What is the point of impersonal prayer?
Updated: Jan 18, 2020
One’s approach to prayer often depends on his or her perception of the afterlife. In Christianity, while we believe that we shall walk with Christ, we have little to no idea of what to expect. This ranges from the metaphysical – what will our spirits become? – to the very practical – will we speak in languages? We know of plenty of literature that talks of white light at the end of a tunnel, and that sort of thing. But that’s really all we have to go on. Through different types of prayer, however, Christians are able to be intimate with Christ in this regard, sharing with Him our deepest fears and concerns. The Christian belief and hope that we will carry across Prayer to the next world provides perhaps the greatest comfort to all of these. The very concept of continuity of prayer and our deepening union with Christ and the Holy Trinity beyond provides an intensely personal union with the Almighty in our material life on Earth.
We have explored in a number of blogs the Scientific discoveries that are endlessly uncovering more about the mysteries of creation. These startling revelations, as we see it, hint at even greater marvels beyond. Over and over again, we see the repetition of the Law of Three in Science. The Law of Three – doesn’t this seem a fascinating reflection of the architecture of the Trinity itself?
But nothing drives home the reflection of the Scripture in creation than the three most basic scientific laws:
1. The First Law of Thermodynamics
2. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
3. The Law of Biogenesis
The first states that, although matter and energy may change in forms, neither may be created or destroyed. This fundamental law of science perfectly depicts that matter must be eternal. However, strangely, this law entirely contradicts The Second Law of Thermodynamics: that “if matter and energy had always existed, the universe today would be nothing but a weak homogeneous field of energy” (1983 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz.) Combining these laws, we can only assume that matter and energy can only have been created in a manner that operates entirely beyond the natural laws we find evidence for today.
Finally, the third law. The law of Biogenesis. Modern science, and pioneers such as Pasteur and Redi, have proven that life does not and cannot generate by itself. In fact, life comes from life. In Genesis, we see God creating most living things through His Word. This supernatural process details Gods activity as Creator of all things. It seems the wonders on Earth and indeed within the Cosmos hint at the even greater marvels that await us beyond. Our afterlife will not be limited to the Materiality to which Atheists understand it to be limited to.
Through prayer with Christ, and indeed Mary and the Saints, we are able to seek comfort in our beliefs. Although, we as Christians are not alone in our Christ-directed prayer. Religions and cultures of all sorts lean towards ‘God’-centered prayer, which comes in many forms:
- Adoration (Our Father, who art in Heaven)
- Thanksgiving (Hallowed be thy name)
- Faith (Thy Kingdom come)
- Hope (Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven)
- Requests (Give us this day our daily bread)
- Contrition (Forgive us our sins)
- Charity (As we forgive those who sin against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil)
These forms of personal prayer to a God generally hold a desired outcome. For example, as we touched upon, seeking comfort to the unknown of what awaits us in the afterlife. But prayer can come in other forms, such as Requests, one of the more common types of communication with our spiritual connection. This might be praying for help in light of the bushfires in Australia, for example.
However, it is important that we distinguish between and evaluate the 2 predominant types of prayer that Homo Sapiens have developed from the Eden Moment. The other type that we have yet to explore is a less-personal form of prayer. Prayer can still exist, of course, where there is no central, or spiritual ‘other’ to pray to.
Let us consider meditation, for example:
“Per the Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, “prayer” is “the relating of the self or soul to God in trust, penitence, praise, petition, and purpose, either individually or corporately” and “meditation” is “a form of mental prayer.”
(Rajan Zed | Reno Gazette-Journal)
A fascinating case of people that pray through meditation after Buddhists. In Buddhism, it is believed that there are 2 routes following one’s death: reincarnation (one’s soul entering another body) or entering Nirvana. Buddha first used the Pali word Nibbana, Nirvana in Sanskrit, to describe the highest state of profound well-being that is humanly possible. It is where “the mind awakens from delusion, is liberated from bondage, is cleansed of all its defilements, becomes entirely at peace, experiences the complete cessation of suffering, and is no longer reborn” (Andrew Olendzki - Tricycle, The Buddhist Review). To achieve Nirvana, one must experience and achieve Enlightenment on Earth.
One key element in achieving Enlightenment is using Meditation, along with gaining Morality and Wisdom. Buddhists believe that Meditation helps awake truth. But, what is Truth? Without any conversation with another spiritual being, who will guide one in the direction of Truth? These blurry lines beg the question: what is the point of Impersonal Prayer?