WHAT DO OUR ANCESTORS AND ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS TEACH ABOUT PRAYER
Prayer is an ancient experience and a bridge that humans throughout history have used to connect with our holy creator. Civilizations thousands of years ago have left records of their ability to release the power of prayer. Some of these traditions have been forgotten but the collected memory of these ancient people is rich in knowledge. What can we learn from the spiritual traditions of the past to guide us in prayer today?
The Essenes, a group of Judeans that lived from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D. and transcribed the Hebrew bible 2000 years ago (now called the Dead Sea Scrolls), practiced divine communion or prayer to align themselves with love, power and wisdom. They valued knowledge and were dedicated to learning. The Essenes are just one of our ancient people that have left us wisdom about prayer and how they used divine power to direct life’s activities. (1)
Past ancient cultures were aware of a presence in the universe that was described as the Spirit of God or a force. In their stories and written scripts, they left instructions on how use this Spirit to heal our bodies, bring peace to the world, and heal our interactions with other people. In his book, Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: The Hidden Power of Beauty, Blessings, Wisdom and Hurt, Gregg Braden describes this as the “lost mode” of prayer. This mode of prayer is not words, but a silent language based on human emotion. It calls for us to come with a thankful spirit believing that our prayers have already been answered. It asks us to cast out bitter emotion and past hurts from our heart. (2)
This approach to prayer is based on simple “feelings”. Rather than recite all the requests and problems that you want God to solve, simply create the emotion and feeling of prayer and let the answer surround you. Establish a clear and powerful feeling as if your prayers have already been answered. This does not require any words. This wisdom that our past civilizations used has largely been lost today in our society. When we empower our prayers by surrounding ourselves with our “feelings” and emotions we can involve all of our senses and take part in the healing and peace that we long for in our lives. Feelings of gratitude and thankfulness will flood our bodies and mind and connect us to the spirit of God that controls the universe.
Try this method of prayer for yourself. Get in a quiet place away from noise, TV and find solitude. Think of something you would like in your life, physical healing, purpose or direction for your life and instead of asking for help and for it to take place in your life, “feel” as though it has already happened. Feel your prayer as the joy and the presence of the Holy Spirit floods your soul and then be filled with gratitude and thankfulness that it has already happened. There is a difference and an ease that sets the “asking prayer” apart from the “receiving prayer.”
1.Hanson, Kenneth, PhD, Essene Book of Everyday Virtues: Spiritual Wisdom from the Dead Sea Scrolls, (Council Oak Books 2000,2006)
- Braden, Gregg Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: The Hidden Power of Beauty, Blessings, Wisdom and Hurt (Hay House, Inc. 2006)