How we pray and what prayers mean to us depends on our idea of God. The traditional view of God is rooted in the belief that God is separate from us, that He is a 'being' and has form, much like human beings have. In this view, God is like an all-powerful king who runs the world like it's His kingdom, keeps a record of our good and bad behaviour and sits in judgement of our respective lives. We're then either rewarded or punished accordingly. Everything in this notion implies that God is an aspect of human beings, only more powerful than us.
More and more of us are realising that the traditional view of God is limiting in many ways. It's a narrow view of the all-creating force, the universal intelligence that flows through everything. We're realising that the universe, with all its constituents, including human beings, is an aspect of this God.
The emerging view of God is all-encompassing, where God is not believed to be a separate, powerful being but a formless energy that we're all a part of. Godliness, then, is an intrinsic aspect of every individual and consequently each of us is empowered to effect positive change in our lives, and the lives of others. We're co-creating our world, and the happenings in it, at all times.
If we're all part of one divine, loving force, then what's good for us is also good for everyone else. Conversely, what's good for everyone else is good for us too. When we recognise this idea of 'oneness', our prayers become transformed from a 'plea to a king' into 'an intention for the greater good of all'.
Perhaps the term that reflects the emerging view of prayers best is 'Collective Consciousness'. Experiments published in respected scientific journals demonstrate that prayer groups have caused significant changes in the lives of the target population. From individual improvements such as enhanced physical and mental health to large-scale social improvements like lower crime rates, decreased incidence of accidents, and lesser probability of conflict and wars — all this because of reduced stress in the collective psyche.
How about spending a few minutes each day practising this new form of prayer? Together, we can use our collective consciousness and bring about much needed change on planet Earth. If enough of us project the intention for a happier, healthier, conflict-free world, we will manifest it. All we need to remember is that we're part of the same divine energy that created the universe – together, we're all Godliness.
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