Looking back upon that time, I regard it as a high point in my spiritual life. I discovered that the power of prayer is not in handing over concerns to God or asking God to change the conditions prompting prayer. My compelling prayer need was to be useful rather than helpless and to be rooted in enduring Truth instead of floundering in fleeting emotions. I wanted to do what Jesus had done.
What did Jesus do? Jesus stood in the midst of terrible human circumstances undaunted by the report of his senses. He turned within to the Source of All Power. When he reported, “The Father and I are one,” he internalized and embodied Divine Nature. He spoke with spiritual authority, commanding Divine Life into action, overcoming the human circumstance. I was to do the same.
Pray as Jesus Prayed
How do we follow Jesus’ example in prayer? First, instead of addressing God, we comprehend the Nature of God. My prayer intention was to enfold my son in Love; therefore I contemplated the Nature of God as Divine Love. The magnetizing, harmonizing and unifying power of Divine Love assured me I could never be separated from Adrian, not by time or distance or form. I became very clear that whether Adrian survived or died, the Love between us would forever be the Love within us.
Second, we recognize “The Father and I are one” by acknowledging that Divine Nature is our True Nature. We say, “God is … therefore I AM.” One of my prayer intentions was to uphold Adrian’s purpose. I recognized that Adrian’s sense of purpose was fueled by his passion, his zeal for justice. I saw that purpose must be directed by Right Judgment, or Wisdom.
Contemplating the Nature of God as Wisdom and Zeal, I called forth Divine Wisdom and Zeal from within me, upholding these divine qualities also in my son. God is Wisdom and Zeal; therefore I AM Divine Wisdom and Zeal; and Adrian is Divine Wisdom and Zeal. I deliberately dismissed my concerns in service to Adrian’s higher purpose of supporting freedom for all people. I began visualizing Adrian responding faithfully to inner guidance, knowing intuitively when to move and when to be still. I imagined him saying just what was needed to soothe a scared comrade or lead a timid team along the treacherous route toward Baghdad. I reminded myself continually of Adrian’s Divine Nature of Wisdom and Zeal.
Third, for prayer to be powerful it must bring about a change in behavior. The power is not in asking God to change the situation but, in the famous words of Gandhi, being the change we wish to see. If we comprehend our Divine Nature, our living must reveal it. What good is having musical talent if we never reveal it through an instrument? What good is a Divine Identity if we do not claim it in thought, word and action?
My prayer vigil for Adrian changed me. I understood the futility of upholding his Divine Life and Purpose only to relapse into perpetual worry. Instead, I sought to remain centered in Divine Love, Wisdom and Zeal, lending them to Adrian. Confident, I lived fully in the present moment. Empowered by effective prayer, I held the high watch for my son.
Adapted from How to Pray Without Talking to God: Moment by Moment, Choice by Choice, published by Hampton Roads Publishing Co.