The Mechanism of Personal Prayer

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 the mechanism of personal prayer.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message. 

The Mechanism of Personal Prayer

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
request be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep
your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. " Philippians, Chapter 4, Verse 6

Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we shall examine the mechanism of personal prayer. It is
our aim to understand how personal prayer works so that our prayers can become more effective, and
so that we can pray more intelligently and consequently better realize the answer to our prayers. If
we can achieve this, we will be further realizing of the heavenly Father as not just a spiritual being
who watches over us but as a loving Father who is involved in the intimate and daily affairs of our
spiritual and moral lives. 

Believers are familiar with prayer because most of us pray when we need help. Parents pray
diligently for guidance to help their children or to change their children’’s behavior, and many years
are consumed in this effort. Sometimes (in fact, often) it appears that there is no answer to our
prayers. Other times it appears that years go by before there is any partial answer. Sometimes we
wonder if there is anyone listening, but we continue to pray. We don’’t know what else to do. And
yet our faith instructs us that the heavenly Father hears our petitions and responds to them. Let’’s
consider a material analogy to help us understand the Father’’s response to our prayers.

A radio transmits a broadcast signal to a certain area using a transmitter. Radio waves spread
throughout the listening area. The human ear will never hear these radio waves unless some
mechanism transforms them into audio waves. A receiver is that mechanism: it transform the radio
waves into sound waves. It is composed of a few parts. First there is an antennae that collects the
waves. As the radio waves move over the antennae, they generate an electrical current; the antennae
then feeds this current into a device, where the radio signal is separated from its carrier; after the
signal is separated from its carrier wave, the signal is then amplified and fed into the loud speaker,
where the electrical signal is changed into sound waves that are audible to the human ear. To operate,
the receiver needs electricity supplied either by a battery or an electrical current. The receiver has
a switch for turning itself on and off. It also has a tuning mechanism that allows for tuning to various
The Father transmits the answer to prayers in a similar way. He sends broadcasts of love and mercy
to our souls. The divine spirit that lives in our minds and souls is the receiver. The answer to
petitions are presented in the form of values. These values are then transmuted into meanings of the
mind, where we can consciously recognize and respond to them. From the human point of view, faith
is the power that makes the receiver work. Once the receiver is turned on by an expressed need and
an act of will, releasing the current of faith, all that is needed is for the soul to tune to the proper
station to receive the answers to his petitions in the form of values and meanings.

The problem of recognizing answers is varied. First, no petition to the Father can violate our or
another’’s free will. So we see that this can be a cause of delay in receiving answers, especially when
the petition involves behavior that the petitioner is desirous of changing in someone else. We see that
some other mechanism must be used to bring about the change when there is resistance to change
in the one for whom we pray. 

There are several influences operating to bring about a desirable change in an individual who is on
the wrong path of life. First, there is the penalty for error. When a person is in error, he cannot realize
the fruits he is trying to actualize. A red flag comes eventually and causes him to stop and take note.
At this crucial point lies an opportunity for the person to change course. 

Second, we are constructed such that we appreciate goodness, truth and beauty, and love. Love is
necessary to sustain the soul. Without it the soul languishes and dies. Like the human body the soul
has safeguards to prevent it from starving. The soul hungers for truth and thirsts for righteousness.
These self-preservation urges ensure that the soul will not unconsciously injure itself. But again there
is always the choice of free will. The soul can decide to self destruct, and no force in the universe
can prevent this if that is the choice. 

Third, the Father’’s spirit is also working within the individual to bring about righteous change. The
impulse of love urges us away from selfishness. It teaches us that the way to happiness and
satisfaction is to become unselfishly involved in the lives of others. These influences conspire to
bring about a change in attitude (mind set) and thus a change in behavior. (But it should be apparent
that these influences are delayed and handicapped because of time and space.) But there is another
and more important factor that is needed from the person who desires to bring about a change in
another person. And this is the factor of personal involvement. 

The Father is not a magic wand to be waved about based on the muttering of a repetitious jingle;
prayer is not magic. We are sons and daughters of the Father, which means that the Father works in
and through us, his children. We must understand and realize that when we pray for another, we are
the answer to that prayer. We become the instrument through which the heavenly Father answers the
petition. Consequently, we must be in intimate contact if we are to be effective in being/conveying
the answer. But so often when believers pray, they do so without the intent of being personally
involved. They expect the heavenly Father to intervene directly without their efforts: this is why their
prayers are answered in ways that aren’’t recognized.

The Father operates through his children. In order to bring about a change in another person, we must
make a spiritual appeal. And we can only make that spirit appeal if we are in close relationship with
him/her over time. We cannot exhibit the beautiful fruits of the spirit to the person whom we are
desirous of changing unless we choose to do the Father’’s will, and become the same qualities
ourselves that we detect the person needs. Choosing to do the Father’’s will is the deliberate choice
to become Godlike, like His Son, Jesus--to in effect make all of those values of the Father our own,
to incorporate them into our very being. So in our personal prayers, we must remember that ““prayer
is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict.
Pray only for values, not things; for growth, not for gratification.”” If we pray for our child to be
patient, say, then we must first become patient ourselves and display patience with our child.
Having acquired these values, we must consistently display them. This creates in the person an
internal and external stimulus. Next, prayer changes the attitude of the person who is praying. If we
truly desire to overcome the habit of criticizing some friend, for example, the quickest and surest
way of achieving such a change of attitude is to establish the habit of praying for that person every
day of our life.

As we gain experience in executing the Father’’s will, we become more sensitive and aware of the
true needs of the person that we pray for and are in contact with so that our prayers reflect
increasingly a request for those spiritual values that will in turn make a more precise spiritual appeal.
We gain greater wisdom and knowledge so that we can execute the Father’’s will more intelligently
and with wisdom. As we continue with this personal ministry, our character is gradually changed into
the image of the Son, Jesus. 

We recognize and accept that when we pray for someone that we know, we are the agency through
which the prayer will be answered. When we pray this way, we are more likely to say, "Here I am,
send me." We more perfectly realize that we are the ones who supply the divine values that are
needed for the person for whom we pray. And as we continue to do this we recognize that we are
indeed representatives of the Father. We are true sons and daughters engaged in the gigantic task of
perfecting ourselves, and through our spiritual appeals to our brothers and sisters assisting in their
perfection by first recognizing the Father’’s will in our relationship with them, and second through
our wholehearted dedication to doing that will.

This concludes today's message on understanding the mechanism of personal 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.

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