be at peace, everyone. I am Michael, Your brother. I have heard your prayers and through My Spirit of Truth am I present in each of your minds and hearts. I wish to talk about prayer and communion as I learned it and practiced it in My mortal bestowal so that you may receive some inspiration and direction in this very important spiritual function. I do not have to talk about childish prayer with you, for you understand this well.
First of all, for me as a mortal, prayer was a conversation that I had with My Father, Who is also your Father. It was not a magic ritual performed with ceremonial austerity. It did not require bells, holy water, or music. It did not require a mystical setting. It was not perceived as a sense of duty. My prayer life was as natural to me as breathing.
Seldom did I think of myself during my prayers except when I was in extreme anguish, as in the Garden when I faced the agony of crucifixion. Rather, were my conversations with God mostly about my apostles, my friends. For even with my human mind I could see where their weaknesses lay, as well as understand their unique strengths. I knew I did my best effort to teach them, and not just with words, but by my example as well. But, beyond those efforts I felt the need to pray, not because my Father was grudging in His mercy, but because prayer actually does produce an effect for the other person.
As I prayed for my different companions I would ask the Father to keep someone from collapsing in despair and listening to the whisperings of the animal nature, of the spirit poisons. I would ask for wisdom for my friends, that their minds could be expanded. My human nature yearned to influence them strongly, but my Divine nature instructed my human nature that I could not take their place and make their decisions for them. I, too, as a human being, had to learn the lesson that I did not possess the magic wand that would abrogate their dignity status as free will creatures. I had to learn to leave them in the capable hands of my Father and my Mother/Son on Paradise.
I know that you all struggle with this same difficulty, for you are human, too. When you think you know what is best for another you are moved to pray for that person, that they may see the light, that they may recognize the way that they should go. Here we differ. Yes, I truly did see the way that they should go. But you do not! Often, you are close, if not correct. Still, it is not given to you that you can choose for another, once that person is endowed with an indwelling Mystery Monitor.
Your text tells you that the most important purpose and effect of prayer is upon the one who prays. Again, this is certainly true for all of you and to some extent, true for me as well. But it isn't the petitioning for the person or for yourself that deepens the reception channels in your heart. It is the choosing to be in alignment with the will of God that deepens your receptivity.
Many of you struggle with the mysterious conjoined effect of personal freedom of will verses providential over-control. Well, here is the bottom line. The truth is you cannot comprehend it in the mortal estate. If I were to attempt to explain it to you, it would fall upon deaf ears, for the concepts are too intricate, too massive, so far beyond your ability to understand that such an effort would be in vain. Even when I was mortal, in my human mind I was required to trust that my Father would always care for me; and nothing could happen to me that was not His will. When I understood that there was no way to avoid crucifixion, then I was at peace; for I knew that in offering to do the will of my Father, even though it wasn't what my human nature wanted, all would be well. As you ascend in the morontia spheres, and even more so as you ascend through your Spirit career in the Superuniverse, some of this will become more comprehensible.
I will give you a glimpse of the difficulty of this mystery. Try to picture five billion free will creatures whose thoughts and whose actions interact directly, partly directly, indirectly, almost not at all, and yet still in some degree with every individual on this planet. Factor in also all the interactions of each free will creature with all aspects of their environment, the physical, the social, all the interactions with the physical planet. Try to imagine a computer program that could attempt to gather that kind of information! And I am only giving you a very narrow slice of the total picture. This is only one planet, Urantia. Then factor in numbers beyond your comprehension throughout just the universe of Nebadon. Finally factor in the rest of the Grand Universe. Now, only an infinite mind, only a perfect intelligence, only a completely loving heart could understand the ramifications of this. That is why I tell you that there is no way that you can comprehend the interaction between free will choice and providential over-control. And I have left out huge amounts of interactions occurring with aspects of the universe unrevealed to you.
You live as a mortal person. You, in this room, are quite intelligent people. You have been gifted above the average. You are smart enough to ask questions and protest; and as you have been told, this is not anything other that an evidence of your advancing maturity. When you question our Father in your hearts, don't feel guilty as long as you don't end your relationship with a question mark. Trust Him. Trust Her. Trust Me, for I tell you the Truth.
Finally, and this brings me back to where I started, my prayers to the Father were conversations. I spoke to Him and as I achieved the perfection of human development, I clearly heard Him reply. We talked face to face. This is our desire for all of you, that your prayer life become a conversation. No, it will not indicate that you are schizophrenic! It will prove that you have achieved that intimacy. I have said enough. I wish to remain with you and discuss this or answer your questions.
Nancy: Michael, thank You for Your topic, tonight. I guess You are aware that I have been contemplating this very topic the last couple of days in particular, and my desire to re-establish more constant communication with my indwelling Adjuster and to receive the relief of not needing to be in charge of my own life. I am very tired. I have been realizing that part of my tiredness is because I have to resume control in response to becoming a professional person. I have been having difficulty balancing that trust like, breezy, new age, VW bus driver that found it much easier to trust with the professional that I have become, who is surrounded with other professionals that have no tolerance for anything foo foo (laughter), and wanting to earn my legitimacy as a professional; and wanting to do a really good job! So my ego is in there! It has been much more difficult for me. I am so busy all the time, too. to stay in constant communion. I have just found it much more difficult. I have even taken on even the mind thinking of what I perceive the mind thinking to be of the people I interact with, which is almost an intolerance for foo fooness, silliness, stuff outside of the realm of "normal". Anybody who knows my history is probably in shock to hear this. But I am really tired and I really miss that relationship. I know that You are here to help me. I think of You as an example in Your huge endeavors in the undertaking of the universe, as well as Your life on Urantia. I am really wishing I could be a whole lot more like You than I have been lately, forever, but definitely I feel like I have been regressing in spiritual ways, even as I have begun to excel professionally. I think I am done, for now.
Michael: Yes, my dear daughter. I know your heart, for I dwell with you as well as your Thought Adjuster, and being cognizant of the mortal condition, because I actually lived it, I also understand your dilemma. What you need to learn is that the rest you seek will not be satisfied merely by inactivity, by sleep, or by recreation. You are not backslidden. You are not disapproved of. You are my lovely daughter! Let me comfort you when you and I converse, even as our Father will comfort you as you converse with Him, You are tired, and as I have said to others, I say to you, also, "Come to me and you will find rest for your soul. For my burden is light, and my yoke is easy". It is not a weight upon you, that I give. I give you my peace, my dear.
You are a high achiever. It is not just your ego; it is your gift. But most important, you are a daughter of the First Source and Center and you are My daughter, as well! Perhaps it would help you to return to more of a spiritual routine; but most important is your willingness to turn at any moment and ask for help, ask for guidance, of just talk and listen to what you hear. You are a demanding taskmaster to yourself, my friend. I suggest that you let go of all your attempts to control that which is not yours to control. You are not required to save the world, only to do the best job you can with your influence. Don't be impressed with worldly wisdom! Don't worry about the opinion of your associates. At the same time, your spiritual life should not have to be and either/or matter with your professional competence. Rather, your spiritual strength, your spiritual commitment will enhance your professional ability. Be careful not to be so rigid with your control of yourself that you cannot relax and allow unforeseen situations to present you with gifts. I often stopped speaking because I saw a woman in need of help out in the street, or a child who was crying and needed some comfort. It was the needs of others that I was directed towards, that I was tuned into and not my need to overwhelm people with my spiritual wisdom.
So, set aside any regret or sadness; but, yes, take control of only that which is yours to control. The others, you can influence, even as you are doing so well with your own child. Remember, you have an understanding Brother/Father in me. Know that I love you profoundly. My love to you, my dear.
Nancy: Thank you Michael. Can I ask one further question? You probably answered it so that when I read and contemplate, it's already there. But. I have controlled my life again and I feel great fear in letting over control. I haven't felt that type of fear in a long time. It reminds me of being on the ropes course, on the very top of that tree again and jumping. When I did the ropes course, other people when they finally jumped felt relief and had a great exhilarating ride to the ground. But, when I forced myself to jump, I couldn't let go of that fear and control and feeling that inability to give it to You and Father. I don't know why!! Intellectually I know the peace that You want to give me and the comfort I would have. I don't understand why this fear so intense again, and why am I resisting so strongly? I would just like some understanding! That's usually how I manage to change, but maybe that's just an intellectual tool and I change some other way. I don't know. I don't understand my fear.
Michael: You are now a mother and you feel responsible for this other life that you have, this daughter of yours. I think that some of the change in your level of responsibility has aroused this fear. What would you say to this?
Nancy: (sobbing) Since I immediately burst into tears I think you have hit it! (Group laughs and says, "I think he is right on!")
Virginia: I thought it before it was said! (More laughter)
Michael: You see, Nancy, my dear, you are a biological creature (laughter in His voice) You are a normal, mortal, female, mother! (Group continues laughing) Your protective instincts are there from your animal nature. They are automatic!
Nancy: Oh! That is enormously helpful!!
Michael: Please don't flagellate yourself any more.
Nancy: I'm not. That just helps!
Michael: Come and visit with Me. Make us a date. Not rigidly, but even as you drive down the road, you can put some space into your thinking where we can talk.
Michael: Yes. (chuckling) I love you, my dear. But you are something of a perfectionist! You will become perfect someday, but it won't be in this life. (More laughing by group)
Ken: Or the next, or the next. (Group continues discussing and commenting.)
Michael: We have spoken enough of this. Thank you for sharing. (Thank you). Again, I say, be at peace.
Nancy: I feel much more peaceful now.
Virginia: Michael, one of the things that I pray when I am concerned about someone else: number one, I don't really believe I have the answers for them. But I do ask that somehow they might be prompted, motivated to listen to their indwelling Spirit. I have to keep believing and thinking that the Thought Adjuster's love is not only so much greater than mine, but also that He knows what to put into that mortal's mind to remind him of the Father's love and its eternal value.
Michael: My dear, I would say that your prayers are with the right motive and in the right mode. Of course, the Indwelling Monitor, the Thought Adjuster of any person knows far better than you what is right for that person. In fact, as you may recall, each Thought Adjuster comes to their host with a plan which is never completely followed.
The difficulty is partly with words. When you try to form words you stumble over this issue: Why should I pray that the Thought Adjuster would do a good job, or that the angels would do a good job because you know that they will anyway! (laughter in the background) They don't require your requests. So, maybe a better way to pray is to offer your love, to add to the love of the angels, My love, and the love of the Father. Offer your love; and if it helps you, visualize the person. Imagine yourself giving them a hug, perhaps, holding out your hands, however you can express that love. Now, when someone is in clear difficulty and you think you know what they should do, it's permissible for you to say, "May they see this option that they have not considered". And then condition your prayer with the statement. "Not, however, what I think is best, but what You think is best". Has that assisted you, My dear?
Virginia: Yes, Michael, thank you. Those are additional things that I will think about when I pray for people. Did I hear you correctly. Did you say that when you pray for other people, it's of value? I guess I would like to believe You that it is not just pie in the sky sort of thing, but that as we send out requests that God's will be done, it is possible to effect change, not only in me, but in them. And I know there is free will choice.
Michael: Yes, prayer is like other types of mental and spiritual influence. You recognize the validity of influence, but influence has its limitations. You are not able, even if you desire, to override the decisions of other people. Nevertheless, influence should not be discounted as influence may broaden the options available for choice. The mindal circuitry that you are a part of as a mortal is a circuit. That which affects what one person does affects the whole, not just on the physical level, but on the mindal level and on the spiritual level. It is a great mystery. I cannot explain it to you, but I do tell you that your prayers for others do have influence, not just for yourself, but on situations. However, it is not magic. It doesn't require a wand. It doesn't require praying at the same time. There is no magical way that you can do a prayer to increase its effectiveness. That is magical thinking which is now somewhat popular among sincere people. It is your heart's desire that is important and not the mechanics.
Virginia: Thank you, Michael.
Michael: Daniel tells me that you are accustomed to time frames, and of course I know that. So I will conclude our meeting now. Let us pray the prayer that I taught my family and is so often recited. As you pray it, think deeply about the words. Change the first word to My Father.
My Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give me this day, my daily bread. And forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me. Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from all evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.