My involvement in the We Love Memphis effort led me to a very serious examination of prayer. For those of you unfamiliar with WLM, it rose out of the desire on the part of local leaders in the New Thought Movement to shine the light of consciousness throughout this community in order for the true Memphis to emerge—the city of good abode. So, in 2008, we organized an event outside of the then Pyramid Arena that featured music, meditation, dance, and prayer.
As we made preparation for the event, I began to realize that the change we were seeking for our community had to happen first in us. Even our approach to the activities we were organizing, the cooperation with one another, the merging of divergent ideas and energy—it all had to be done with the realization that we truly had to be the change we were seeking. It meant that our prayers, and I include meditation, had to be dangerous.
You might be asking, “how do I pray dangerously?” Good question! Prayer is often viewed as a means to get an external God, Source, Our Higher Power, or whatever name we choose to do something for us.
In the New Thought/Ancient Wisdom tradition, the method of prayer we use is known as Affirmative Prayer or Spiritual Mind Treatment and we see our prayers as accomplishing a different aim: “treatment is not for the purpose of making things happen; it is to provide, within ourselves, an avenue through which they may happen” The Science of Mind.
Our perspective on prayer is that the idea or that which we are praying about is already done in the mind of God and we are making it welcome or allowing it to express as us.
“Prayer doesn’t change things, it changes us.”
Praying dangerously, in whatever manner one prays, recognizes the effect—rather than the result of prayer. A regular practice of prayer transforms the one praying. It requires that we become available to the Divine expressing as us and this openness has a powerful effect.
This is “dangerous” only if we seek to maintain the status quo. If we are not ready for change within ourselves, then praying can threaten our perspective on life because it ultimately moves us out of our comfort zone.
So, are you ready to pray dangerously?