A New Prayer Model
By William Bezanson
To my mind, prayer is done wrongly by the vast majority of people. Prayer is a mystical process, not an intellectual one. My prayer model, evolved from the Rosicrucian teachings, is one in which I visualize what I want (for example, to have a sick person healed) and then to release that image to God, with total confidence that healing has already happened. Then, I try to listen for any intuitive urges that I may receive for actions that I should take. I repeat this process as often as seems necessary. Later, when I learn that the person was healed, I make an anonymous donation to a charity, or a hospital, or some appropriate organization, as an expression of thanks to God for making it happen.
Such a prayer model has me doing the work, not God. God guides me in what work to do, but I do it. That work typically involves mystical healing, whereby my visualization is so strong that an alchemical process manifests it on earth. Other examples of my doing such work include my visiting or phoning a sick friend to encourage him; my doing some errands for her; applying therapeutic touch healing techniques, if I am so skilled; and so on.
This model of prayer must only be used for altruistic purposes, not selfish ones. It should also be used for serious matters, not for praying for a team to win its game, or for you to win the lottery (unless you plan to donate a significant part of your winnings to some appropriate cause).
The conventional method of prayer, in which the petitioner begs God to manifest some result or miracle, is ineffective because it is based on a mythology of God responding to prayer. Such myths may be comforting to some people, but such people are not thinking clearly. God is Nature, the sum total of physical and spiritual laws of nature. God is not a being that responds to petitions, but it is Nature: impersonal, impartial, and constant.
One of the key features that distinguishes this new model of prayer is that it is based on spirituality and mysticism, rather than on religion as is the case for a traditional model. With religion, one has an indirect union with God through clergy and scripture. With spirituality and mysticism, one has a direct union through meditation, spiritual exercises, mystical powers, and so on. This direct relationship with the Divine makes one a more powerful and effective petitioner through prayer than traditionally. Specifically, one is actively involved with the object of prayer and with God, thus enhancing the healing process, or whatever process one is praying for.
I urge you to rethink your own prayer model, and to consider adopting the model that I outline here, or one that suits your own preferences. Just try it. Treat it as a scientific experiment. Keep a record of your prayer work and results, and modify the model as you view successes and failures. Meditate on your work. Discuss it with others. Really work on it. Such work is vitally important. We are talking here of one of the Laws of Nature (that is, God), and it is a great privilege that you have to experiment with it, to study it, and to adapt your life to cooperate with it.
Membership in a mystical order will likely be very helpful in enhancing the effectiveness of your prayer technique. In my own case, I am a member of a Rosicrucian Order (www.crcsite.org), and I am thrilled with their teachings and practical exercises for mystical living, including a much more effective prayer life than formerly. I encourage you to investigate this and related orders.
If you feel locked in to a prayer model of a traditional or orthodox, organized religion, then I recommend that you think seriously about the following concept — Any institution that expects you to accept on faith its model of prayer and its explanation of divinity, without encouraging you to use your natural gifts of thinking, experimenting, and analyzing, is an institution that does not deserve to be followed by modern, evolved, thinking human beings. If after you have thought seriously about that statement, you do not want to explore different prayer models, then I cannot try further to change your mind, except to suggest again that you think some more about it.
I elaborate on this model in the "How to pray" chapter of my book, I Believe: A Rosicrucian Looks at Christianity and Spirituality, available on Amazon, when searching for "Bezanson Believe". It is also elaborated in my earlier column “How to Pray” published in the Dec B 2013 issue of OMTimes.
William Bezanson writes a regular column and a Blog for OMTimes. He has published books on systems design and on world stewardship. His latest book is I Believe: A Rosicrucian Looks at Christianity and Spirituality. He is a retired electrical engineer, and lives with his wife in Ottawa, Canada.