Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we explore spiritual solutions for when we don’’t know what to say or to ask for during prayer.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
More about Silent Prayer
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 26
Brothers and sisters, sometimes our trials and tribulations become so fierce, the emotions so overwhelming and contradictory that we approach something close to paralysis of moral will. At least that is how it appears to our material minds. We don’’t know whether to go right or left, forward or backward. We don’’t know whether we are still on the right track or have somehow slipped off. We become confused. But in all such states as we continue to strive to do the Father’’s will, we should remember "confusion goes before growth as well as before destruction."
There are times in our upward climb when we are reaching for the new values and meanings but have not gotten a firm grasp on them, though we have exhausted the old ones. Confusion of concept is inevitable. As such times, we may be confronted with the material complement of such a spiritual state such as an abrupt change in material status. Take, for example, retirement. In this state, we have completed the work that we may have been involved in for many, many years. And even though we realized this day was coming, there was no way we could realize that reality of this state before we experienced it. All of a sudden, all of the forward momentum of our efforts comes to an abrupt stop, but the forward inertia of the emotions, the habits, the material meanings and the values continue. We become like a calf hovering over its dead mother who has just been shot, vainly trying to resurrect her so it can feed.
At such times, there is nothing we can do. We can’’t think our way out of such a predicament and our thinking processes appear to slow down and come to a halt. Our thoughts are seized before we can even give expression to them. Sleep becomes a foreign language which we don’’t know how to speak or how to learn how to speak. We try to pray but can’’t find words that adequately express what we are feeling. And since we can’’t think of anything to say that will move us away from this intolerable situation, we move into the "Lord, have mercy”” phase, throwing ourselves on his mercy and grace. But he replies, "My grace is sufficient for you." These are incomprehensible words to our material minds and we are thrown back on our faith, trust, and hope such as it is. We realize that these qualities of assurance must increase if we are to have a tranquil spirit and mind. We are like a person drowning in the sea who is being rescued and don’’t know how to relax and allow the rescuer to return us to safety. We continue to struggle and rage at our circumstances when we should "be still and know that I am the Lord."
We wander around during the day like a butterfly searching for nectar, trying to catch a moment of clarity, trying to catch a thought or an insight that will allow us to make sense of it all. And when we do finally behold one of those rarified moments of clarity and grasp it, we find it is like trying to hold water in our hands. It slips right through our fingers. Faith is not quite strong enough yet to grasp the new spiritual status. It is not quite time yet to grasp the new values and meanings. In due time, the new values and meanings will appear like the sun breaking through the clouds, and what a happy soul we will be.
This becomes one of those times where there is nothing that we can do materially to alleviate the grievous situation. Only time can stop the previous inertia of past experience and propel us forward into the new one. As MBP (Must Be Patient) said, "it is at such times that we must exercise faith and trust along with all the hope that we can muster." "Religious perplexities are inevitable; there can be no growth without psychic conflict and spiritual agitation. The organization of a philosophic standard of living entails considerable commotion in the philosophic realms of the mind. Loyalties are not exercised in behalf of the great, the good, the true, and the noble without a struggle. Effort is attendant upon clarification of spiritual vision and enhancement of cosmic insight. And the human intellect protests against being weaned from subsisting upon the nonspiritual energies of temporal existence. The slothful animal mind rebels at the effort required to wrestle with cosmic problem solving.””
We know that we are doing the best that we know how. We are dedicated and remain dedicated to doing the Father’’s will. At such times, we should recall former times of success when we luxuriated in the old divine values and meanings of previous conquests. We should allow those memories of past conquests to comfort and inspire us along with realizing that one day, either here or there, we will recall the divine values and meanings extracted from this experience with fondness and wonder why we were tempted to doubt the goodness of the Father.
The calf may hover over his slain mother trying to resurrect her so that he can feed, but no force on earth or in heaven can slay the heavenly Father or pry our souls loose from feeding off the milk of truth that he so freely gives. He is indestructible. The grievous and protracted experience has forced us into the more spiritual phases of our selves where words are useless and even thought unnecessary. We move to the realm of silent prayer. We have risen to the level of spiritual desire where we communicate our desire to the Father and receive his good pleasure, the values of truth, beauty, and goodness, and especially the value of love.
In the realm of silent prayer, we inherently transmit our desires to the heavenly Father. We receive the divine assurances in the form of faith, trust, and hope. And the proof of the effectiveness of this silent prayer is the cessation of struggle against that which is, as we patiently wait for that which is to be. We gradually learn to speak the foreign language of sleep, we stop struggling against the rescuer who is saving us from being drowned in the sea of distrust. Gradually the confusion clears. Tranquility returns to the mind as we adjust to the material counterpart of the spiritual reality we have been going through. Gradually we progress from drinking the milk of truth which has sustained us during the infancy of this new spiritual experience to the more mature meat of spiritual truth and the sustenance of goodness. Our faith, trust, and hope has now reached sufficient levels, where we realize that we are now operating on a higher level in our relationship with the heavenly Father. We have been in training for the new experience, and we are now ready to go forth revealing his love and mercy through his Son, Jesus, to our brothers and sisters. Indeed, his grace has been sufficient for us to grasp the new values and meanings of divine sonship and the Fatherhood of God.
This concludes today's message on understanding more about silent prayer. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.