I’ve spoken about prayer in the last few episodes, and that leaves us with one question. The problem is, the question is so obvious that some don’t even see it as a question. Very simply: to whom should you address your prayers? And some other questions would follow. For instance, if what works for me doesn’t work for you, or vice versa, does that mean that one should impose their faith on the other?
The answer to this and other similar questions can be found, and found clearly, even in the Christians’ Bible. People who can keep their preconceived notions from interfering with the actual content will understand.
We’ve spent a fair amount of time discussing prayer in the last couple of episodes, and not flatteringly in the case of some who seem to mis-use or actually avoid real prayer. It’s time to see how prayer can actually be made to work, and work effectively!
To begin with, understand that praying for what you need is not greed, but also know that praying for others does help them. In fact, I am aware of a very recent and well-documented case that proves that point.
With every major tragedy on the news, especially storms and mass shootings, many politicians and others say that the victims have their “thoughts and prayers”. I often wonder if their “thoughts and prayers” are a euphemism for doing nothing. But, people who want to do something can transform genuine thoughts and prayers into powerful action! And, it is well within our grasp!
Not only is it within our grasp, but many of the tasks are ones you do anyway, and look forward to doing! Let’s see what can happen when we turn other people’s insincerities into genuine action!
Following a question by Peter as to how often he is supposed to forgive someone, Jesus goes into a parable of a king who called his servants into account. We’d call it an audit today. And, one servant was found to owe ten thousand talents, a lot of money. But he begged the king forgiveness, and the king forgave him. But the servant wanted to press severely for payment of a fellow-servant whose debt amounted to pocket change. What the king does as a result shows that we will see the level of mercy we give to others.
We call ourselves spiritual, and/or magickal, and/or religious. Yet even the best of us is getting too accustomed to the continuing wave of gun violence. Here in the Philadelphia area, part of the routine is to turn on the morning news to learn who got shot last night. And then, there are the mass shootings in which any number from a dozen to several hundred are shot! When do we draw the line and say that enough is enough?
It might be fair to say that we are the victims of bullying. The fact is that public officials, including elected ones, are attracted to money and promises of good publicity. And that has attracted them to the point that it was recently shown how little their own lives matter!
Most of us understand manners and common courtesy in dealing with our fellow mortals in any number of situations, whether it’s in an elementary school classroom, a corporate boardroom, or anywhere ale you can imagine. But what about dealing with The Divine, or The Departed? And what about deities or departed ones who are not your own? And what about the people who do revere them?
Some basic principles can go a long way here. Not only might they keep us out of trouble, we might even benefit!