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114: Gold Nuggets

This week I delved into healing prayer–not that I haven’t done this before or frequently–but this time I wanted to synthesize what I’ve read and learned into concise, practical bits of wisdom–“gold nuggets,” if you will. Three concepts glistened: prayingwatching, and working.

Spiritual understanding does not come easily to mortals. They must dig outside of their material selfhood and enter the realm of Spirit, suspending personal sense and easy words. They must be willing to align their thought and behavior with the truth about men and women of God’s creating. I’ve discovered that praying, watching, and working are the means to this end.

The first essential nugget is praying. According to Christ Jesus–and a whole lot of other inspired individuals–prayer is best done in secret. In solitude. Jesus suggested we enter into our closet, a term for sanctuary, in which interruptions can’t enter our communion with God. Jesus gave his followers The Lord’s Prayer, which many have found to be healing. It sets forth the truth about God, our heavenly, harmonious Parent, whose kingdom comes, whose will is done in earth and in heaven, who meets our daily needs, forgives as we forgive, and leads us not into temptation but delivers us from evil, and whose kingdom and power are forever.

Praying is sometimes viewed as memorized words from sacred scriptures repeated rotely in a church or synagogue, before bed, or upon rising, or in time of trouble. But prayer is much more than this. Prayer rises above mere repetition of words, wishes, and pleading. Nor is it asking God to be God. Is God, who is infinite Love, going to be more loving because we ask God to love us out of our troubles? God, our compassionate and ever-present Parent, can do no less than love us always. Can we inform omniscient God of anything He doesn’t already know? Prayer is not about begging God for anything, rather, prayer expresses our sincere gratitude for God’s goodness and our longing to grasp our irrevocable relationship with God. Our desire to deeply know God leads us to gain a deeper understanding of Him/Her and of ourselves as God’s offspring made in God’s image and likeness (see Genesis 1:27). Such an understanding leads to healing.

The second nugget, watching, is the struggle to be always good, not to be lured, fooled, or deceived by false suppositions or lies. It means watching our behavior, humbly and honestly checking our thoughts, motives, and acts so that we live up to the goodness God intended. How might I improve? What might I do better? Watching includes reformation, a necessary and sometimes difficult part of shedding wrongs, but essential to our growth.

Working, the third nugget, is an extension of the second. It involves self-discipline and striving to do right. No casual endeaver, working demands much of us in overcoming ungodlike traits. For example, instead of being hateful we work to love, even our enemies. We work to rebuke and correct whatever is unlike God in our thinking, in our life, in the world. We work continually to be the man and woman of God’s making and to see all mankind in that same light.

When prayer, watching, and working are sincerely practiced in daily life, healing happens.

McDade Trail, pastel, approx. 30" x 20", framed, sold, by Gwendolyn Evans

McDade Trail, pastel, approx. 30″ x 20″, framed, sold, by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork: McDade Trail, pastel, approx. 30″ x 20″, framed, sold. When we lived in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania this lovely trail was only a few minutes from our 1700s historic house where I had my gallery, home, and B&B. This walk rarely meant encountering anyone–a peaceful place of solitude.

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