Unity in the Community Q&A 6-9

Answered by
Gregory Jones
Non-Denominational Lansing, MI

  Too often we think of prayer in the abstract, as well as prayer as a vehicle of delivering us something. Additionally, we use prayer to seek protection from enemies, and for beseeching a higher power to grant our wishes. We should however, keep in mind, as the Native Americans would say, "The Great Spirit has provided for man, and he need not beg for further abundance."  Many spiritual seekers in the East, view prayer as a vehicle for knowing and having direct knowledge of the Spirit. That is not to say that Western religious doctrine does not have that goal, but many respects, revolves around asking God for material gain. In the Eastern view, prayer must ultimately merged into meditation, where mediation is a process of discovery and direct knowledge of the spiritual entity which enlivens the flesh. From this vantage point, man realizes through prayer his actual spiritual nature, and is not consumed by using the vehicle of prayer to go on a shopping spree with God. Prayer should take us beyond the material, and merge our consciousness into the higher realms of the spirit. Perhaps this is why we don’t see much transformation in people’s lives, because their praying for material bounty, which by the way, God has already provided. As prayer merges into spirituality, an expansiveness takes place, where the individual discovers not only his true spiritual nature,but the very concept of love.

The Unity in the Community Project was first started in August of 2006 at a Unity in the Community meeting at the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing located in East Lansing, MI.  It was a project created by the Publisher, Rina Risper to see how different or similar answers were to the same question about healing, prayer and religion.  The New Citizens Press welcomes answers to “What is prayer, and what results do you expect from it?” send us an e-mail at tncp@comcast.net or write us.  Please also send us a picture and your denomination.