Talking to God: Prayer on the Via Christa

Prayer is "an address (as a petition) to God in word or thought; an earnest request or wish." Prayer is the soul's formal or informal communion and communication with God. We address prayer to God as a personality, our Father, who hears and answers our call.

Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

"Talking to God" is Edna Miriam's way in prayer. She practiced moment to moment intimacy with the Father all her earth life. "It is the Master's way," she taught. "If you spend your time always talking with God, you must eventually become God-conscious," she said.

Often people ask, "Am I praying the right way?" All prayer is good. Yet some forms of prayer are more effective than others.

Edna Lister asked, "Are you ready for greater prayer? You can always put more into your prayers. All you need to do is to forget everything else. Forget self. See, think, feel only God's Light until you speak only to God, of God, thanking Him that He is there. Just talk to God. Tell the Master how much you love him, and thank him that he is there."

The first act of Creation was speech: "God said, Let there be Light: and there was Light. And God saw the Light, that it was good: and God divided the Light from the darkness." God spoke the Word to create.

The Gospel composer John wrote: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... All things were made by him." God, the Father-Mother, begat the Eternal Son of Light as the Divine Template for all subsequent lesser personalities. We are those personalities, divine in origin, of whom the psalmist wrote: "Ye are gods."

Of all the Father's earthly Creation, only humanity possesses the ability to form the Divine Alphabet of Creation into words. Speaking the Word, as God spoke the Word to form the heavens and the earth, is the essential step in perfectly powerful prayer.

The gift of speech is our most valuable tool for making, forming, and creating form from Light. Therefore, as students learning how to become full co-creators with God, we pray aloud to release the Power of the Word.

Edna Lister began her quest for God in childhood, and pursued it all her life. She left us a tremendous written legacy of her journey and insights. Yet, how grateful we are that some of her students recorded what she said, as well.

A word of advice: You cannot undertake a full study of prayer unless you include such topics as desire and faith.











Perfectly Powerful Prayers: Edna Lister's magnificent prayers are a source of inspiration and comfort for those who desire to pray perfectly powerful prayers.
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Prayer Pearls: A collection of Edna Lister's brief insights about prayer, a source of daily inspiration to pray more.
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Prayers for Parents and Children: At the request of a group of parents, Edna Lister composed these prayers in May 1961.
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Sermons and Lectures on Prayer: This exhaustive collection of sermons and lectures form the basis for an ongoing Bible study about prayer.
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Pioneering Mystics on Prayer: Students of Edna Lister share their experiences in prayer as she taught them.
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The Golden Silence: Learn how to create a Prayer Garden in which you may listen to God in the silence.
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Edna Lister on Prayer

In prayer treating, Light must melt, dissolve and absorb the whole situation. First, hold up the problem you are working on, all your family and friends, and lift them up onto a cloud continent of Light. Above the clouds, the sun is always shining, although it may be cold and gray below. Lift every limitation to God and He will free you. – Edna Lister, Your Royal Birth, January 24, 1933.

Do your prayer work and treatments while in the silence, unseen and unheard. If you work in the open, telling people what you are doing, you involve your self immediately, and usually antagonize others. Pour love on these people, and surround them with Light. Speak the Word for their release in your nightly prayer treatments. Remember, you will get better results by not telling them what you think they should do. Mind produces psychosomatic symptoms, so do not talk about what you are doing, such as what situations or conditions you are treating. – Edna Lister, February 1, 1933.

Imagination is the kingly faculty, and it is free. Anyone can imagine himself a prince instead of a pauper. Yet the greatest, the finest use of imagination is to picture what you want or need as happening to someone else. Offer prayer treatments for others for whatever you need yourself. When you pour out the prayer and declarations for another, the overflow returns to you. – Edna Lister, Imagination February 15, 1934.

Do you believe it when God answers your prayers? Where do you center your faith? Oil well drillers use a diamond faceted drill bit to cut down into the earth. You drill upward to tap divine principles. Faith is your diamond drill bit that sharpens itself as it pierces through the crust of your intellectual selfishness. Will you forever be satisfied with substitutes, or recognize your great destiny, reach forth and press on? – Edna Lister, Recognizing Your Good April 22, 1934.

The Lord's Prayer is perfect, covering each phase of life and every need. The need of the now is the predominating idea. Prayer is the only way out of a confused condition. Under the law of forgiveness, a vicious circle is broken, and Light destroys only the evil. Prayer lifts all that comes to you. Your life is only an expansion of "me," an extension of your consciousness. Prayer is the application of divine principle. Overlook the problem, move into the fourth dimension, and see God.

People have too many little tin gods in the way to get to God. Ordinary prayer is like going begging every time you want something. At the end of a day, a beggar has only small change to show for his effort. You need more than nickels, dimes and quarters in prayer. Say the Lord's Prayer through once, without letting go of God-consciousness, and you will receive complete illumination. – Edna Lister, The Lord's Prayer, September 26, 1934.

Prayer is a state of being, communion, devotion, the intelligent desire to communicate with God. Pray, using treatments, asking and receiving. You can give treatments while you are sitting, standing or lying down, by releasing Power and lifting, but lift your hands to God when you ask. You receive from God after you have praised to express your thankfulness and gratitude. – Edna Lister, How to Pray, May 16, 1935.

Prayer is your highest desire to know God, your greatest idea of success. To be kindly is the finest prayer you can make. To be sweet is prayer incense arising to the Father. To be compassionate is the prayer of the Master. To be just is the prayer of the Judge. To be tender is the Mother's prayer. To be understanding is the prayer of the Father.

Every virtue you express is a fine prayer, ascending your soul into heaven. Every action in love is prayer of glory. Every movement of joy sent forth to the realms of Light is prayer. Spend another shining new hour a day in real prayer. Anyone can smile, praise, sing, hum or whistle for an hour a day. It does not need be a continuous hour. It can be for moments, like sun breaking through the clouds. Prayer is the expression of the soul's delight in obedience to law. It is the soul's glory in its own high estate, and knowing that its Source is forever drawing it home and into its own Light. – Edna Lister, Prayer: Communication With God, February 12, 1939.

The law is "Seek first the kingdom of heaven," not seek first gain to self. Pray first and always, then work out the "added things." To see the work before the prayer goes against law. Pray first. Five minutes spent in prayer, where you are, with your mind altogether on the altar, will enable you to do twice the labor, even as Joshua did. If you cannot put your whole mind on the altar where you are, then you cannot make true prayer, and lip service alone is worth nothing to you. Kneeling at your altar a few moments before you act is best. – Edna Lister, November 6, 1940.

What is the silence? Why do you need it? When may you enter it, and how? Where do you find it? These are vital questions, to which you gain the answers in three steps: The first step is prayer, in which you prepare to receive the law and to pay your vows. This is how you gain assurance, confidence and trust in your soul's ability to commune with God. The second step is to give prayer treatments and to make your decrees of the spoken Word for perfection. Then enter the silence, where "It shall be established [stand] for you, so light will shine on your ways." – Edna Lister, The Silence, May 14, 1942.

You can speed divine law's action by releasing more Light for the object of prayer. Your white point of heat is how much joy you release, how much love is in your heart, how much laughter on your lips, and the faith to see. You could not pray enough at white heat. You have seen miracles upon miracles on earth as they are performed daily, many by words of prayer and faith. Yet the guardian angels are still turning many souls back to the Father to thank Him. – Edna Lister, April 29, 1943.

God has given the rational soul the power of conscious direction and control through the spoken Word. God has given universal substance only the power to become the vibration the spoken Word decrees. "Let" is the only spoken word that substance recognizes for release. Declare, "Let Thy Power move forth to melt and dissolve these blood clots." You cannot borrow from God's bank interest-free. "Let" is the only legal signature. Begin all your spoken declarations with "Let" because you know that the Father does all the works now. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. – John 5:17. – Edna Lister, June 29, 1945.

You are the perfect expression of God when you lift, let the Power go forth, praise the Father and let more Power go forth. God created you to become an expression of divine Power. You were not created to express to be heard. You were created to express Power as its vehicle, which is love, which is faith, to let it go forth continuously, to pray without ceasing. That is why you were created. Yet, because so few can express Power in prayer, just as prayer, the world is in this great need. You could release enough power of love in twenty-four hours to speed up law to change the face of the earth. All you need to do is to stand and pray, "Father, use me for the exaltation of Power." That is all. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1945.

Read lightly before retiring, to involve the subconscious so the conscious mind can be "out" working over there. Pray to lift self, ask to go to the Mercy Seat to speak with Jehovah "if He would grant this wish in His great mercy." Forgive yourself of the sins committed today. At prayer time, charge your consciousness to go with the Master to fulfill all the Father has set for you to do. Pray that not one line of Light is lost in heaven as you pray not to miss a detail on earth. – Edna Lister, July 29, 1947.

Do not take to your bed to pray. When you want to go to bed and cover your head is the time to gird your loins. If you believe you can rise above the stars, pour the white Light of the Christ on your soul debts and pay them, it will be so. It takes an absolute conviction that it can be done and it is done. God's will for you is 100 percent perfection. Ascend to where the Power can use you, or hangover soul debts will knock you down. – Edna Lister, August 4, 1949.

Your duty is to plan to be used completely by all the Power in prayer. Search your soul, your self for anything that is unlike God and bring it as gifts to the altar for lifting, or in gratitude if having conquered it. A prayer is worth only what you give in it. Prayer is a form of praise and also of confession. Many people today do not believe in confession, which is a form of cleansing self. An oral confession before the inner high altar convinces the subconscious mind that you are out to conquer self. – Edna Lister, Power: Your Divine Inheritance, January 16, 1950.

Prayer is your only method of gaining intimacy with the Father: "Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet," as Tennyson wrote. Love is the only fulfilling of this law. What you gain from your prayers depends not on God, but on your approach. If you center your prayers on "needs" – money, a home, a car, health, harmony, patience, companionship or love – you fill your prayer molds with more needs. – Edna Lister, The Chalice of Love, April 23, 1950.

Prayer must be threefold. First it must be a devotional attitude toward principle and Power greater than self. Second, you must turn imagination upward, extend it toward the universe and picture how small the portion is. Imagine this current of life flowing around earth. Visualizing something greater than earth means an awakening. I like to feel that I pray to God before an altar. Third, do not pray from inside your body or to a god inside the room. Expand to find God above. The universe is great and God fills the universe. Ascend into the magnificence of the universe.

A miracle is an acceleration of natural law that eliminates delay. You enter that place where you see spiritually and make it manifest. Under prayer and burning desire, you set aside time and space, and substance hastens into form. When you expand into a timeless, infinite consciousness, law acts accordingly, instantly. – Edna Lister, Aspiration and Prayer, May 29, 1953.

Prayer is the soul's aspiration vocalized, in many stages of desire, beginning with the savage who worships a stone or a fetish. People pray in many ways, but valid prayer must be free of self. The Lord's Prayer is the ensample of prayer for all ages that covers the great avenues of life. – Edna Lister, Prayer: The Soul's Aspiration, June 7, 1953.

Love God enough, and Power moves through. When you repeatedly declare for good eyes, you believe that your eyes are bad. As long as you keep on asking, you do not believe. Say, "Father, I love You, and I am using Your holy vision." You close out spiritual seeing and hearing when you hold onto your need for perfect eyes. Pray once about the need, but if you ask again, you don't believe. You cannot be loving God completely when you have centered your mind on something negative. – Edna Lister, October 1, 1953.

A perfect prayer statement is, "I am now enfolded in the heart of a sphere of God's Light. I am now touching this innermost Power, which goes forth to accomplish, to fulfill. It is divine, complete, all-knowing, all-seeing. Let me be fully surrendered for God's Power to use. I am now open to receive full illumination." – Edna Lister, Divine Laws for Conquerors, October 7, 1955.

You condition yourself with how you use your hands. Hold your arms outstretched to draw in your scattered energies. Crossed hands on the chest invokes the White Light. Hold your hands facing outward to release Power or to lift a frozen [crystallized] soul. Hands held together mean penitence. Raise your hands to form a chalice of Light. Think to God, "Please, Father, fill me with Light." Raised hands signify devotion and love for the Master. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1957.

Revelation foretells history from the time of Christ to the end of the Armageddon, the end of conquering of darkness when there shall be a new heaven on a new earth. One way to bring this about is for Light to heal every man and woman who is involved in politics. To pray for this, declare each person in office is healed. When enough of the Elect declare this, they will be healed. Light absorbs darkness. The Elect must release enough Light to overcome the curses of the evil ones. – Edna Lister, April 29, 1958.

A state of grace is a state of devotional prayer using the symbol of the three monkeys as a guide (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil). They represent the Christed way of daily living. You don't see, hear or speak evil. If you see an accident, don't see injured bodies but picture them ascended into the Light. Don't see bereaved ones in sorrow, but see them filled with the Holy Ghost. – Edna Lister, January 13, 1958.

We are all creators and use the word "let," as God said, "Let there be Light," in Genesis. You use no force this way, for God is then directing it. Never declare time or place, only for a perfect result. Call an evil thing "good" so God can move in to make it so. Surround your loved ones with a canopy of Light. Surround an object with rainbow circles and rays of repulsion. You need not pray each day for this, just picture the situation with Light pouring on it, and keep thanking the Father. – Ruth Johnson notes of Edna Lister, February 4, 1958.

When you approach God with any request, you go before your own altar. If you go with a question such as, "Isn't it right for me to do this?" He will answer, "Thou hast said." Do not do this. Ask only in this manner, "Father, please advise me. Please suggest what I may do. Please give me a workable idea." Then just listen for your answer. You do not know when you will receive the answer. How would God get the masses to listen unless He gave them a reason to listen? Just ask your question and wait for the answer. God is not deaf. Your prayer goes to the right altar for an answer. When you love God enough, you are led by a light pushing you on a beam. A word answer is different from an action answer. Ninety percent of the answers to prayer are action answers. – Edna Lister, June 3, 1958.

Do you realize how many others are praying while you are enduring? Conflicting prayers always surround us: One person prays for sun, another for rain. Heavenly Councils answer prayer in the order of "the next thing next," doing what they can. Sometimes delay for one is better for another, whose prayers are answered sooner. Stand, wait upon the Lord, endure in joy without letting go, and keep thanking God for the answer's inevitable arrival. Steadfastly know that God will keep His promises to fulfill every good desire of your heart at the right time. Declare any delay good, mean it, and know that when you are positive, you can last longer than anyone negative. Endure past the point where the world can touch you. – Edna Lister, Your Full Birthright, December 6, 1959.

You are Christed in your high moments, when lifted in vibration during high prayer. The responsibility for holding those whom you have lifted into the Light is a matter of continuously forever, not just a deliberate once-a-day lifting, but a thousand-times-a-day whenever reminded of them. – Edna Lister, May 13, 1960.

Our responsibility, as servants of God, is to be joyful and crowned with His glory. When we pray, let us remember that we are part of an army marching back to God on the strength of prayer. – Edna Lister, May 15, 1960.

At night, go out on a cloud of Light, kneel before your Father and say, "Here I am, Father, Thy glory slave. I lift every idle word, every worn out emotion, every past word, deed, picture and desire, every opinion and prejudice, all the lines to everyone I contacted and thought about today. Let Thy Light move through them and cleanse them all, melt, dissolve and absorb all today's darkness. Surround me with Thy divine wall of fire. Release me from fear, grief, guilt, self-condemnation, prejudice, opinions and thoughts for the self.

"Stretch me and expand me to become Thy perfect one, an angel of grace and beauty, flexibility and resilient strength. I love Thee, love Thee, love Thee. Let Thy love use me to go forth to all I meet, to everyone in the world. I am Thy responsible Daughter/Son of Light. Use me to release Thy Power needed now and always."
"I come to serve this night in all Thy ways, to be instructed and to memorize what shall come tomorrow, what to do, and what to give. I set up this mind to register all Thou dost give me, and to return, comprehending all. Thank Thee for all the answers and the discrimination to give them at the right time, in the right way, and the discretion to know when to be silent. Thank Thee, Father, for today's experience. Let all the good be retained as pure gold, and the dross and taint of earth, let it be burned and dissolved in Thy fires. I enter the fires for purification. I am Thine, forever and ever."
In the morning, make yourself a five-pointed star and breathe in your soul with seven breaths. Declare, "Thank you, Father, for this magnificent night spent in your courts. Thank you for my service instructions for today's perfect pattern and design. Use me constantly, and let the Power move forth as needed. Let me catch every negative instantly and make it into Light. Let your Light so shine through me, that all whom I contact are made Light!
"Glory, glory unto Thee and thank Thee, Father, for full comprehension of all that transpired this night. Thank Thee for this new, shining day and for the strength, love, joy, faith, enthusiasm and Light to move through it as a cloud of glory on high, floating through the day within a sphere of Light. With Thee, all things are possible. I am Thine every moment of this glorious day, and miracle upon miracle shall take place all day long. Today I dedicate my hours to saying yea or nay to all things." – Edna Lister, January 6, 1962.
Remember all things increase, and are magnified to the glory of God where praise abounds from gratitude. When gratitude is the basis of prayers, you can have miracle upon miracle. They shall surprise you, for the time now comes when all the prayers sent forth that have seemed unanswered and delayed are to return as full miracles. Every prayer is answered as a miracle on earth for someone, whenever it is uttered. Later, after the earnings are finished and time is fulfilled, they are returned to you as unexpected miracles. – Edna Lister, February 7, 1962.

When you pray and breathe deeply, the higher breath enters the door in the crown (the soft spot on a baby's head) where the Spirit enters. When you awaken in the morning and feel far from God, you did not lift yesterday's events the night before. While you were out, the appetitive soul took over, fears and doubts entered and you awakened with heaviness of spirit. Before going to sleep, declare that you will awaken light, healthy and inspired. Thus, you keep the door of the crown open. – Edna Lister, November 1, 1964.

Good is God's name on earth. "I AM good" is the most powerful healing statement you can ever use. "I AM" has but one idea, it cannot be anything else, but you can degrade or drag it from its high place. If you want miracles, declare, "I am good. You are good. This is good." Even if you knew nothing else but this, miracles would follow. "This is good. I AM loves for you. I AM loves you. I AM declares you are now healed. Your body is filled with Light." – Edna Lister, What Is Power, March 2, 1965.

We are all swimming in the River of Life. The weak and indifferent laggards are along the shores, backwashes and stagnant places, but regularly, the river sweeps them back into the mainstream. Prayer keeps us all afloat. Every prayer for those who are struggling draws someone into the sparkling waters again, though they may have been delayed. – Edna Lister, The First One Through, May 2, 1965.

Meditation can put you to sleep, but a statement pumps you up, which is essential because you must start any new vibration right here on earth. Most delays are caused by using statements rather than declarations. A declaration is a decree. Rather than, "I shall be healed," say, "God's Power heals me now." Just to sit and meditate on a word does little good. Ascend into the golden Light for illumination. First, close out the earth noises. Then close out sound waves by moving up after making a declaration such as, "My Father is healing me now." Then you may meditate on the action you expect. Visualize what you desire. Finally, close out mental waves. When you have closed out the last of the mental vibrations, stand in golden Light and invoke the Spirit of the Lord. – Edna Lister, November 2, 1965.

For untold centuries people have believed that they must use many words to make petition prayers, as if God were deaf or ignorant. Metaphysicians, in turn, used statements of principle repeatedly, scorning petitions. If you could combine all those petitions and statements with the psychological pronouncements of Freud and Jung, you could pave a broad highway to the moon. The truth is, we are going home because God has no intention of losing even one of His creations. – Edna Lister, Unfolding Your Divine Inheritance, November 14, 1965.

How to get action in prayer: Release God's Power and Substance, saying, "Let the Light go forth." Declare what you want to put into action. Visualize Light, which starts the vibration that renders evil helpless. God will stop war when the peace in the minds and hearts of humanity is great enough to do it. Hold this peace in your heart for thirty full days, uncontaminated by anytyhing that you read, hear, see, or experience. Make all your declarations dynamically powerful to create. – Edna Lister, November 23, 1965.

Your product is prayer, yet you must have the necessary ingredients and implements in your laboratory of life. A retort is a closed vessel with an outlet tube, used for distillation, sublimation, or decomposition by heat. Fill your retort three quarters full of faith, add experience, and create character. Faith releases God's full Power. Prayer is no good without action. The Master gave us the key when he left us his joy. Add a pinch of joy, and it stirs you. Add another pinch of joy, and your mixture begins to simmer, so you add more joy until it bubbles actively. Most people add just enough joy to suggest a miracle.

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed. You express your thoughts through the words you utter. Your words are always selling or denying the kingdom of heaven, the glory of God. Prayer may not be to the self. Used as a basis for lifting the world, your prayers may contain no demands. Pray for the other person – that Light will go forth, that they will have compassion, all good, all love. Prayer expresses the soul's thoughts, according to the degree of your words. Whether your words are positive or negative, you will get what you sent out. – Edna Lister, Life: The Laboratory of Soul, December 5, 1965.

Reach out with arms of Light. Bring in your loved ones, anything that needs lifting and think up into the Light. You are not reaching up from earth, but reaching down from above. This is more than a mental exercise. It must partake of the yearning, brooding quality of universal love, not a personal love. You are your own measuring rod. You know whether the love you extend is greater than it has been. It should grow. Love expands faster than planets, stars and the universe can go. That part of you that loves is tenfold greater. Your thought is tenfold faster than light. A thought, a word goes round earth five and a half time before it can touch walls of a room. – Edna Lister, December 11, 1966.

To make miracles visible, ignore the impossible by declaring, "Let there be Light." Then, continue thanking God for the miracle, without deviation or lukewarmness, until you see it. When you keep declaring the Word, invoking the Light, praising, thanking, white hot with faith and burning desire, substance fills your mold and your miracle becomes visible. This is how you get God's "possibles" to overcome the world's "impossibles." You must know what you are praying for, and specifically state your words of invocation. It takes time to pump self up again if you cool off, so do not waste time in dropping in consciousness.

Go up and invoke Light first. Decide what you want as a miracle. Invoke the Light. Keep Power going by ignoring doubts such as, "Do I believe I can receive this?" Move up in Light and invoke Power again. Express gratitude until you see it. – Edna Lister, Practical Methods for Creating Beauty, May 23, 1967.

You must move up in consciousness into the Light, not meditate or try to educate God by telling Him what you need in prayer. Do you think God is utterly senseless? He knows what you and your family needs. If you mean it, if you want God’s will to be done in your life, watch as three quarters of your prayers go to educate God, repeating what you want done. Telling Him once is enough. God is not deaf; He hears you the first time. God does not need you to educate Him. Such pathetic efforts are worthy of the creature stage and kindergarten.

Move up in consciousness and be one with God. Declare, "Let there be Light. Let Your Light express and fulfill all the needs of everyone. Let me be so one with the Light that I am the Light, seeing only the Light." Hold everyone up in the Light. Release the Power as Light, which moves forth to each who needs healing. "Father, let Your Light use me as a transformer to send Light forth to fill and transform Mary (Jim or whomever)."

You, as an instrument, release Light that descends from the great Source to individuals, whose Guards stand by to release Power through them, which is the meaning of "My Father works hitherto, and I work." God runs the universe on a perfectly economical plan. He knows what it is all about. God does the work. – Edna Lister, Religion’s Supremacy, October 15, 1967.

Your approach to prayer should be scientific, a practical application of the laws of God under inspiration, faith and soul devotion. In this, you ascend and become the Light. Time and space collapse as you ascend in consciousness, and God consciousness moves forth as perfection. Lift the situation until Light permeates that portion of the world you are upholding. You do not remember the world, but hold the person or situation in Light until he becomes that Light.

Divine Mind inspires the relative mind of man. Love is substance from which all creation is formed, and devotion is the Power of the living soul. Stand in the Light where you are. Move up in consciousness with eyes that see and ears that hear, and you see when you reach God consciousness. Light is Wisdom as inspiration, Love as faith, and Energy as devotion. Hold this Trinity high, and in becoming spiritualized, you see miracles as perfection. – Edna Lister, Religion’s Supremacy, October 15, 1967.

You limit God if you ask for only one or two miracles. Ask for miracles for the world. You cannot ask for too much. God cannot run short of Power or Substance. So speak the Word for healing. You must care about the people on your prayer list, that Light heals as the Power does the work. Do not ask for the same thing repeatedly, put a time limit on the answer, or keep peeking or demanding. Just continue saying, "Let there be Light. Thank Thee."

You need firm love of God and vivid imagination. Thank the Father for everything, all the time, and for more ideas to weave into miracles. Thousands of unborn miracles are waiting for you. Stand under the shaft of Light, waiting on the glory of God to come forth, while you work out your salvation here. – Edna Lister, Why a Messiah Was Needed, December 10, 1967.

You may hold no inner conflict about outer conditions. Declare that Light goes forth into your affairs. Do not ignore an outer happening, but encircle it with Light. Do not recreate it while Light does the work. Do not educate God about your sins or illness. He knows more about you than you know about yourself. Confess once, never again. – Edna Lister, The Light, October 28, 1969.

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How to Avoid Delay in Answer to Prayer

Recite the Lord's Prayer through once without letting go of God-consciousness, and you will receive complete illumination. Prayer is the magic, and prayer is your luck. Prayer gives you the will to stand still long enough to "let" the Power move forth and create. Wisdom and strength belong to the brave heart. Declare that all delay is good, and a greater door will open. – Edna Lister, September 26, 1934.

Nothing is ever lost, unless you declare it so. When outer events delay a new vibration you are building, you need only to know that it is still a good plan, and every prayer effort that you put into its unfolding is still building that original plan into outer form. Everything is in God's hands, and He cannot lose anything. Even when you are foolish enough to declare a loss, your Father still says, "I am holding all your substance and form safely until you are again ready to work at it. Perhaps you can finish what you have started the next time." So continue praising God in love for His tender mercy, knowing in confidence His ability to "work all things together for good." – Edna Lister, March 12, 1941.

Stand and let love move forth when doubt assails you, when burdens grow too great to bear, when anything "touches" you. Nothing can harm you. You are building a bridge across the chasm between your life and eternity, which you perhaps built too hastily or have anchored not safely or strongly enough. Delays cover hidden needs of body or affairs, or to protect you from a falling bridge. Nothing can harm you. You need to stand and know this until you forget all else and go free of all past bonds. A sudden pain or illness nearly always releases poisons to escape into the Light where we can fully conquer them. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, February 18, 1943.

You may receive only the interest on your prayer because your Father must defer meeting your needs to fulfill others' prayers. How do you respond when God grants only a fraction of your prayer request? Charge yourself with mercy and loving-kindness, especially toward God, to hold nothing against Him for not fulfilling your prayers immediately. "Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief until faith unconquerable possesses me" must be your prayer. – Edna Lister, February 22, 1944.

You may experience delay, sometimes years of it. Yet a thousand years are but a day in God's sight. The hopes and high visions God gives do come to pass. Do not confine your goal to years, months, weeks, days or even minutes, but make it limitless. – Edna Lister, The Point of No Return, December 15, 1957.

Everyone gets his miracle eventually, but how quickly depends on his fervency and the heat of his prayer. – Edna Lister, January 9, 1958.

If you pray for something that does not happen, you can be sure you are praying wrongly or interfering with God's work. Prayer and your desire for selflessness will enable you to give up the world for ascension. This is reconciliation. When you are ascended, your only prayer is for perfection. – Edna Lister, From Gethsemane to Ascension, May 15, 1960.

Give us this day our daily bread. – Matthew 6:11. If you ask for something next June and not for this day, today, you will have nothing today. You would have spread today's good thinly on next June's slice. Put your plans on clouds of Light. Arrange your varied prayer molds on different clouds of light. Let nothing fog the clarity of your molds. Separate your molds for future months from today's. Pray for today's good first. Don't take future molds into prayer for today. Keep your future molds polished and fill them at other times. Doing these prayer steps in the wrong way delays your miracles. – Edna Lister, December 18, 1960.

Often you pray, and nothing happens, even after much prayer. You see no results and half of you quits, saying, "God doesn't answer prayer." Stand! Hold! Know! Feed your miracles a thousand times an hour on the outer and keep them nourished, vitalized and quickened. – Edna Lister, God as Personality and Principle, May 20, 1962.

Sometimes you pray and delay your answer because you worry after praying, which divides the answer's substance, and others pick it up. – Edna Lister, May 27, 1962.

You do not waste God's time if you pray in the wrong way or act wrongly, you just waste yourself. You may not have God and anything, even money. When you have only God as, your road evens out and becomes smooth. – Edna Lister, December 2, 1962.

When you say, "I have prayed," or "I've had all the truth I need," you go to sleep in consciousness. Then the self-satisfaction and complacency weeds sprout and grow. – Edna Lister, December 9, 1962.

You may ask why your prayers or declarations do not work. If someone "gets your goat" or you have even one subconscious doubt or dread, your faith is incomplete. You can have no miracle when everything that says "boo" at you owns you. – Edna Lister, June 9, 1963.

Hold everyone in compassionate love but do not take them into your soul aura. Lift their substance as they spew it out. – Edna Lister, June 9, 1963.

Words create a powerful vibration. If you repeat the story of anyone's ill health, your words can create compelling suggestions that color your listener's emotional receptivity, and he may recreate an even stronger negative pattern. If you recreate a story, how they hurt you, how noble you are, you send it out like a boomerang to hit them and return to you. You sell your soul-stock short and drop your pearl in the mud. "I am praying for her" is tantamount to saying, "I am noble." You recreate yourself in the image and likeness of the gossip you gullibly rehash – a weak heart, liver, eyes, etc. Wisdom does not recreate earth's darkness. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers,June 9, 1963.

Prayers aimed at glorifying God cause Him to grant your requests. God may not answer your selfish prayers, but your God-aimed prayers are. – Edna Lister, The Authority of Jesus Christ, Unpublished Papers,August 4, 1963.

Your word is a vibration. You can fumble, deny God, but you can pray, move up and become as perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, at your particular level. You pray from the grade you are in right now. Do not bother feeling guilty. Say, "Here I am, Father! I am a good stinker! Send enough Power through me to go forth and heal!" – Edna Lister, April 12, 1964.

You may have perfect respect for God, yet still can have taints underneath that become a ball and chain. Your prayers, for instance, can be so lukewarm you could not cook a dinner on their heat. Don't blame God if He has not answered you, but pray more fervently. Yesterday's good performance does not count today. A camel can't go through a needle's eye. You have to remove your humps before you get through the gates. – Edna Lister, October 18, 1964.

Do not lose your identity with God because of worldly problems. Instead of wavering, doubting or losing faith, say, "I am of the Source of all healing. The Power does the work." Anything you can touch is of the one Power and Substance of God. Delays are the gopher holes into which we stumble. – Edna Lister, October 16, 1966.

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The True Story of The Patton Prayer

This article first appeared as a government document in 1950. At the time it appeared in the Review of the News, 6 October 1971, the author, Msgr. James H. O'Neill was a retired Brigadier General living in Pueblo, Colorado.

Many conflicting and some untrue stories have been printed about General George S. Patton and the Third Army Prayer. Some have had the tinge of blasphemy and disrespect for the Deity. Even in "War As I Knew It" by General Patton, the footnote on the Prayer by Colonel Paul D. Harkins, Patton's Deputy Chief of Staff, while containing the elements of a funny story about the General and his Chaplain, is not the true account of the prayer incident or its sequence.

As the Chief Chaplain of the Third Army throughout the five campaigns on the Staff of General Patton, I should have some knowledge of the event because at the direction of General Patton I composed the now world famous Prayer, and wrote Training Letter No. 5, which constitutes an integral, but untold part, of the prayer story. These incidents, narrated in sequence, should serve to enhance the memory of the man himself, and cause him to be enshrined by generations to come as one of the greatest of our soldiers. He had all the traits of military leadership, fortified by genuine trust in God, intense love of country, and high faith in the American soldier.

He had no use for half-measures. He wrote this line a few days before his death: "Anyone in any walk of life who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself and to American tradition." He was true to the principles of his religion, Episcopalian, and was regular in Church attendance and practices, unless duty made his presence impossible.

The incident of the now famous Patton Prayer commenced with a telephone call to the Third Army Chaplain on the morning of December 8, 1944, when the Third Army Headquarters were located in the Caserne Molifor in Nancy, France: "This is General Patton; do you have a good prayer for weather? We must do something about those rains if we are to win the war." My reply was that I know where to look for such a prayer, that I would locate, and report within the hour. As I hung up the telephone receiver, about eleven in the morning, I looked out on the steadily falling rain, "immoderate" I would call it – the same rain that had plagued Patton's Army throughout the Moselle and Saar Campaigns from September until now, December 8. The few prayer books at hand contained no formal prayer on weather that might prove acceptable to the Army Commander. Keeping his immediate objective in mind, I typed an original and an improved copy on a 5" x 3" filing card:

"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations."

I pondered the question, What use would General Patton make of the prayer? Surely not for private devotion. If he intended it for circulation to chaplains or others, with Christmas not far removed, it might be proper to type the Army Commander's Christmas Greetings on the reverse side. This would please the recipient, and anything that pleased the men I knew would please him:

To each officer and soldier in the Third United States Army, I Wish a Merry Christmas. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We march in our might to complete victory. May God's blessings rest upon each of you on this Christmas Day. G.S. Patton, Jr, Lieutenant General, Commanding, Third United States Army.

This done, I donned my heavy trench coat, crossed the quadrangle of the old French military barracks, and reported to General Patton. He read the prayer copy, returned it to me with a very casual directive, "Have 250,000 copies printed and see to it that every man in the Third Army gets one." The size of the order amazed me; this was certainly doing something about the weather in a big way. But I said nothing but the usual, "Very well, Sir!" Recovering, I invited his attention to the reverse side containing the Christmas Greeting, with his name and rank typed. "Very good," he said, with a smile of approval. "If the General would sign the card, it would add a personal touch that I am sure the men would like."

He took his place at his desk, signed the card, returned it to me and then said: "Chaplain, sit down for a moment; I want to talk to you about this business of prayer." He rubbed his face in his hands, was silent for a moment, then rose and walked over to the high window, and stood there with his back toward me as he looked out on the falling rain. As usual, he was dressed stunningly, and his six-foot-two powerfully built physique made an unforgettable silhouette against the great window. The General Patton I saw there was the Army Commander to whom the welfare of the men under him was a matter of personal responsibility. Even in the heat of combat he could take time out to direct new methods to prevent trench feet, to see to it that dry socks went forward daily with the rations to troops on the line, to kneel in the mud administering morphine and caring for a wounded soldier until the ambulance came. What was coming now?

"Chaplain, how much praying is being done in the Third Army?" was his question. I parried: "Does the General mean by chaplains, or by the men?" "By everybody," he replied. To this I countered: "I am afraid to admit it, but I do not believe that much praying is going on. When there is fighting, everyone prays, but now with this constant rain — when things are quiet, dangerously quiet, men just sit and wait for things to happen. Prayer out here is difficult. Both chaplains and men are removed from a special building with a steeple. Prayer to most of them is a formal, ritualized affair, involving special posture and a liturgical setting. I do not believe that much praying is being done."

The General left the window, and again seated himself at his desk, leaned back in his swivel chair, toying with a long lead pencil between his index fingers.

"Chaplain, I am a strong believer in Prayer. There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by Praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning, or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that's working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part, or margin in everything, That's where prayer comes in. Up to now, in the Third Army, God has been very good to us. We have never retreated; we have suffered no defeats, no famine, no epidemics. This is because a lot of people back home are praying for us. We were lucky in Africa, in Sicily, and in Italy. Simply because people prayed. But we have to pray for ourselves, too. A good soldier is not made merely by making him think and work. There is something in every soldier that goes deeper than thinking or working — it's his "guts." It is something that he has built in there: it is a world of truth and power that is higher than himself. Great living is not all output of thought and work. A man has to have intake as well. I don't know what you it, but I call it Religion, Prayer, or God."

He talked about Gideon in the Bible, said that men should pray no matter where they were, in church or out of it, that if they did not pray, sooner or later they would "crack up." To all this I commented agreement, that one of the major training objectives of my office was to help soldiers recover and make their lives effective in this third realm, prayer. It would do no harm to re-impress this training on chaplains. We had about 486 chaplains in the Third Army at that time, representing 32 denominations. Once the Third Army had become operational, my mode of contact with the chaplains had been chiefly through Training Letters issued from time to time to the Chaplains in the four corps and the 22 to 26 divisions comprising the Third Army. Each treated of a variety of subjects of corrective or training value to a chaplain working with troops in the field. [Patton continued:]

"I wish you would put out a Training Letter on this subject of Prayer to all the chaplains; write about nothing else, just the importance of prayer. Let me see it before you send it. We've got to get not only the chaplains but every man in the Third Army to pray. We must ask God to stop these rains. These rains are that margin that hold defeat or victory. If we all pray, it will be like what Dr. Carrel said [the allusion was to a press quote some days previously when Dr. Alexis Carrel, one of the foremost scientists, described prayer "as one of the most powerful forms of energy man can generate"], it will be like plugging in on a current whose source is in Heaven. I believe that prayer completes that circuit. It is power."

With that the General arose from his chair, a sign that the interview was ended. I returned to my field desk, typed Training Letter No. 5 while the "copy" was "hot," touching on some or all of the General's reverie on Prayer, and after staff processing, presented it to General Patton on the next day. The General read it and without change directed that it be circulated not only to the 486 chaplains, but to every organization commander down to and including the regimental level. Three thousand two hundred copies were distributed to every unit in the Third Army over my signature as Third Army Chaplain. Strictly speaking, it was the Army Commander's letter, not mine. Due to the fact that the order came directly from General Patton, distribution was completed on December 11 and 12 in advance of its date line, December 14, 1944. Titled "Training Letter No. 5," with the salutary "Chaplains of the Third Army," the letter continued: "At this stage of the operations I would call upon the chaplains and the men of the Third United States Army to focus their attention on the importance of prayer.

"Our glorious march from the Normandy Beach across France to where we stand, before and beyond the Siegfried Line, with the wreckage of the German Army behind us should convince the most skeptical soldier that God has ridden with our banner. Pestilence and famine have not touched us. We have continued in unity of purpose. We have had no quitters; and our leadership has been masterful. The Third Army has no roster of Retreats. None of Defeats. We have no memory of a lost battle to hand on to our children from this great campaign.

"But we are not stopping at the Siegfried Line. Tough days may be ahead of us before we eat our rations in the Chancellery of the Deutsches Reich.

"As chaplains it is our business to pray. We preach its importance. We urge its practice. But the time is now to intensify our faith in prayer, not alone with ourselves, but with every believing man, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, or Christian in the ranks of the Third United States Army.

"Those who pray do more for the world than those who fight; and if the world goes from bad to worse, it is because there are more battles than prayers. 'Hands lifted up,' said Bosuet, 'smash more battalions than hands that strike.' Gideon of Bible fame was least in his father's house. He came from Israel's smallest tribe. But he was a mighty man of valor. His strength lay not in his military might, but in his recognition of God's proper claims upon his life. He reduced his Army from thirty-two thousand to three hundred men lest the people of Israel would think that their valor had saved them. We have no intention to reduce our vast striking force. But we must urge, instruct, and indoctrinate every fighting man to pray as well as fight. In Gideon's day, and in our own, spiritually alert minorities carry the burdens and bring the victories.

"Urge all of your men to pray, not alone in church, but everywhere. Pray when driving. Pray when fighting. Pray alone. Pray with others. Pray by night and pray by day. Pray for the cessation of immoderate rains, for good weather for Battle. Pray for the defeat of our wicked enemy whose banner is injustice and whose good is oppression. Pray for victory. Pray for our Army, and Pray for Peace.

"We must march together, all out for God. The soldier who 'cracks up' does not need sympathy or comfort as much as he needs strength. We are not trying to make the best of these days. It is our job to make the most of them. Now is not the time to follow God from 'afar off.' This Army needs the assurance and the faith that God is with us. With prayer, we cannot fail.

"Be assured that this message on prayer has the approval, the encouragement, and the enthusiastic support of the Third United States Army Commander.

"With every good wish to each of you for a very Happy Christmas, and my personal congratulations for your splendid and courageous work since landing on the beach, I am," etc., etc., signed The Third Army Commander.

The timing of the Prayer story is important: let us rearrange the dates: the "Prayer Conference" with General Patton was 8 December; the 664th Engineer Topographical Company, at the order of Colonel David H. Tulley, C.E., Assistant to the Third Army Engineer, working night and day reproduced 250,000 copies of the Prayer Card; the Adjutant General, Colonel Robert S. Cummings, supervised the distribution of both the Prayer Cards and Training Letter No. 5 to reach the troops by December 12-14.

The breakthrough was on December 16 in the First Army Zone when the Germans crept out of the Schnee Eifel Forest in the midst of heavy rains, thick fogs, and swirling ground mists that muffled sound, blotted out the sun, and reduced visibility to a few yards. The few divisions on the Luxembourg frontier were surprised and brushed aside. They found it hard to fight an enemy they could neither see nor hear. For three days it looked to the jubilant Nazis as if their desperate gamble would succeed. They had achieved compete surprise. Their Sixth Panzer Army, rejuvenated in secret after its debacle in France, seared through the Ardennes like a hot knife through butter. The First Army's VIII Corps was holding this area with three infantry divisions (one of them new and in the line only a few days) thinly disposed over an 88-mile front and with one armored division far to the rear, in reserve. The VIII Corps had been in the sector for months. It was considered a semi-rest area and outside of a little patrolling was wholly an inactive position.

When the blow struck the VIII Corps fought with imperishable heroism. The Germans were slowed down but the Corps was too shattered to stop them with its remnants. Meanwhile, to the north, the Fifth Panzer Army was slugging through another powerful prong along the vulnerable boundary between the VIII and VI Corps. Had the bad weather continued there is no telling how far the Germans might have advanced. On the 19th of December, the Third Army turned from East to North to meet the attack. As General Patton rushed his divisions north from the Saar Valley to the relief of the beleaguered Bastogne, the prayer was answered.

On December 20, to the consternation of the Germans and the delight of the American forecasters who were equally surprised at the turn-about – the rains and the fogs ceased. For the better part of a week came bright clear skies and perfect flying weather. Our planes came over by tens, hundreds, and thousands. They knocked out hundreds of tanks, killed thousands of enemy troops in the Bastogne salient, and harried the enemy as he valiantly tried to bring up reinforcements. The 101st Airborne, with the 4th, 9th, and 10th Armored Divisions, which saved Bastogne, and other divisions which assisted so valiantly in driving the Germans home, will testify to the great support rendered by our air forces. General Patton prayed for fair weather for Battle. He got it.

It was late in January of 1945 when I saw the Army Commander again. This was in the city of Luxembourg. He stood directly in front of me, smiled: "Well, Padre, our prayers worked. I knew they would." Then he cracked me on the side of my steel helmet with his riding crop. That was his way of saying, "Well done."

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Stories That Illustrate Prayer

Prayer That Transfigures: And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, [Jesus] took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen. – Luke 9:28-36.

Prayer Parables: [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. – Luke 18:1-14.

Jesus' Travail in Gethsemane: Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. – Matthew 26:36-46.

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. – Mark 14:32-42.

And [Jesus] came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. – Luke 22:39-46.

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New Testament on Prayer

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:43-45.

The Christed Prayer Pattern: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:5-13.

If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – Matthew 21:21-22.

Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, "Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea," and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. – Mark 11:22-24.

Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. – Mark 12:38-40.

Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. – Mark 14:38.

I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. – Luke 6:27-28.

And it came to pass, that, as [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. – Luke 11:1-4.

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given him authority over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as You have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those whom You have given me, for they are Yours. ... I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me. – John 17:1-9, 20.

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray ... Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him ... pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. – James 5:13-16.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. – 1 John 5:14-16.

Prayer rises as incense before God: And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. – Revelation 8:1-4.

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Old Testament on Prayer

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. – Proverbs 28:9.

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. – Isaiah 56:7.

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Prayer in Other Sacred Writings

Do not ... babble when you pray. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 7:14.

Before you pray, prepare yourself; and be not as one who tempts the Lord. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 18:23.

Forgive your neighbor the hurt that he has done you, so shall your sins also be forgiven when you pray. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 28:2.

The Father is not won over without prayers. – The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

The Father does not grant remission to one on another's behalf. – The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

Pray in the place where there is no woman [mortal-temporal]. – The Dialogue of the Savior, Codex III, 5.

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Etymology of pray and prayer: Latin precari "ask earnestly, beg," from prex (plural preces, gen. precis) "prayer, request, entreaty," from Proto Indo-European base prek‑ "to ask, request, entreat." Latin precarius "obtained by prayer," from precari (see pray).



Prayer is a law of doing. We form laws of doing to temper abstract principle to suit individual intelligence and consciousness, to control and govern soul unfolding, behavior and relationships, according to our present degree of understanding and development. The abstract principles of doing or expression are equilibrium, harmony and balance.

The laws of doing apply to visible, material things and living souls, and deal with personal expression and action. The laws of doing include every instance in the Bible where God commands us "Thou shalt" (248 times) or "Thou shalt not" (365 times). Every law of doing directs the soul to the right choice for action; apply this rule to discover many more unrecorded laws.



Prayer
"Prayer is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions.

"Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive."

"Prayer is of different kinds, secret; social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary. Intercessory prayer is enjoined, and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers.

"No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling in prayer; of bowing and falling prostrate; of spreading out the hands; and of standing.

"If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9‑13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture." – Easton's Illustrated Bible Dictionary



Exhortation to Prayer
What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there?

Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.

Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.

While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel's side;
But when through weariness they fail'd,
That moment Amalek prevail'd.

Have you no words? Ah, think again,
Words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow-creature's ear
With the sad tale of all your care.

Were half the breath thus vainly spent
To heaven in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oftener be,
"Hear what the Lord has done for me."
– William Cowper



References

Cowper, William. "Exhortation to Prayer," The Poetical Works of William Cowper, Benham, William. Macmillan and Co., London, and New York, 1870.

Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 3rd ed. M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., ed. T. Nelson & Sons. London: 1897. Accessed January 2016. Prayer

Harper, Douglas: Online Etymology Dictionary

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.


Related Topic

See also Mystic



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