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 some thoughts on prayers.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Some Thoughts on Prayer
Jesus said, "... men ought always to pray and not faint." Luke, Chapter 18, Verse 1.
Brothers and sisters, in today's broadcast we shall explore some additional insights into spiritual
prayer. The best way to be conscious of another individual is to be engaged with them, even with the
heavenly Father. We know that we are His children and as such have a spiritual relationship with
him. We can communicate with him and He communicates with us. And while the Father is
conscious of our communications with him, we are not always conscious of His communications
with us. What is the reason for this disconnect? Why is it that we sometimes don't recognize His
communications with us? We are desirous of gaining greater insight into this communication with
our spiritual Father. It is with prayer that we consciously communicate with the Father. Usually when
we do this we are requesting something from Him.
We are told that the Father answers prayers, but these answers are not the literal ones we are
accustomed to. Jesus tells us to continue to pray rather than faint or become discouraged because it
takes some time for us to recognize the answer to our petitions. The Father answers our prayers right
away, but it takes time to realize the answer. Another issue is inappropriate prayers that if were
literally answered would do us great harm. Jesus refers to this when he asks us if we would give a
child a serpent because he unwisely asks for it. Next are prayers that are appropriate but ill-timed.
Prayers that refer to a future state of maturity must await our maturity before we can receive and
recognize the answer. The answer to the prayer is waiting in our souls for their use when the time
We must remember also that the answers to prayers must be consistent with reality. We should not
pray for that which is not the divine will. Since we do this out of ignorance, "the Spirit helpeth our
infirmities: For we know not what to pray for as we ought: But the Spirit itself maketh intercession
for us with groaning which cannot be uttered." Furthermore we should remember that the "kingdom
of heaven is not meat and drink, but peace, joy and righteousness in the holy Spirit." Therefore the
nature of our requests should be for righteousness, for assistance in obeying the divine command to
be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. The acquirement of a righteous character like Jesus'
should be our supreme prayer. In seeking to obtain this righteous character, everything else that is
needful will be supplied. Seek the greater and the lesser will be found therein.
There is no place in the kingdom of heaven for self aggrandizement. The answer to all prayers can
only be those values that will equip us to be of service in furthering the kingdom of heaven on earth.
And since the answer to prayers can only be unselfish values, then it only follows that we should
pray for these unselfish values. Remember the vine only exists to produce fruit. It can do nothing
The Father is love and he reveals himself by nature. "God answers man's prayer by giving him an
increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of
goodness. Prayer is a subjective gesture, but it contacts with mighty objective realities on the
spiritual levels of human experience; it is a meaningful reach by the human for superhuman values.
It is the most potent spiritual-growth stimulus." There is a good deal of meaning here. If examined
properly and accurately, and freed from our preconceived concepts, we see that these are not the kind
of answers we are used to getting when asking the Father for help with a particular problem. This
quote tells us that when we pray we are in reality reaching for superhuman values, those values that
are above the state of humanness; however, at the same time we still have the capacity to
How do we go from requests framed in material terms and related to the particular problem that we
are struggling with to an answer that consists of superhuman values? Usually when we pray, we are
not consciously praying for values. We are praying to be delivered from some real material situation,
but that is not the province of prayers. The province of prayer is superhuman values. There is a
relationship between the content of our prayers and the answers to our prayers, though it is not direct.
Let's say we are in a difficult personality relationship. We really would like to get out of this
difficulty, but if there was no difficulty, we would not mind staying. In fact, we probably would
enjoy remaining in it. Now prayer takes for its object the desire to stay in the relationship.
So we see that something must happen to change from wanting to escape from a relationship to
wanting to stay in one. When man prays to the Father to be delivered from some problem, the answer
is often his changed attitude towards the problem. The Father does not answer the words of the mind.
Words are valueless; the Father answers the attitude of the soul. The attitude of the soul is different
from the attitude of the mind. The soul deals with the realms of values; mind with the realm of ideas,
meanings. So we see that when we pray even though we may be requesting help for the mind, what
we are really doing is requesting help for the soul.
The soul always wants to grow and master the environment it is in, so that soul prays for superhuman
values when confronted with personality difficulty. It seeks those values that will change its attitude
towards the problem at hand. So in our example above, the soul prays for love, wisdom, patience,
hope, and faith. These qualities when applied to the problem at hand changes the attitude from being
irritated by the personality to one of contentment. It is the change from desiring to escape to the
desire of remaining, and in so doing master the problem. We master all difficulties by submitting to
them. By submitting to them, we gain the values that the Father is trying to impart to us, values that
are critical for us to be perfect even as he is perfect. No growth can occur by ducking and dodging
difficult situations. We only grow when we are confronted with the need to do so, and this need to
grow becomes apparent when we are faced with some difficulty in our lives.
When talking with a material personality, we have no difficulty at all perceiving it. And that is
because we are material creatures. We can enjoy this material interaction, whether it be in person,
through a telephone conversation or through a radio broadcast. Our material minds have no difficulty
recognizing the personality of a material person, but when it comes to recognizing a spiritual
personality, the heavenly Father, our material minds are inadequate to do so. We must resort to
another means for recognizing a spiritual personality, and this other means is by faith. Faith tells us
that we are in communication with the heavenly Father, which we are, just as we would if we were
communicating with a material personality. With our faith, we move from not being able to
communicate to being able to communicate with the heavenly Father.
When we pray, we can become conscious of the Father's communication with us if we consciously
pray for values rather than for things. When we are in a difficult situation, if we analyze the situation
and determine which values are needed for this particular situation, we shall consciously receive
those values, and this bridges the gap between the petitions of the soul and the petitions of the mind.
Our conscious minds can receive the divine meanings of these values, and thus recognize that two
way communication has taken place. We have laid our petitions before the Father, and He has
answered, and we have recognized that answer in the divine values and meanings that we apply to
the given situation. And now we understand why, when we pray for someone, we must be in daily
contact with them, because that is the only way we can display the divine values and thus
comprehend their meanings.
Prayer has achieved it goals when we have learned how to do the Father's will, to respond to the
problems of living the way that Jesus does, and that is with love, patience, mercy, and forgiveness.
This concludes today's message on understanding some thoughts on 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.