Prayer With the Right Attitude

“A patient of mine who is very ill was recently told by his oncologist that there was nothing more that could be done for him. The physician then said, ‘I think you’d better start praying.” For this doctor, prayer had become a kind of last resort, something to offer his patients when he runs out of ways to help them personally, when there are no more effective treatments. God has become his final referral.

“But prayer is not a way to get what we want to happen, like the remote control that comes with the television set. I think that prayer may be less about asking for the things we are attached to than it is about relinquishing our attachments in some way. It can take us beyond fear, which is an attachment, and beyond hope, which is another form of attachment. It can help us remember the nature of the world and the nature of life, not on an intellectual level but in a deep and experiential way. When we pray, we don’t change the world,we change ourselves.We change our consciousness. We move from an individual, isolated making-things-happen kind of consciousness to connection on the deepest level with the largest possible reality.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Prayer as Last resort

As Dr. Remen implies, this physician who recommends prayer only as a last resort when all else has failed has it wrong. In fact, he has it backward. Prayer should be your first resort. His attitude is understandable in our materialistic, and increasingly atheistic world, but it is still wrong. Just as good nutrition should be part of the treatment for all ailments, so should prayer, and from the beginning. Prayer doesn’t have to be used alone. It can be used in combination with any other types of treatments, from herbal teas to surgery. Get the sick person’s friends to pray for their health, and miracles can happen. If he has no friends, there are religious and spiritual organizations such as Cosolargy that will let anyone request a prayer for health, recovery, etc. Studies have found these group prayers to be effective. But as Remen notes, we have to have the right attitude when we pray, especially if we are asking for ourselves.

An Attitude for Prayer

If you want your prayer to be effective, you can’t be demanding and you can’t have the attitude that you know better than God. Many people pray as if they were ordering from a catalog or a restaurant menu. They tell God what they want. “God, I want a new car,” or “God, cure my cancer.” God is not your servant and you can’t reach Him by acting as if he is. More appropriate prayers for yourself would be, “God, please send me what I need the most,” or “God, send me healing energy if You think I should be healed.” God makes the decision, not you.

When part of a group praying for someone else, similar rules apply. The person may ask for a specific disease to be cured, but you should ask God to send that person healing energy and understanding. The energy will heal what should be healed, and leave what is needed to teach the person a lesson.

Relinquishing Attachments

Dr. Ramen also thinks We should pray to relinquish attachments, not to cling to them, and I agree. If the only thing we can think of to ask God for is some material thing such as a car or a house, we are clinging to attachments. Instead of praying for those things, we should pray for God to help us free ourselves for attachments to material possessions. Now you might argue that you desperately need a new car, but that doesn’t matter. God runs the realm of spirit so you should ask him for spiritual things. When you pray for things of matter, regardless of your intentions, you are praying to the god of matter, which is Satan. Satan will often happily give you what you want—but bill you later!

The Purpose of Prayer

The purpose of Prayer should be to become more spiritual and to reach higher levels of consciousness. It should also be to help others, and the entire world transform in the same way. This is what God wants to happen in the world, and we should be praying to offer him our services to help achieve His Plan.

Our Daily Bread

One thing some people will bring up when you tell them that they shouldn’t pray for material things, material objects, is the line from The Lord’s Prayer, as delivered by Jesus, that goes, “Give us this day or daily bread.” They think this proves that even Jesus prayed for material things. They are wrong. This line is allegorical. Jesus isn’t talking about baked goods made of flour. He is talking about the “bread” that comes from God that feeds the spirit and soul. In other words, he is talking about the Divine Light that comes from God, through the Spiritual Sun, to us, and all beings on earth. This “bread” we should ask for. It is not matter at all, but spiritual energy that feeds the soul. It is what God wants us to have.

For more on the value of prayer, read this older post.

spiritual adept, Wakeful pandit, spellbinding solar adept

Spellbinding, Magic, and Prayer

“There is much drawing and spell-binding dependent on no interfering machinations; the true magic is internal to the All, its attractions, and, not less, its repulsions. Here is the primal mage and sorcerer—discovered by men who thenceforth turn those same ensorcellations [sic] and magic arts upon one another. … There has arisen an art of magic love-drawing whose practitioners,by the force of contact, implant in others a new temperament, one favoring union as being informed with love. …

“The tune of an incantation a significant cry, the mien of the operator, these too have a natural power over the soul upon which they are directed. … Similarly, with regard to prayers. … The prayer is answered by the mere fact that part and other part are wrought to one tone like a musical string which, plucked at one end, vibrates at the other also.” ~Plotinus


Nowadays when we say that something is spellbinding we mean that it holds are attention so thoroughly, we notice little else. It is as if we are in the control of a hypnotic trance or magic spell. When Plotinus used the term, he actually meant the spells of magicians and sorcerers being used to control, or at least manipulate, others.

Spellbinding God

What Plotinus is saying in his rambling way is that the only source of real magic is God, or the All. The mage, sorcerer, wizard or spiritual guru do not create any magic, they simply direct it. They learn how to use what is there. It is like a fireman pointing a hose toward the fire he wishes to put out. He may aim the hose, but he isn’t creating the water.

Dark Spellbinding

What Plotinus doesn’t really get into here is that there are essentially two kinds of magical manipulation. There are those who are using the power of God directly, and those who are turning to Satan for power. They don’t realize that the power that Satan welds is power stolen from God, so the smart thing to do is turn to the actual source. If you want to use these magic powers for evil, however, then you have to borrow the power from Satan. What the fools who dot hat don’t seem to realize is that Satan is not handing them out for free. He will show up one day to collect the bill. Continue reading “Spellbinding, Magic, and Prayer”

Learn from the Schoolmaster

Pray for Knowledge

“O Great One, who understands even the speech of the dumb man, help us to expand our knowledge and understanding. We, for our part, will not remain inactive but will ever sincerely struggle to reach out toward You, striving ever to extend beyond our limitations. Were it other wise, we would be dishonest in seeking Your help.
“Help us to remove the disfiguring stains upon our everlasting spirit. … Teach us to pray without prayerfulness, so that the taint of self-seeking is eliminated. When we petition, let this not be in the spirit of selfishness.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SCL:24:8-9)

A Correct Way to Pray

Now this is an excellent prayer! The speaker is not asking God to give him a car, or a house. He is not asking for wealth or position in a material society. He asks only for knowledge, and I think we can safely assume that he is talking about the Divine Knowledge generally called Gnosis. Further, the speaker, who may be acting as the representative of a group, tells God that his group will not sit on their hands waiting for God to do everything for them, but will sincerely struggle to achieve their goal of obtaining Gnosis. This also is quite appropriate. Too often today we see people praying for God to give them the things that they want, without considering whether or not they should have them, or doing anything to earn them. We see people wearing T-shirts with things like “God, give me a chance to prove I can handle winning the lottery,” printed on them. Continue reading “Pray for Knowledge”


Gnostic Prayer of Thanksgiving

“This is the prayer they offered:
We thank you,
every soul and heart reaches out to you,
O name free of trouble,
honored with the designation God,
praised with the designation Father,
To all and all things come fatherly kindness
and affection and love.
And if the instruction is sweet and simple,
it grants us mind, word, and knowledge:
mind, that we may understand you,
word, that we may interpret you,
knowledge, that we may know you.
We are happy,
enlightened by your knowledge.
We are happy.
You have taught us about yourself.
We are happy.
While we were still in the body
you have made us divine through your knowledge.
The thanksgiving of those approaching you is only this:
that we know you.
We have known you,
light of mind.
Life of life,
we have known you. …
Eternal constancy of the father who conceives,
so have we worshiped your goodness.
We ask one favor:
we wish to be sustained in knowledge.
We desire one protection:
that we not stumble in this life.”
~The Prayer of Thanksgiving from the Nag Hamadi Codex

Thank You Word Cloud in vector formatI know this isn’t Thanksgiving, but we have reasons to be thankful at all times. Besides, I just read this prayer, so I’m going to write about it. For those of us seeking spiritual enlightenment, we especially have reason to thank God and Christ for all they give us. It appears that some part of this prayer are addressed to Christ, while other lines are addressed to the Father.

The prayers starts by saying that souls and hearts reach out to God. This is, of course, very much true. It is impossible to have an awakened soul and not feel obligated and thankful to God so those who deny that God exists (with no proof, of course) are saying that they have failed to awaken their souls and are therefore no more than simple animals, without realizing it. Continue reading “Gnostic Prayer of Thanksgiving”