Christian Spirituality

Prayer with Awareness

— By Anthony Nayagan

Narrating certain Bible verses over and over is certainly a form of prayer and that is perfectly fine to get started in personal prayers. But there is more to prayer.

Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). If we claim we are children of God, we must literally hear His voice during prayers.

Prayer life is a journey and this journey must progress through healing and self-realization to the ultimate realization of the consciousness of our Father in Heaven. Therefore, prayer life of a Christian must not remain stagnant when narrating certain Bible verses repeatedly.

To get past this stagnation, we need the Will of God. The Will of God is beautifully described in Sanskrit as “Sankalp.”  Sankalp means a one-pointed resolve to focus both psychologically and philosophically on a specific goal. A Sankalp is the power of God meant to refine our Will, and to focus and harmonize in mind and body.

To reflect on Sankalp a little deeper, other than the creation of humankind, our Father in Heaven did not personally create the universe. It was His Sankalp that created it. According to ancient literature titled, The Sophia of Jesus Christ, one of many Gnostic tractates from the Nag Hammadi codices, discovered in Egypt in 1945, it was Sophia who crafted all living and non-living elements in the universe and continues to sustain them. The Bible is also consistent with the Sophia of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, God declares, “let there be;” that is making His Sankalp. And, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-31) creates all elements. This Sophia, also known as the Wisdom of God, is in fact, the Holy Spirit.

There is a purpose as God continues to breathe in us the life and the Holy Spirit to keep us alive. That purpose is for us to employ the Holy Spirit and the life that we have, so that we reach the level of the ultimate realization of His very own consciousness in our lifetime.

As it was during the Creation, we need the Sankalp of God to make the Holy Spirit effective in our lives. Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me” (John 6:44). Therefore, prayer for the Sankalp of God is the cornerstone-prayer for every Christian.

After saying this prayer, we must unwearyingly wait for the Sankalp to become fully effective within us. When this effectiveness blooms, we are no longer a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal in prayers. The Holy Spirit is the one composing the prayers for us. We simply remain a witness to the enchanting experiences of prayers as we listen to the voice of Jesus.

When we pray in this manner, we quickly realize low hanging fruits, and  the healing of all sorts of ailments that take place within us. The Holy Spirit is fully aware that we are the temple in which the Triune God abides. Ailments have no place in this temple.

For instance, ever since I started praying this way, many of my ailments, including clinical depression, learning disabilities, diabetes, high cholesterol, worries, fear, anxieties; all of these disappeared without my even asking. I never took a single dose of medicine for clinical depression or my learning disabilities. This is my testimony in all earnestness.

Secondly, there are other types of healing prayers in which we must also actively participate. These ailments require our complete knowledge and acceptance of our contribution to its seriousness, followed by prayers of surrender. Inner wounds in our subconscious mind, nervous system disorders, and various addictions are typical examples. With these, we must recognize, learn and accept our own contributions that made it worse, without prejudice.

Alcoholism was an addiction I had suffered from since my early teens. Without therapy and AA, accepting that I was an alcoholic was hard enough, and it required incredible strength and confidence in Christ. With Sankalp, such strength and confidence evolved naturally. Then, the Holy Spirit led me to courageously reflect on my contributions to these addictions such as how much pleasure I derived from drunkenness and how I used to steal money and manipulate others to buy me drinks. When this awareness was setting in, the Holy Spirit lifted me to the presence of Jesus within me and guided me to make the prayer of surrender. Ever since, I no longer find alcohol appealing.

Therefore, if there is one prayer that could be the most important, it must be the prayer of Sankalp in all activities of our mind and body. With this prayer, Christian life is a renewed life in Christ.

There is an entire chapter dedicated to prayers in the book, Supreme Realization, A Journey into the Depths of Consciousness written by Anthony Nayagan.

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