In a world as complex as ours, how do we pray?

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***This is taken from a

***This is taken from a paper written about the role of prayer in facing evil from a process perspective. Though it doesn't answer the question exactly, I think it addresses the content of the question***

Regardless of any given choice on any given day, God cannot (by the very constitution of Her make-up) avoid bringing new possibilities for positive transformation before us right where we are. Griffin writes:

"He acts by constituting himself in each moment. He acts on the world in each moment by being what is, i.e., by creating his concrete state of actuality. For it is this concrete actuality, with all its decisions as to what the world should become in the next moment, that the entities all prehend as they are coming into being." (sic)

Even if two seconds ago we rejected an initial aim, another aim emerges before we can blink. This characteristic of God undoubtedly deserves worship. Here enters prayer, as a modality for worship, as the vehicle for discerning the present possibilities for outcome-producing choices that can negate evil in the world.

Prayer, a shift in attention, a willingness to encounter our reality differently, a passage into openness, assists us in prehending the new aims in our immediate context. Evil exists because our receptors shut off. The antithesis of evil, then, is remaining open to God’s lure. Henry Nelson Wieman, in his article “Empirical Process Theology” writes: “Prayer is one of the most significant ways in which the human individual and the human community can become open and responsive to that creative process which is God.” It is then essential for us who resist the forces of evil in our world to incorporate prayer into our methods of activism. Without such incorporation we run the risk of missing the multiplicity of possibilities before us, forgetting our own finitude and interdependence, and ultimately in the absence of prayer we risk becoming the unilateral, imposing power that opposes God.

Prayer is our experiential answer to God’s finitude and contingency. We recognize our collaborative relationship with God when we speak and listen to the Divine. Prayer is entering into a space of profound humility and moral empowerment, by saying “Yes I need you and I know you need me too.” This entering into assists God’s power in becoming perfect, which inevitably resists the evil forces of domination, coercion and unilateral force. In this sense, prayer embodies virtuous faith, is born from a radical commitment to relationship and lovingly alters the world.

A great question

What a fabulous question – how do we pray? Jesus’ followers asked exactly the same question and we were given “The Lord’s Prayer.” But forget all the mumbo-jumbo and big theological words: prayer is simply paying attention to our presence with God. We get so wrapped up in this illusion we call “reality” that we forget we are always in the presence of the Divine. If we didn’t “forget” we wouldn’t be able to experience this complex world at all because it would not be complex to us. We would see the truth right through it. So, prayer is awareness. Prayer is creating sacred space in the middle of the complexity to just be with God and to remind ourselves how God relates with everything – that is, from the perspective of unconditional love and grace. It is a time when we remind ourselves of how we are in relationship with God – that is, created in the image and likeness of God; sons and daughters of God as followers of Jesus; children of the light; co-creators with God; empowered beings to whom Jesus said, “You are the Light of the World,” and to whom Jesus promised that we would do even greater things than he. Over and over we are reminded in scripture and by the teachings of the masters that we come straight from, have our being in, and are utterly one with, God. Prayer is simply reminding ourselves of this, being grateful for our divine state of being, and then acting on it. Prayer is changing our perspective and thus changing the world by reminding ourselves to look at all that Is from the perspective of unconditional love. At this point prayer becomes the most powerful act of faith as we use the immense capacity of our minds to anoint the world, to Christ it, and bless it, and create it anew, as the realm of God. The more we do this…the more often we participate in the act of prayer…the more practiced we become at imagining heaven on earth…the more it becomes so. Pray like a child. Use your imagination. Enjoy the time of rest and rejuvenation with God. Paint the world with your prayers and watch your masterpiece emerge. And don’t forget to rest on the seventh day!

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