A friend called and said she liked my blog about King’s Day and she thought it was great to suggest that we pray for someone other than ourselves and our immediate concerns. I asked her what group she’d chosen to pray for and she answered, “The mentally ill – you forgot them.”
She’s right. There is much to be done for the mentally ill. Between prejudice, ignorance, shame and secrecy, to say nothing of dysfunctional laws, there is a lot improvement needed. Believe me, it is very difficult to identify the problem of mental illness and then very difficult to get effective help. It is also difficult for the loved ones of the mentally ill to help them manage their treatment. The mentally ill and their caregivers are a good group to pray for.
Generally, I have been pleased by the response to my last blog about Martin Luther King Day and the many social issues that still need to be resolved. Several people have said they would choose a group and pray for them on a regular basis. One person chose to pray for all the single mothers in this country and that is another group I left out who can use help.
Everyone who responded seemed to agree that prayer is action and that it is effective. They also seemed to be willing to pray for people they didn’t know personally. I was happy for that response because I thinks it helps us stretch our consciousness and understand that we are all One, living in a spiritiual world.
I am also pleased that everyone who responded seemed to recognize the fact that Dr. King was concerned about all the people who were less than powerful on the social scale. It is instructive that King was killed while speaking to a Union group that included blacks and whites. His last years were spent working for all poor people and against the war in Vietnam. I feel fortunate to have such informed and committed readers.
This morning, I was reading Dr. Carol Carnes’s book, The Way In and she quotes former President, Jimmy Carter who said, “Peace, like war, must be waged.”
She continues on page 136 to instruct us how to pray for others. Dr. Carol says, “There is something about seeing oneself and all people as citizens of the same universe, as the people of planet Earth, as spiritual equals and human partners, that unblocks the best of us and frees us to live on a higher level.”
When we pray for others, we need to see them as equals. We may know more about how to get along in the world than they do but we are equals in the sight of God. We need to see the people we choose to pray for as perfect, whole and complete in the eyes of God while claiming their highest and best good for them on the earthly level.
We do not pray as though we are the judges or as though we know all the answers. We simply speak to God (or Higher Power) for them and we accept the best for them. We may want to visualize them as comfortable, well fed, cared for and having peace of mind.
I have used the following prayer for someone I know who used to have trouble navigating in the world. I say, “The Light of God leads him, the Love of God surrounds and comforts him, the wisdom of God guides him on his path.” Over a period of years, this person has made tremendous strides in his life and I like to think my prayers were helpful. Since my prayers were made in love and didn’t give advice, I’m certain they were a piece of the recovery process.
Praying for another person without judgment and without trying to direct his life will be very good for you. The action of prayer works in exactly the same way that the law of attraction works in every aspect of your life. You hear it all the time, “What you give away comes back to you.” It works with money and it works with love and it works with everything else. For example, you give away a smile and a smile comes back to you.
The law of attraction works when you are praying for another person because we are all One and we are living in the Oneness of God. When you pray for peace and happiness for another person it will go to the other person in the amount and manner that he can accept. It will also come back to you.
Praying for another person must be done with a clean heart. You want to connect to God and to the people you’ve chosen to pray for with a sense of love. You cannot pray from a platform or pedestal and expect it to work. Love is the key to unlocking the creative energy of the universe. Separation slows everything down. Check your attitude before you begin. You may want to pray for yourself to open up your own heart first.
Please make sure your attitude is not “Oh, you poor dear!” See the person or persons as being the same beloved child of God that you are. Situations are different but the essence of the person is the same. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We are all connected in God. We are one with God and that is good news.
Can I pray for people without judgment?
Can I see God in every person?