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 revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand how prayer and spiritualization are related.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Prayer and Spiritualization
"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 groaning which cannot be uttered." Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 26
Brothers and sisters, prayer is a spiritual exchange between the heavenly Father and His children, an exchange of the divine nature. It is true that the child does not recognize the true significance of prayer and thus gains considerable satisfaction from seeking favors from the heavenly Father. The Father does delight in showering His children with spiritual gifts: "The cry of the righteous is the faith act of the child of God which opens the door of the Father's storehouse of goodness, truth, and mercy, and these good gifts have long been in waiting for the son's approach and personal appropriation. Prayer does not change the divine attitude toward man, but it does change man's attitude towards the changeless Father. The motive of the prayer gives it right of way to the divine ear, not the social, economic, or outward religious status of the one who prays."
The purpose of prayer is to teach us how to do the divine will. Now let us delve into this truth a little closer. We know the Father reveals himself to us by His nature, and this is love. God is love. This divine nature encompasses all spiritual qualities. And since the Father reveals himself by His nature, our petitions must be answered in terms of the divine nature, the divine will. This is why we often do not consciously recognize the answer to prayer: when we seek to know the Father’’s will, we are in effect seeking to know His divine nature: divine love that encompasses truth, beauty, and goodness.
Since the Father is seeking us, we begin this process of acquiring the divine nature by seeking Him and finding Him in return. Our seeking is the proof that we have found him. Once we find each other, we become partakers of the divine nature. Our faith in the Father’’s command to be perfect even as He is perfect ensures that we partake of the divine nature. We find God by seeking to do His will. Then we begin the process of knowing God, of knowing the divine nature. We become perfect even as He is perfect. "It is a mystery how the Father fosters, protects, and perfects us without compelling us. He guides and directs, but without self-assertion. He ministers progression, but without domination."
And though we gain great psychological comfort from expressing our thoughts in prayer to the Father, words are really unnecessary. The Father answers the souls attitude towards Him. Thus if the attitude of our souls is to become perfect even as He is perfect, he answers our souls attitude by making us increasingly perfect even as He is perfect. This technique of becoming perfect even as the Father is perfect is an eternity technique that is expressed in time in space. In eternity, we are already perfect, but this technique of expressing perfection in time and space allows for delays and handicaps. This means that we can participate in our own growth.
The divine plan for our perfection is already ordained. The Father has set the whole thing in motion by His command to be perfect even as He is perfect. The only thing that is required on our part is faith in the process. If we exercise this faith, we will achieve perfection. Time may delay the acquirement of perfection, and space may handicap its accomplishment. After all, time and space is a technique for the Father’’s escape from eternity and infinity. Time and space prevent all things from happening at the same time and in the same place. And since time and space are merely transmuting machines, they give way to the Father’’s command for all things to be perfect even as He is perfect.
On this world, to be perfect as the heavenly Father means to be like Jesus. The Father has provided the perfect model for us to emulate. By seeking to do the Father’’s will as revealed in the life of Jesus, we acquire His moral and spiritual character as revealed in Jesus. We also follow Jesus’’ technique for acquiring this time-space perfection. Our prayers give way to thanksgiving, and our thanksgiving gives way to true worship. In the process of becoming true worshipers, those souls who have learned to perfectly assume the divine nature engage in service to one another. This contact has the further influence of changing all those involved.
Now we see why it is important for us to be in contact with the brother or sister we pray for in order for the prayer to have an effect on that person. When we pray for someone, we are in effect requesting an aspect of the divine nature, the divine will, that we spiritually discern the brother or sister needs. We make a spiritual appeal to their souls. It is important for our brother or sister to know that we are praying for them. This is so because it is both an acknowledgment that we are praying for the person and also an acknowledgment that the brother or sister is seeking prayer and therefore will cooperate (receive) with the reception of the divine value. It is impossible to reveal the divine nature to someone who is not seeking it or who is hostile towards the divine nature. The acknowledgment of the recipient and the expressor of the divine value resolves this issue.
Thus, when we pray for any spiritual quality, like guidance, wisdom, understanding, patience, joy or peace, and so on, we have discerned that this is what the person needs. And right away we can see the fallacy of purely selfish praying. We know that purely selfish prayer provides no avenue for expressing divine qualities. These values remain potentials until such time as we display them to some other needy brother or sister. These qualities become real as we realize that we have them by sharing them.
The most efficient way to perfect our souls is to interact with our brothers or sisters who need a particular spiritual quality. This interaction causes the quality within us to transmute from the potential level to the actual level, as love flows through us to the brother or sister. And if the brother or sister is really seeking for God, for the divine nature, this revelation of divine values and meanings will stimulate the particular value that they are desirous of and become actual when they share this value with someone else. Thus the cycle is foreordained, from the Father to the soul, to the soul of the recipient, and then onto other souls. This flow becomes like a daisy chain.
The Father answers our petitions by making us the personalization of the petitions. Thus we see the need to interact with such a large number of brothers and sisters with different spiritual needs. These interactions bring forth different varieties of values needed to perfect our souls. And when we have actualized all of the potential values that consist in perfection, then we have achieved divine perfection in this life. We have acquired a character like Jesus. We have in spirit obeyed the command to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. All the values that we have prayed for and have expressed become personalized in our souls. We have become the sum total of all the spiritual values that we have expressed. We have become the expression of the Father’’s character as revealed in His Son, Jesus
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between prayer and spiritualization. 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.