If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “Thank you,” that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart
We chose that title deliberately, knowing we might risk the wrath of some folks. But if you think about it, what do people usually pray for? And why?
Those two questions Johnny asked above are meant to get you thinking about prayer, and the reasons you pray. It sounds radical, but we support the notion of not praying. Let us explain.
Having said that, however, we do endorse Meister Eckhart’s notion of prayer. It certainly is not the way humans normally think of prayer. It is that mistaken human idea of prayer we wish to address here today.
If you pray, you are likely soliciting God—or whatever you consider to be a “higher power”—for something you need or want. That’s how most humans pray. Let’s play with that idea for a moment.
We believe all humans, all that exists in your physical world (and beyond, actually), are simply extensions of divinity. They are literally part of God.
We realize there are other ways of describing so-called “higher” powers — Goddess, all that is, divine being, etc. But, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll use “God” here today.
When we say someone or something is part of God, what does that mean to you? Do you see yourself as part of God, with all the powers and qualities of divinity?
Most of you do not. Therefore, when you pray (if you do), you are begging a power greater than you to bring you what you need or want.
So prayer, as most humans do it, is a limited, self-centered activity. It’s also limited in the sense you are denying your own identity. You are denying who you really are. As Johnny’s dear friend and brother, James Twyman, says, “There is no relationship between what is real and what you think is real.”
You think you are limited beings with limited power, or none at all. That is the illusion. The reality is you are God.
We realize that may sound fanciful, or even blasphemous to some. But you’ve heard it said “All things are possible with God.” You are God. So there is nothing you cannot do. Your imagined limitations are just that—imagined.
Therefore, when you use prayer to get something you need or want, you’re “missing the mark.” Your goal has already been reached. You have all you think you need or want within you. There is nothing you need or want outside of you, certainly not in the world you think you see out there.
Joel Goldsmith, another of Johnny’s favorite spiritual teachers, says there is nothing outside you.
When you achieve that conscious awareness of already having all you need or want, then you will truly know you have it all.
There is nothing to seek and nothing to find. Everything is within you. Your quest is over.
So do you now see the wisdom of Meister Eckhart’s words above? The only prayer you ever need is “Thank you.”
I love this video, Is Prayer Actually Effective? I realize, like our post above, some folks may consider it controversial. But whether you do or do not, I think you’ll find it interesting. It’s based on a large scientific study conducted at Harvard University.
Copyright © 2019 by John Cali
Do you pray? If you do, what results do you generally expect? Do you get those results, or not?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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Elaine, what I realized is that I was still getting caught up in seeing God/Goddess as a parental unit. If I truly wanted to live in the present moment, trusting my higher self, it was important for me to change my perception. This makes sense to me, as it allows me to connect at a deeper level within myself. My inner and outer world have shifted. It’s an absolutely feeling/knowing/experience of Trust and Love for me now:))
I like what you said as well, “no longer believing that I’m buffeted by forces beyond my control.” Astonishing and wonderful times we are living in and experiencing. To feel excited not only by life but also about life is such an incredible gift. I have a choice. I choose to be happy and trust my inner world.
I have only one thing I can say after reading this post and that is, “Thank you.” Love, Karen
Thanks so much, Karen!
Emma, I really like how you’ve phrased and identified your connection to your inner self: “My World” as the place within you. And no longer living in “survival mode,” which I greatly appreciate as a perspective on how I’d been living most of my 65 years. You help me define why it is I would rather live from a place of divine self and no longer in survival mode, no longer believing that I’m buffeted by forces beyond my control. Thank you so much.
This is exactly what I’ve been learning over the last few months. Everything truly is within. I’ve stopped referring to God/Goddess/Source and the Universe over the last few months, and now say “My World.” Which for me means the place within me. Since I started making the conscious choice to be happy, and to “ASK” my world for guidance, or just talk to my world, connecting with myself at an even deeper level, my life has changed in amazing and wonderful ways. For the first time in my life, I recently turned 61, I no longer live in survival mode:))
Thank you very much, Emma.
I really like your approach, because — as you say — it focuses on the world within. When we do that, we awaken to the fact all we seek is within us — because that’s where God, Goddess, divinity lives.
A great reminder! Thank you so much, we all do from time to time forget how powerful we really are. Our doubts assail us and we fall into that trap that says, “we can’t”
We can, anything we desire is ours,we just need to open our mind, heart and eyes, and find it.
I woke from a dream and this came to me, “form always follows your expectations”. That is how powerful we are, thinking makes it so and remembering we are a part of that Greater Being, God”!
this is a perfect reminder, lots of love and hugs
You’re welcome, Jeannie.
It certainly is a great reminder. We so often fail to remember how powerful we are.
Lots of love & hugs,
I’m so grateful to you and spirit for this post about prayer — it’s thought-provoking and resonated so much with me, especially because I’ve been asking people close to me to pray for the recent challenges in my family’s life. Yet, your words are shifting my perspective on prayer and my own being as divine light. I really needed to have this counsel from you to rethink my own power. Thank you so so much, as always.
I’m delighted you enjoyed the post.
I think it’s fine to ask people to pray for you and the family challenges you’ve been having. Whether they see prayer in the way our post describes or not, they are sending you thoughts of love and healing. Their intentions are pure, and their thoughts are powerful.
At one time or another, we’ve all needed, as you put it so well — “to rethink my own power.” It totally changes our concept of prayer, and makes us realize how powerful we truly are.
I’ve been doing Vedic mantra for years to stop the monkey mind- Anyway, today I did my Hail Mary’s evoking the Divine Feminine, positive affirmations ala Louise Hay and my mantras to Ganesha, all energies I want to draw to myself and those I love. Praying has always been part of my practice but I love to mix it up. thanks for the post, lovely topic!
Thanks very much, Gretchen.
We certainly need a lot more of the Divine Feminine in this male-dominated world of ours!
Hello John! I loved this post! It really made me think . I’ve stopped praying in the ways I was taught as a Catholic long ago. I now think of my life and the choices I make as praying. What I do and say reflect what I believe about God and my relationship to divinity. If I think I am separate from God and others, then that will manifest itself in my actions. Praying “to” implies you are separate from God. That is the great illusion that has a grasp on people.
I teach yoga to people who suffer from addiction. There are so many people who have succumbed to substance abuse epidemic because they don’t remember who they really are. Through my work I hope to spread the message that we are ONE, all part of the divine. We belong together because we are one in the same. Much love to you and your dear readers.
Hi Ilona. Great to hear from you again!
I well remember those Catholic prayers so many of us were taught. Of course, at the time, we didn’t realize that much of what we were learning was we are separate from God and “never the twain will meet,”to quote Rudyard Kipling.
I’m sure your wonderful work is making a huge positive difference in people’s lives. This may sound extreme, but I believe teaching people who they really are, as you are doing, is the solution to all the world’s problems.
Thank you for being there and for touching the lives of so many.
Much love to you, dear.