Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Early Public Work (Part 2)

From Symmetry of Soul

The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard; the spiritual wisdom and universe consistency of any petition is the determiner of the time, manner, and degree of the answer. A wise father does not literally answer the foolish prayers of his ignorant and inexperienced children, albeit the children may derive much pleasure and real soul satisfaction from the making of such absurd petitions.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Prayer, Justice, Mercy

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We reflected on the idea that God forgives his children before they ask Him by recognizing that the Universal Father, is purely existential and without direct relation to time, as well as His being changeless. The 5th ER challenges us to think differently than humans ever have about the Father, particularly with respect to temporality. In place of preoccupation with the Father’s temporal attitude toward our transgressions, we do better to work on moving our faith up to the higher vantage of trust in the changeless God who is love.

146: 2.5 At Jotapata (cont.)

We resumed our discussion of the sixteen item list of Jesus’ teaching points concerning prayer, thanksgiving, and worship:

4. Salvation not forced. We noted that the Hebrew scripture passages used to illustrate the operation of universe justice in the face of a creature’s choice to not survive are from the even more ancient Amenemope’s Book of wisdom which found their way into the book of Proverbs. The absolute dimension of creature personality is revealed in God’s inability to force the salvation of eternal survival on those who do not choose to survive. Our free-will choice to survive or not to survive is in truth absolute. In considering the qualities of divine justice and mercy we are taught that the one is indissolubly linked with the other.

5. Mercy and wise prayer. Universe fairness demands we extend to our fellows that mercy which we ourselves seek. The sincerity of any prayer ensures its reception. The spiritual wisdom and universe consistency of any petition determine the time, manner, and degree of its answer. The foolish prayers of the immature child of God may be the source of much pleasure and even real soul satisfaction, however, such pleasure and satisfaction should not lead to the conclusion that the prayer will be literally answered.

6. Doing the Father's will. Prayers of one who is wholly consecrated to the doing of the Father’s will are always answered. However, attaining to such a high bar of consecration is not so common. We examined the revelation’s description of what constitutes the doing of the Father’s will. “The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God”, not merely goodness. Mistake not the feelings about the outer life for genuine inner life experience. Appreciate that in addition to dedication of your will to the perfect will of God the Father, there remains the consecration of your mind (whole hearted) to the universal harmony of God the Mother to complement the creature’s conformity with the cosmos.

7. Prayer changes us, not God. Prayer does not change the changeless Father’s attitude toward the creature, rather does it change the creature’s attitude toward God. The spiritual motive of the one who prays gains right of way to God’s ear by virtue of real spirit gravity. True prayers of the inner life are likewise answered within by God in the form of an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. We went on to revisit the distinction between a spiritual motive, and a mindal intention. Check the archives for particulars.

8. Don't be self-serving in prayer. We commented on the midwayers’ creative use of passages from the Book of Psalms to highlight the truth contained therein. Jesus’ admonition against resorting to prayer for selfish reasons should challenge the disciple to reflect on their past prayer life. However, our early beginnings in selfishness are not to be despised, for such selfishness is a necessary starting point for the child of God, to be outgrown as we become adults of God.

9. In Jesus' name misunderstanding. Here we encounter the greatly misunderstood issue of asking of the Father in Jesus’ name as some form of supreme magic. For centuries Christians have stumbled over this idea. Careful reflection on the meaning of Jesus’ words as given to us in the 5th ER indicate that Jesus can present to the Father our real needs and desires in accordance his will. Elsewhere we are told that prayer is self-reminding. Overmuch self-centered praying risks drifting toward self-righteousness. Jesus therefore encourages us to pray for the spiritual progress of our brethren, all the while avoiding materialistic praying.

10. Pray for those who curse you. Prayer is not a substitute for loving service concerning the needs of the afflicted, but can serve as a stimulus for such service. Perhaps Jesus’ greatest challenge for the believer is to make loving petitions for those you would call enemy. But even Jesus does not presume to tell us when to pray. He directs our attention inward to the Father’s indwelling spirit for when to pray.

Notes by Brad

  • God the Father is changeless. But that's difficult to wrap one's head around.
  • The mystery of mysteries: How IS there a relationship between eternity and time? How does a Thought Adjuster bridge that gap?
    • You won't figure out the physics. But you can ensure the mysteries exist in a logical (not magical) framework.
    • And logic can be more holistic than simple linear logic. The 5th ER refers to this here and there invoking the "ellipse."
    • An ellipse wraps back around, so you can find other paths to understanding.
    • Why would you ever place trust in a mercurial, anthropomorphic God? Trust will really be easier if you conceive of him correctly.

  • Item 4. Justice is simply a fact. You wouldn't want a universe without it. And mercy and justice cannot be separated. They are absolutely linked.
  • It's very challenging to deeply engage the 5th ER with utmost focus without tripping over every sentence.
    • You could try not focusing... but you won't get far.
    • Much like one of Jesus' parable, it's a bit designed to trip you up. Can you see through that, staying humble?
  • Item 5. "Mercy does not wholly abrogate universe fairness." You're not the only being in the universe. Mutuality (fairness) is in play.
  • Don't underestimate the Book of Proverbs. Its wisdom still applies today, not outdated.
  • Favorable conditions: sincerity. It will ensure a prayer will be heard. Of course will it be answered? It might be absurd. It might be an abomination.

  • Willingness to share the inner life with God is doing the will of God.
    • Is this a low bar? Well, God the Father is a floor to the infinite, not the ceiling.
  • Being wholly dedicated to God's will that's not exactly a small thing.

  • Motive is a high word. Not a mindal intention. Not a mere desire. It needs spiritual gravity to reach the divine ear.
    • This author has had positive results by stopping using words like motive and purpose in common usage. To leave open humble breathing space for "well, what IS motive?"

  • "Please Lord, cure me of MY cancer." Oh, you mean unfair advantage? You mean ignoring the mutuality of the cosmos?
  • Who "designed" prayer? The Life Carriers.

  • Prayer is self-reminding. That's inescapable. But that's a mustard seed of a problem, because it can grow into self-centeredness and self-righteousness.
  • Are you not praying for the spiritual progress of your coworkers? Are you selfishly praying, "Lord, please remove this person from my life so it ay be more pleasant"?
  • "Gifts of the spirit" are not pleasant feelings. And they are not material gifts. So what ARE they?
  • We're designed to naturally pray selfishly and materialistically.
    • Can you transcend that? Can you pray for those who curse you?
    • Can your definition of love be less relative? Who is your neighbor?