The Sufis tell the story of a man who in his youth wanted to change the world. He was passionate, and he prayed every day to be successful. But he made no progress. As the years went by and he approached middle age, he changed his prayer.
Most of us have found ourselves wanting to help someone else through prayer. This is understandable, for it is natural, since love and caring are built into our hearts, to want to help those who appear to be going through a difficult time in their lives. But how do we do this? …
For thousands of years, humanity has believed prayer is something we do, but this is not true. If prayer is an experience of God's presence and it comes through grace, prayer is what God does. We practice; God perfects. We wait, God lifts.
While we wait, we learn humility, compassion, nonresistance, patience, acceptance, and self-love. These are the qualities we value most in other people and in the world. We may strive to live this way and express these qualities, but we fail. We fail because these qualities cannot live in the world until they live in us.
Unity minister Michael Maday tells the story of a Zen master who said to his large monastery one day that he had a number of tasks to complete. Said the monk, “I have so much to do, I’ll have to meditate an extra half-hour today.”
The moral of the story is that the busier we are, the more we need to “center” in our true nature. When we are centered, we are at our most effective. We gravitate to this center through meditation, which stills the mind, enlivens the body, and opens the heart.
Minute prayers are possible for anyone to practice. No matter where you are, you can call upon the presence of God. Take that minute, in spite of anything, in the midst of anything, regardless of the place or circumstance.
Take a minute before getting out of bed in the morning. During morning activities, every so often stop for another minute. Quiet your thoughts, anxieties, rushed feelings, and again feel yourself enfolded in the presence of God. Everything that seemed so pressing will become secondary. An awareness of being in control will fill you and you will go forward with order and confidence.
Prayer is for anyone and everyone. It is a natural inclination of the child or of the adult.
It is not a strange, fanatical, or emotional approach to a problem, but a quiet, Christlike attitude that looks for the good in everything and everyone. It is an attitude of heart and mind that knows there is a good outworking for every challenge.
Prayer is not a mystical activity reserved only for those who feel inclined to express themselves religiously. It is a simple, normal activity of the mind and heart of everyone who desires to be a better person, to understand life and living, and to live more richly.
"Practice gratitude daily and your life will change in ways you can hardly imagine."
Gratitude, like the law of attraction, is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. When we feel gratitude, we feel love, joy, appreciation, humility and peace. We also attract even more experiences into our lives for which to feel grateful.
Some people believe God is constantly sending abundance to us, but the truth is, God is the abundance. When we ask for something, we are simply tapping into that abundance. It is not our job to manifest abundance; it is our job to demonstrate our abundance, by understanding that God is the abundance we seek.
Deliberate is a powerful word when put into action. You can be deliberate in moving forward, stalling, even going backwards. Deliberate means intentional action. Using the power and practice of intention—with deliberation—creates a great full (grateful) life.
How deliberate is your awareness of the gifts that surround you every day? The Nigerian Hausa put it this way: Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.
The most important way to discipline the mind, and thus connect with Truth, is to spend regular time in prayer and meditation. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore knew firsthand what a tremendous difference prayer can make in life. If we all applied ourselves to prayer, we could free ourselves of the ills of humanity.
“Prayer is man's steady effort to know God,” said Charles. “There is an intimate connecting spirit that logically unites man and his source.”
One of the true masters of the art of serenity was the great inventor Thomas Alva Edison. When his factory burned down, he did not bemoan his fate. The newspaper reporters who went to interview him immediately following the disaster found him calmly at work on plans for a new building.