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To Pray Is To Be

by Robert G. Waldvogel

Which language do you speak?  Prayer is the one that God or a Higher Power of your understanding does and to which he most responds.  It fosters the ultimate and uninterrupted soul-to-soul link with him, the direct connection to creator, force and source of created.  It nurtures your relationship with him and repaves the invisible path you followed when you descended into physical form.

It may not be habitual.  Sadly, it may require desperation—the last effort and attempt to manifest what you desire and need, the final pull from the depths of quicksand into which you have sunk.  I know I am guilty of this.

It requires isolation of your soul and a reduction in reactivity so that you can reach and commune with God in a minimally mentally static manner.

It may require the laying aside of your free will, turning it over to God and allowing him to direct through his.  They may not necessarily be the same.

It requires faith, because you live in a visible, finite world and he is the invisible, infinite one.

Prayer necessitates realization and acceptance of your limitations.  Not being able to see beyond them is a limitation in and of itself.  Not believing that God can circumvent any obstacle is both a limitation and the subconscious doubt that he is the creator of all and everything.  Not believing that God can reach and work through others may reflect the fact that he has, at times, not been able to reach and work through you.

“My vision can be so limited,” according to the Al-Anon text, Courage to Change (Al-Anon Family Ground Headquarters, Inc., 1992, p. 48).  “I often think the only possible outcomes are those that I can imagine.  Fortunately, my Higher Power is not restricted by such logic…

“But faith takes practice.  Fears can loom large (and) I can get lost in my limited thinking.  When I can’t see any way out and I doubt that even a Higher Power can help me, that’s when I most need to pray.  When I do, my actions demonstrate my willingness to be helped.  And time after time, the help I need is given to me.”

Prayer originates from the soul and love, not the mind and intellect.  It requires patience, trust, and perhaps even chance, since God’s plan for your life may not necessarily be your own.

His delay or denial may require your acceptance without foresight or understanding.  After all, he knows what lies down the road.  You do not.

“I keep in mind whatever is bothering me when I say the Serenity Prayer,” continues Courage to Change (Ibid, p. 352).  “What is it that I need to accept or change?  I pray for the wisdom to know the difference and the serenity and courage to follow through with what I learn.”

With prayer, you transcend the physical plane and brush the fringes of the eternal one from which you came.

God is everywhere, because there is no “where” in his essence, nor dimension or time.  The two most powerful words in the English language may be “I am,” which express existence in and of itself, which you and God are.

To pray, in the end, is to be.

Robert G. Waldvogel has earned an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Behavioral Health for Late Adolescence and the Emerging Adult and a Postgraduate Certificate in the Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment at Adelphi University’s School of Social Work.  He leads a Twelve-Step support group on Long Island and has published articles focusing on human behavior and spiritual principles.

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