|What is the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility?
The answer is contained in prayer and absolute faith.
by Michael Corthell
Prayer is having a talk with God. Sometimes it is a chant, or a hymn. Often it is just a rote routine. It is not a waster of time either (as some believe). Let's go a step further and say that the very decision to step outside of oneself, to ask for comfort, and advice or just complain is a step in the right direction.
Just the decision to pray, in itself, is a step in the right direction and in fact makes prayer work.
Sincere praying is not simply a mental exercise nor a vocal expression. It goes far deeper than that — it is spiritual connection with the Infinite Intelligence, God — Creator of Heaven and Earth.
''Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.''
There are positive effects from prayer and having strong faith, in fact there is scientific evidence indicating that prayer helps us experience better mental and physical health.
It can be stated with surety that almost everyone prays at least some kind of prayer. Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and adherents to almost all other religions share the commonality of prayer.
For example, Buddhists pray to awaken their own abilities buried deep within. Muslims believe that their prayers, which are required five times a day, remind them that God is calling them to a greater purpose beyond themselves. Christians believe in a personal relationship with God and that prayer powerfully changes lives, and that it is a continuous act — a communication directly to God's infinite intelligence.
Christianity further teaches that prayer also directly affects the world and that the very act of prayer pleases God, and we are not to worry about answered payer because God already knows what we need.
In speaking to his disciples about prayer, Jesus (God incarnate) said:
''Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!''
Concerning Faith in God, He says:
''Have faith in God. The truth is, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, then God will do it for you. So I tell you to ask for what you want in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. When you are praying and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.''
Prayer is about Faith. And Faith is believing a thing, or idea is true — without any doubt. This is how and why prayer works. If you did not have the seed of Faith to start with, you wouldn't pray in the first place.
Many people ask the question, ''How can God, the eternal, all powerful presence who created the universe, really care about me?'' God created the Universe for the purpose of manifesting His love.
We are manifestations of His love. We are created in His Image, how can an all powerful, all present and all knowing God forget a piece of Himself? He is always with us. Be assured that God knows everything about everything He created and He has a plan for all things for all time. The balance of forces in the Universe shows the love of harmony.
Finally, people will ask, ''What should I pray for?'' It doesn't make any difference, the main thing is to just pray. God will take over from there, He will guide you.
I can tell you what this writer prays for. He prays Solomon's prayer. Praying for wisdom and understanding. And also for the strength and courage to carry out my purpose in life and I pray for the wellbeing of all people and all life in the Universe. My prayers are short, comprehensive and simple, but they are continuous. I pray for peace, and pray to give and receive love.
God is love, and love is all there is.
Prayer of the Underlying Genius in Us All
"Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.