Question: Is prayer selfish?

Prayers start off as self centered and that is natural. Even though they are bent towards the fulfillment of thought, they nevertheless direct the mind towards something greater than itself. In time this strengthens the aspirant in their devotion until it is God alone they seek. Then grace descends and reveals itself as both their outer and inner guru.

-Atreya Thomas

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This is my Prayer

Fear, anger, violence, and hate, always implies a divorce and sense of separation; as well as the abandonment of logic and reason. Be a complete human being and marry the concrete aspect of the Self (Logic), with the abstract aspect of the Self (Creative Energy). Discard this little “me” that is bent on breaking this divine couple up.

-Atreya Thomas

What is the true meaning of prayer?

The meaning of prayer changes according to one’s proximity to the Source. When we are born we are identified with the body and with the thinking mind. The marriage of these two create the exclusive me, or ego that feels its abiding state to be a sense of separation. After experiencing conflict due to this state of separation; one may intuit, be told about, read about etc. the idea that there may be a higher power, an all encompassing source that has complete sovereignty.

If this idea is accepted, now this “me” begins to petition this source for the fulfillment of thought. This is right as the petitioner is still identified with form (mainly body and mind), so seeks happiness or God in form. More things, smoother life, fulfillment of desires, healthy body, protect my family and attachments etc.

If one begins to see the futility of seeking permanent happiness in transient things, then the prayer mentioned above is transformed into inquiry: Can I be happy whatever mind/body conditions may be present? The seeker is still asking for something but now holds a major responsibility in the process and must do the work.

If one relentlessly perseveres, they realize that it is “me” that holds onto and obsesses over mind/body conditions. Prayer inquiry then mutates into deep surrender and devotion to That Which Exists in Spite of Me.

This eventually unites the seeker with the Source, which then life is experienced as God interacting with God. Then prayer becomes an endless experience of grace.