We conclude this series of posts with a metaphor.
When we think of ourselves as being in God, and God being in us…
When we think of God being in everything, and everything being in God…
When we think of ourselves and God as a oneness rather than a two-ness…
…Praying for others stops being about getting God to do something he might not have if we hadn’t prayed.
Rather, it becomes about opening up the flow for ourselves, others, and the earth, to experience the God-life that is always present.
In the framework of the connectedness of everything, we can think of praying for one another as a catalyst that awakens one another’s experience of the ever-present Divine Life.
Ending With a Metaphor:
Eastern and Western Medicine
In the East, they have a very different approach to medicine than we do in the West. We think about our bodies like we think about machines. We imagine biological equivalents of levers, gears and switches inside us. From time to time parts break, software gets corrupted, and we go in and fix what ails us.
Thinking of medicine this way, our approach has been to figure out what went bad; which part got broken; and then design a pill or procedure to fix it.
But the Eastern approach begins with the assumption that there is already a healing force built into each of us. They call it “chi.” The job of medicine is to less to fix the body, and more to free up the flow of this natural healing force. They have all kinds of processes that free up the flow; herbs, foods, massage, and needles all work to stimulate chi flow. Each of these techniques widens the channels through which tyhe natural healing force flows.
When chi flows the body naturally heals itself.
What if we think about prayer the way we think about acupuncture?
The Fruit of Divine Life is present in and around everything. As such, healing, redemption, restoration, wisdom, guidance, and so forth are always present. We could think of intercessory prayer as a spiritual tool that frees up the channels through which Divine Life flows.
This is how I have come to frame my own prayers. I join the ancients in the age-old practice of praying for others. The only difference, I imagine, is the Story I tell myself about what I am doing when I do.
So I conclude this series of posts with this suggestion. Prayer is one of the ways we partner with Divine Life, by opening up channels that have become clogged. We can think of our prayers for one another, as ways we stimulate the flow of the Always-Present Divine Life.
What do you think?
About this post…
About the metaphor?
About this series of posts?
I have really appreciated your thoughts, the pictures, the idea that I can really discard a metaphor of God when it no longer serves to show my relation to the Presence. This idea of God has been a huge peace factor in my world…your words are a gift to help put substance to some pretty big thoughts. Thank you for sharing.
Doug does a great job of bringing logic to a subject that defies logic. Thank You.
Probably the easiest Series ending for me to follow/believe than any so far! As I told you many years ago, Doug, I am glad you believe or rethink some of the same things as I do… (smile)!
I read this this morning and thought of your blog series and the idea of prayer as chi. Anyway, I like it and thought I’d copy it here.
For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether.
from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
This really does resonate deep within me. One of the things I have been trying to do lately is focus my time in a more productive manner. Being pulled in so many different directions at one time has openned my eyes to the need for me to find my center, which I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been able to locate. Learning to pray for others in this manner and to find that Divine voice within me sounds like a little slice of Heaven in and of itself.