Audio version read by Rev. Steven Lane Taylor, B.Msc. – The Effectiveness and Non-Effectiveness of Spiritual Practices
Do prayers, visualizations, affirmations or other spiritual practices really work, or if they only work sometimes, why?
This question is repeatedly asked by many—by those who ask for prayer, and by those who pray or use some other spiritual practice for themselves or others. With the progression in spiritual awakening, the answers change.
As an example, in the old-time, basic fundamentalist religion, prayer for most people is a pleading, begging, or hoping for some desired result. As a person moves in spiritual awareness to a higher plane of consciousness or understanding—such as that of New Thought or basic metaphysics—the pleading and begging cease, and prayer becomes an affirming that, through God’s Power, the desired effect is already so.
The question then becomes, which is most effective: old-fashioned prayer or newer New Thought prayer? If truth be told, both can be effective—or at least, give the illusion of effectiveness to one’s personal perception. On the other hand, whether one uses traditional, New Thought, or any other spiritual practice, the results can also prove to be ineffective.
Why is this? Does God favor one person or religion over another? The answer found in all results is that God has no favorites.
For a moment, become reflective and ask yourself this question: What if every prayer were answered favorably and every other form of spiritual practice brought about the requested result?
Keep also in mind that the initiation of most spiritual practices is for the betterment of one’s own condition in some way, without thought of others. During such times, the false personal sense of ego identity, with its limited awareness, attempts to influence God as to what to do. If everyone received exactly what was prayed for, visualized for, or affirmed for, would humankind then live in a perfect world?
Whether individuals engage in any spiritual practices for the good of one person or even the entirety of creation, they do not even begin to have the awareness necessary concerning the final result. Instead of a perfect world, there would be chaos! The Reality is that humankind collectively, as it exists in consciousness on this physical plane of existence, does not possess sufficient awareness to truly know what to ask for or desire. Only Universal Presence, or God, knows what is best for any one person—or the Totality of Universal Existence.
The answer, then?
From God’s vantage point within the innermost consciousness of every soul, Universal Presence Knows when to respond and when not to, which is—in and of itself—a response. At all times, God or Universal Presence knows what is best for the individual soul’s Eternal existence and for all souls manifesting collectively as humanity on the physical earth plane of existence.
Universal Consciousness, Presence, or God, as Creator and Sustainer, recognizes that all that is taking place everywhere must be in harmony and balance on a Universal Scale. As previously stated, without harmony and balance, chaos would ensue throughout the physical universe and other dimensions. To grant the requested results to everyone who used some manner of spiritual practice to bring about some desired result—without awareness of how such a result would set up a Universal chain reaction—would be pure folly.
When any spiritual practice is in attunement and alignment with Universal Will, results will seem to take place. The lack of results will seem to be the outcome when the spiritual practice is not in attunement and alignment with Universal Presence or God’s Will. Keep in mind that this is true whenever the false personal sense of ego identity is engaged in any spiritual practice, and that Universal Presence or God is Totally in Control—at all times.
There comes a time in the life of every soul that an emptying out of personal ego takes place, with the subsequent replacement by Universal God Presence Consciousness. The intention is to bring the energy field of the soul’s human manifestation into greater harmony, balance, or alignment with manifesting Universal Energy or Universal God Consciousness or Spirit. In this way, it is Universal Consciousness or God entering into the awakening person’s surface frontal consciousness that creates the prayer, visualization, affirmation, or other spiritual practice—and the personal ego is less and less involved.
- It is God then who creates the prayer that is prayed.
- It is God then who visualizes the visualization.
- It is God then who affirms the affirmations.
- It is God then who is directing any other spiritual practice.
As this emptying out is always a work in progress while the soul is in human form, this alteration is not taking place 100% of the so-called time. Occasionally, because of the illusions of sense perceptions, the false personal ego might appear to be in control. But as Universal Awareness, Christ Mindedness, or its Equivalent gains more control, those momentary lapses become fewer.
Suffering—whether in oneself or in others—cries out for relief, and it is a human reflex to pray, visualize, affirm, or engage in spiritual practice. Eventually, the suffering will subside, whether by healing or seeming death (that is, the transition of the soul). In the interim, chaos is avoided, and Universal Existence is saved; as a result, the soul enjoys the beauty of harmony and balance within itself and all that surrounds it.
Always keep in awareness that Universal Presence is Eternally in Control for the Ultimate Good of every soul. And so, what will be, will be—because it already is.
Dr. Paul Leon Masters
Text taken from Dr. Paul Leon Masters’ Book, “Mystical Insights: Knowing the Unknown,” Pgs. 63–66. Copyright © 2016 by the International Metaphysical Ministry.
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Intro and ending music © “Night Radiance” by Maxim Kornyshev