Episode:Prayer—Petitions and Answers (Part 3)

From Symmetry of Soul

Jesus taught people to pray for divine guidance—wisdom—over the pathway of earthly life, yet many today resort to prayer only when in trouble. Such a practice is thoughtless and misleading. There is but one form of prayer which is appropriate for all God’s children, and that is: “Nevertheless, your will be done.”

Listen to the broadcast

Keywords: Urantia, True Prayer, Intelligent, Earnest, Steadfast

Summary by Kermit

146:2.11 At Jotapata (cont.)

Before beginning where we left off the week before with the midwayers’ restatement of Jesus’ teachings about prayer at Jotapata, we spent some time in a big picture look at Jesus’ purpose in these apparently hard sayings concerning the prayer life. In so doing we looked at an analogy between our far distant future approach, as ascenders, to the personal recognition of the three Paradise Deities and our attempt to approach the Father directly through immature prayer practices.

On high, the personal presence of the Third Source and Center enshrouds the Second Source and Center who likewise enshrouds the First Source and Center, The Father. In our quest for contacting (comprehending) our Father, we must transcend the recognition of the Third Source and Center—the ministry of mercy, and the Second Source and Center—mercy itself. They can be thought of as a mercy buffer. Thus, we stand beyond the mercy buffer, subject to the embrace of the LOVE and judgment of the LAW that constitute the Father. And we will do this without being eliminated because we have been tried, trained, and tested in the ways of perfecting. But here in our mortal estate we must make use of the lavish mercy credits on deposit for us, to survive the consequences of our rudimentary and primitive prayer practices. Jesus is strongly urging these ambassadors of his gospel to move up and grow up into adults of God. Jesus is about to upgrade the spiritual energy on the planet and he recognizes the great danger of immature self-centered prayer combined with such increased spirit energy. The resultant PRIDE is the single greatest danger to man’s spiritual integrity.

Soon in our universe careers, we will be asked to enact the truth of the Paradisiacal fact-transaction described above, i.e., transcend mercy ministry and make the choice between EVERYTHING or NOTHING, as regards our eternal destiny. A rock solid spiritual integrity will be required.

Point 10. Along with a reminder to keep the prayers for the afflicted and actual ministry to the afflicted clearly distinguished, Jesus continues to emphasize the need to move away from self and self-centered prayer, by allowing for the desire to pray for friends and family, but raises the bar and reminds us to pray for those who persecute us.

Point 11. Resorting to prayer only when in trouble, Jesus calls thoughtless and misleading. He suggests speaking to the Father as son even when all is well with our soul. Prayers of thanksgiving are appropriate for groups, but our personal prayers should be in private. And the form of prayer appropriate for all God’s children is “Nevertheless, your will be done.”

Point 12. All believers are encouraged to pray for the extension of the kingdom of heaven as well as for humility and spiritual rectitude.

Point 13. Prayer for the knowledge of the will of the Father’s is of greatest importance, followed by the prayer for divine guidance. While prayer is a factor in the enlargement of one’s capacity to receive the presence of the divine spirit, he never taught prayer was a means of acquiring human knowledge or special skill. To Jesus, praying sincerely in accordance with one’s enlightenment, wholeheartedly, and intelligently, earnestly and steadfastly were equivalent to praying in the spirit and in truth.

Point 14. Jesus stressed the role of prayer as a means of leading to thanksgiving and worship. He further warned them against thinking that eloquent phraseology, fasting, penance, or sacrifice would render their prayers more efficacious.

Point 15. Concerning their material welfare, Jesus urged his followers to trust God and spread their needs before the Father in heaven in the spirit of sincere thanksgiving.

Point 16. The midwayers’ final point of the Jotapata discourse underscored the role of prayer in attaining a state of true worship. He instructed them to remain in silent receptivity (worship) following prayer. He emphasized the role of the indwelling Adjuster and his own Spirit of Truth as mighty enablers to worship. And worship in turn is the secret of becoming God-like.

The midwayers note that Jesus taught many other truths about man’s communion with God, but not many of his listeners could fully comprehend his teachings.

168:4. The Answer to Prayer

Here we have the final section of our arc on prayer. Following the amazing feat of the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus would not answer the apostles’ many questions concerning details of the resurrection of the dead because of their limited capacity for comprehension. But, of course we now have the fifth epochal revelation which provides us with many of such details. However, since he was alone with the apostles, save Peter and Andrew, he said many things to the ten which he thought would prepare them for the trying days to come.

In light of their most recent extraordinary experiences, particularly that Jesus told messengers to Bethany that Lazurus’ sickness was not to the death, and Lazarus died anyway, the ten had many question concerning prayer and its answering.

Here again the midwayers summarize Jesus’ teaching, this time into ten points:

  1. Prayer is an expression of the finite mind in an effort to approach the Infinite. This finite-infinite differential must be reckoned with in trying to understand answers to such prayers. Because of this, there can never be observed an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto.
  2. Prayers apparently unanswered may represent a delay, indicating a better answer is forthcoming, more in keeping with the spirit of that person’s prayer in contrast with the desires of the mind.
  3. Some prayers of time are so vast they can only be answered in eternity.
  4. Answers to some prayers can only be received when the creature has attained the spirit level of existence.
  5. Answers to ignorant and superstitious prayers may be ill advised. Such prayers when translated by intervening spirit beings may receive an answer unrecognizable to the petitioner.
  6. True prayers are addressed to spiritual beings and are answered in spiritual terms. Such beings cannot bestow material answers to spirit petitions.
  7. Only prayer born of the spirit in faith can hope for an answer. Sincerity conveys to the hearers of your prayer the rights to answer in accordance with supreme wisdom.
  8. The child has the right to petition the parent, and the parent has the obligation to delay, modify, segregate, transcend or postpone answers thereto.
  9. Don’t hesitate to pray prayers of spirit longing. The answer will be on deposit for you when you have attained requisite cosmic attainment.
  10. All genuine spirit borne petitions are answered, albeit conditioned by time-space factors.