by Reginald G. Johnson
I have heard it said that prayer is the practice of speaking to God, and that meditation is the art of listening to God or your higher self. I tell my students "prayer is when you speak with God; intuition is God answering you." Both are true but let me ask you, if God is the very life force within us, how can we NOT be praying at all times? Our every word and thought is a prayer regardless of whether or not it begins with "Our Father" or ends with "in Jesus' name." It is by realizing that we are always praying that we become more conscious of what we say and think.
Aside from our daily thoughts and words of which we may not even be aware, there are many disciplines of conscious, focused, intentional prayer available and each person may find a practice or method that best suits them. Prayer can be made alone or with a group, at home or in public. The technique is not as important as the consistency of the practice.
The Healing Power of Prayer
Healing has always been a mystical experience misunderstood and even ridiculed by skeptical onlookers. Some people believe that healing prayer is something that only a "qualified" representative of God - a healer or someone of high religious or prominent social status. That is why the low-status women who practiced healing in the late 1700's and early 1800's were considered witches and were burned at the stake. Today, there are numerous people who have a wide variety of healing gifts and the practice of prayer and healing is much more accepted by our society.
Science has proven that the human body has an energy field surrounding it with chakra or energy centers that facilitate the movement of energy in and out of the body. Healing is a transfer of energy from one person to another that activates the natural healing power of the recipient's body. That transfer of energy may be done through the laying on of hands (physical touch), Reiki (energy movement above or around the body without touching the client) or remotely through prayer. Any healing modality or prayer is a quiet and peaceful event.
In the preface to his book "Healing Words," Dr. Larry Dossey strongly supports the power of prayer in healing the sick. Dossey had planned to become a minister, but changed his mind and attended medical school instead. He found a way to connect ministry and medicine: the two things he felt called to. Arriving early at his office, he would pray for his patients while burning incense, shaking rattles and gourds and invoking healing powers in a manner similar to many shamans and healers. Then he realized that God was not "somewhere out there" but rather the Divine internal source within each of us. He discontinued his medical practice to write about his healing experiences. Dossey says that even our dreams can be prayers, which I take to mean that we pray without ceasing! In our dreams, it is not the words spoken but the intent behind it that counts. Some medical researchers indicate that prayer has physiological benefits by changing our chemical makeup, which changes the body's reality to affect positive, substantial healing.
Jesus was a great healer who had the psychic ability to communicate with the souls of others to determine their desire and readiness for healing. The recipient may not have been consciously aware that healing was available to them, but the soul was psychically requesting healing. This spiritual awareness or telepathic communication is an advanced ability to connect with the higher levels of consciousness. Jesus' prayers were usually authoritative commands rather than requests or petitions.
Group Prayer has a tremendous effect upon the world. Our communal response, visualizations and meditations can alter collective consciousness and bring healing to one person or an entire nation. Kathryn Kuhlman was an evangelist who led many healing services. The group energy in her meetings was so strong that people passing by the outside of the building, not knowing what was occurring inside, were healed simply by walking through the energy field. Somehow during a healing service a large energy field is created that is filled with intelligence and the ability to restore health. There is a scientific theory that the healing power of prayer is the square of the number of people gathered in prayer. For example if 100 people are praying as a group, the energy is the same as if 10,000 people were praying separately. Remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? God promised not to destroy the city for their heinous acts of violating the will of innocents through sexual aggression. God told Abraham that if he could find ten honest and loving people, the city would be spared.
Just think of what could be accomplished if as few as one percent of humanity would elevate its level of consciousness with the loving intention of creating world peace! Once we realize that what we say and do affects collective consciousness, we can join together to pray for the end of human suffering.
It has been noted that world events and catastrophes have been averted by mass prayer. By sending out love and light on the National Day of prayer, Earth Day, the Harmonic Convergence and other events where people all over the globe pray or meditate during a period of time there is a measured and recorded effect upon global events.
In his inaugural address, Nelson Mandela said, "As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." If each of you reading this book takes responsibility to heal yourself of the seven karmic patterns, it will be reflected in humanity by a reduction of fear, negativity, chaos, war and violence. If there is to be peace on earth it will begin with our thoughts and healing prayers.
What kind of prayers work best? Those prayers that do not direct God to a specific course of action. The more we let go of the desired outcome, the more effective our prayers become. It may be that our ego needs to see results and receive recognition for having something turn out like we planned, but when ego is out of the picture and a sincere open-ended prayer is made, you can be assured that the prayer is going to be answered. However, when you are not attached to the outcome or trying to dictate how God was supposed to respond, you may not realize when or how the prayer has been answered. Sometimes, all you need to pray is "Help!" The simplest, yet most effective prayer I've learned to pray is: "I send love and light to you. May you experience God's highest and best in this situation." This prayer is in line with the prayer Jesus taught his disciples: "God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Ancient Sanskrit Mantras and Power
In a place of solitude, a man sits down and adjusts the shawl around his shoulders. He closes his eyes and begins to meditate. Going deeper into some still, quiet place within himself, he begins to chant or intonate in mystical, rhythmic tones. Any onlooker would perceive the man to be asleep or crazy as he offers incantations to his God with a strange utterance of sounds.
Sound is not merely an artistic expression. The universe is made of sound or vibration. Sanskrit mantras are short phrases filled with powerful energy and intention. They generate sound waves that promote healing, insight, creativity, and spiritual growth by altering vibrations. The discipline of formal prayer and chanting is practiced in every religion around the world and is becoming more widely recognized in the West for its ability to affect health, success, mental clarity and other life issues such as overcoming fear, habits, grief and anger.
Using a mantra in your time of prayer or meditation can be very effective even if you don't understand the meaning. However, understanding them and chanting them correctly allows you to put more intent and emotion into it. So here are a few examples of how to use a mantra:
Almost all Sanskrit mantras start with the word "Om" (or ohm) which means "I AM." Further, the words "I AM" mean "God in me is." Repeating the name of God triggers a spiritual center in your psyche that otherwise may be inactive: Hold the tone "OM" as long as possible and repeat as much as you desire. This is considered the most powerful mantra, and will make your prayers come alive.
Try "Om Shanti Shanti Shanti" for Peace and Patience.
Try "Aham Aarogyam" which means "I am healthy."
Try "Om Trayamabakam" for health.
Try "Om Gayatri" for strength.
Try "Aham Brahmaasmi" to recognize your oneness with God.
Words in Vedic or Sanskrit give more importance to the sounds they make than to the meaning of the spoken word. Each mantra opens out from a single root syllable which contains one of the basic sounds. These sounds are made by the vowels in English words such as uh, far, hair, they, in, shoot, put, and a tone "oon" which has a nasal sound.
Since these are similar to the vowels of the English alphabet, you could use A, E, I, O, U to make the sounds and open the door to Divine connection in your personal mantra. For example, you may intone "Ohm A" 3x, then "Ohm E" 3x, "Ohm I" and so forth. In Buddhism, the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which is the ultimate expression of the law of life, is believed to have the power to change karma.
Praying in Tongues
Closely resembling a mantra in its ability to raise vibration is the practice of "praying in tongues" or what some religions call "heavenly languages." It is one of the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the Christian New Testament and allows one to communicate directly to God or your higher consciousness without having the conscious mind or ego involved. Some people call this glossalia and do not consider it a language at all. Others believe speaking in tongues means speaking in another language with fluency without having any prior knowledge of the language. Speaking in tongues was a strange experience for me even though I had experienced many mystical things. When I joined a large Christian church with a dome in Los Angeles, and a group prayed over me, I spoke in ancient Aramaic although it was strange trying to "make it happen." You should have seen the looks I got when a man who was majoring in linguistics asked me if I knew what I was saying. I responded "yes." I told him the visions that came to me as I spoke. It is my sense that "tongues" are languages a person knew and used in past lives, but since the language has not been learned in the present life, the brain and ego is still bypassed. A study conducted by brain specialist, Dr. Carl Peterson, at Oral Roberts University shows that praying causes the brain to release chemical secretions which give the immune system a boost and promotes healing in the physical body. Perhaps that is why mantras, chanting, tongues and any sincere prayer are beneficial - they raise vibration and sound waves, and can alter the outcome of a situation.
Excerpt from The Secret Power of Words by Dr. Reginald G. Johnson, author, teacher, speaker, intuitive life coach and radio host. Dr. Reggie's books are located at http://www.hiddenmysteries.com.
This work is from The Secret Power of Words by the author http://www.hiddenmysteries.com