WHAT PRAYER IS and ISN’T
BY: BRAD CULLEN
What is prayer to you?
What many people consider prayer to be is a far cry from Jesus’ teaching on the subject. Some, perhaps most, people think of prayer as petitioning God for whatever …and certainly Jesus included that in what he taught.
On closer examination, however, the emphasis of his teaching is not so much petitioning God for anything, but rather overcoming the obstacles in our minds that are in the way of connecting with the SOURCE and thereby walking in light rather than darkness.
According to Jesus, seeking and knocking until making the connection is the key to faith …and, in fact, the act of seeking and knocking is faith. This simple action gets us past all our silly arguments about what is the proper definition of faith by going to our perfect SPIRIT-PARENT …impudently and persistently until we have that inner confidence that we are connected was the core of Jesus’ teaching.
Religious teaching and traditions about prayer that ignore this truth are myriad …but nothing is more remote from what Jesus taught than approaching the SOURCE (by whatever other title or name) with “respect and reverence” – nor is less effective.
The favored endings of many, “in the name of Jesus, amen” are good examples of missing the point. “Whatsoever ye ask in my name” (quoting the “good” King James Version of the Bible) needs some translation into modern vernacular in order to get to the essence of what Jesus was saying (at least in my opinion, for whatever that is worth). In the original language (not forgetting that Jesus spoke in Aramaic, a derivative of Hebrew) the “name” of Jesus was referring to his character and authority.
If this is true, then speaking in Jesus’ name, means being in his character and authority; one thing that will help us to bridge the gap into effective, meaningful, results-getting prayer is to have it dawn upon us just what the “character and authority” of Jesus means.
Try this on for size: Jesus’ character is best exemplified by the fact that he wanted only to please his perfect Daddy …[note: the more austere “Father,” while firmly imbedded in the minds of many as the “Biblically correct” way to approach God, widely misses the intent of intimacy of Jesus’ words in the original] Jesus’ authority is best exemplified by the fact that the SPIRIT who created everything (this according to John 1: 1-3) became the man, in the flesh, most English speaking people refer to as Jesus (this according to John 1:14) [note: many insist upon using the Hebraic “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus” and I fully understand and even sympathize with their reasoning, I just feel led NOT to make the distinction and I prefer pleasing the ONE who leads me rather than pleasing those who are led differently. [Jesus said, “What’s that to you, you come follow me.” Enough said?]
Therefore, operating and praying in the name of Jesus (or Yeshua, if you must) means operating in the presence and power, and desires and purposes of our ONE AND ONLY PERFECT SPIRIT-PARENT, the creator of the universe and everything in it, living in us to do HIS/HER/ITS creative work.
That’s all folks, for now.
WHAT PRAYER IS and ISN’T [Brad Cullen] 1