Articles From the November 1994 Unification News
The Need for Prayer...Now More Than Ever
Every day we are confronted by a barrage of bad news, crime, violence and evil almost everywhere we look. One glance at the nightly news is enough to make me want to run in the closet, lock the door and never come out.
Yet, being Unificationists, we can never do that. Here we are in our tribal home church areas trying to bring hope, joy, peace and the Kingdom of Heaven to a world that has become cynical, selfish, bitter and hopeless.
How can we work and live in this fallen world and not become overwhelmed by its madness? One important key is the healing and rejuvenating power of prayer.
In the past many of us have done 7-, 12- or 21-minute prayer conditions or have recited the usual contents of prayer, but how many of us make deep prayer a necessary ingredient for the nourishment of our daily spiritual body and soul?
Between working to support our family, taking care of the kids and trying to restore our hometown, do our mission, etc., sometimes it seems impossible to sit down and pray deeply every day. Just to find a place in the house which is quiet enough seems a major accomplishment. Yet it is important we make one.
Prayer can transform the impossible to the possible, the unimaginable to reality, our resentments to our joys and the disunited to unite. Though we cannot see the power of our prayers, God hears every prayer and the spirit world is eager and willing to help us.
In a recent best-selling book, "Embraced by the Light," the author-who journeys into the spiritual world after her death says our prayers are "like beautiful lights in heaven and the strongest ones are usually that of a mother towards her child. God cannot resist these prayers."
But as we all know, sometimes it is not so easy to pray. We have many blocks, mentally and physically, which stop us. Many times we are just too tired or too busy. As we get older, we can no longer run around as we did on MFT to mobilize the spiritual world for help. We cannot be in all places at all times, so we must gain spiritual momentum through the power of our prayers.
Breaking through in prayer means we must confront our own sins and the things which separate us from God. Father has said, "Prayer is the focus of our sincerity." But where do we start?
1. Make a prayer table or a special place in your home just for prayer. Create a holy atmosphere with True Parents' pictures and a beautiful holy candle. Even if it is just a table in your bedroom, kitchen or living room.
2. After the kids leave for school or go to bed at night, find a quest time every day where you can concentrate on nothing but prayer. Give yourself time. At least a half hour if possible.
3. If you are overwhelmed by chaotic thoughts or worries, do something to relax. Play Holy Songs, music (opera opens my hardened heart) or read Father's words. Determine no matter how long it takes, you will stay until you break through in prayer. If my heart is really stale, I rent a movie like "Schindler's List." Whatever it takes to open your heart, it doesn't matter. Find a park or beautiful place to pray if you love to be in nature.
4. Pray specifically. Make a list of things that you want to pray for or specific situations. Tell God and the spiritual world, e.g., "Please open the heart of my sister-in-law who is coming to my house at 8:00 tonight, give her a desire to hear the Divine Principle, etc." Be specific so the spiritual world will know exactly what you want and how to help you.
5. Don't give up. Some things take time, but consistent specific prayer for events and people pays off. Learn to fight in prayer and become a prayer warrior for others. When you are just about to give up, that is when you can break through. Even if you cannot be on the front line, your prayers can support others who are. Recently when I was sick and bedridden, I did a special prayer condition for a sister who was witnessing on a difficult campus up north. Within days she was finally able to break through and said she "felt absolutely the power of my prayer and spirit world helping her." Even if we can't walk, we can still pray!
6. If you are angry or resentful, repentance is the only way to overcome in prayer. If your husband or wife has done something to hurt your heart, repent for them. If you repent for someone who has hurt you, Satan just cannot stand it. God's grace will surely come to you and, sooner or later, God will open their eyes to your suffering.
7. Try to look from God's point of view. Your pain and frustration are not just your own. When you are suffering miserably, realize God is suffering watching you, waiting for you, hoping for you and loving you. Even though you may not be able to feel it at the time. Ask God to take the pain out of your heart and He will. Learn to listen to His voice, and to hear Him speak through others to help you.
8. Pray as a family. It is important to have family prayer daily and pledge service on Sundays, first day of each month and Holy Days. If you are having problems with unity with your spouse or with your children, chances are you are not praying together as a family. Prayer can heal our hearts, our souls and our marriages. We must make it a priority in our lives.
I have never felt God's love so deeply as I have when my husband and I lie in bed together with our little son snuggled in between us and we hold hands and pray together. It is truly like the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. No matter what our difficulties at the time, prayer gives us the strength to carry on.
9. Don't have any concepts! Prayer does not have to be formal to be effective. I have prayed over the telephone with others, in the bathroom, while driving, almost anywhere. If you are sincere, God will hear your prayers. God is your father, your mother, and God is your best friend. Even if no one else understands you, God will never abandon you. I have experienced this a thousand times over. If it is difficult for you to pray alone, find a prayer partner. Praying with a friend can be powerful and effective.
10. God needs you! God needs your prayers, your heart and your love. Many times God wakes me in the middle of the night and says, "Come talk with me," and I do. God is a lonely and suffering being trying to bring this world back to His heart. Without you He cannot do it. If you pray, you will hear Him and feel His tears on your shoulders and gain the inspiration you need to continue loving and giving to others. There is nothing more precious.
We cannot hope to transform our home, tribe, society or nation unless we transform ourselves. We have someone who loves us unconditionally and knows our suffering hearts and can help us to become our best selves. Won't you take a little time to share daily with God? The results will truly be worth it.
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