What's Happening In Your World
By Rev. Jesse Herriott One of the questions that I receive repeatedly is whether or not “prayer really works” and if it does, then “why are my prayers not answered?” It’s a tough question for many leaders, regardless of the basis of their belief system. But first, let’s reverse the question, and offer one to the person who is praying: “what are your beliefs about prayer?” It can become disheartening when we blame all of our problems on someone else, and in this case, something else, (regardless of your definition of God). The truth can be our worst enemy if we avoid it, and it can be our salvation if we embrace it. Prayer, as with other tools, can be useful in helping us to become more introspective, intuitive, and more conscious in our decision making. Sometimes, the answers show up in ways we don’t expect, but we’re so plugged into “the rat race” that we can’t see them. Well, prayer, as a form of meditation, helps to slow things down a bit. But it is certainly not a great idea to use prayer as an escape from reality. That mindset can be damaging to your self-esteem, because you will definitely set yourself up for disappointment on most occasions. Sometimes, our normal tendency hasn’t evolved much from our adolescent behavior; where we would go out and get into trouble and ask our parents to bail us out, if necessary. On some occasions, if not many, we often treat our higher morals or our spiritual ideals that way; we only turn to them if we are in a bind. The goal of any spiritual practice does not involve escapism: meaning that it should not serve as a vehicle to “save” you from the human experience. We are all born into humanity for a reason, and believe it or not; living our lives to the fullest is one of the basic ways in which we all can serve God, or what I refer to as Life itself. We can debate over the existence of God, but we definitely cannot doubt the existence of life; so for the sake of conversation, let’s expand our definition of “God” to include “Life itself.” Instead of praying to escape from life, perhaps we should be praying for strength and the expanded vision to walk through life with boldness and courage. So, to answer the old adage, “Yes”, prayer does change things. However, a more accurate understanding of the concept of prayer would be that prayer changes the individual by empowering them, so that they can “change things.” Rev. Jesse Herriott is a priest; writer and adjunct professor in Atlanta, GA. Jesse is completing a PhD in Psychology from NorthCentral University, and he writes about Religion,  Relationships & Spirituality. In addition, he hosts a weekly radio broadcast airing every Tuesday at 9am Central on Unity Online Radio entitled, “Living on Purpose.” Learn more at   www.jesseherriott.com

Does Prayer Really Work?

By Rev. Jesse Herriott

One of the questions that I receive repeatedly is whether or not “prayer really works” and if it does, then “why are my prayers not answered?” It’s a tough question for many leaders, regardless of the basis of their belief system. But first, let’s reverse the question, and offer one to the person who is praying: “what are your beliefs about prayer?” It can become disheartening when we blame all of our problems on someone else, and in this case, something else, (regardless of your definition of God). The truth can be our worst enemy if we avoid it, and it can be our salvation if we embrace it.

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