The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

Let Us Pray

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Let Us Pray

presentation at Adult Forum by
The Rev. Christopher Ross
Congregation member
January 15, 2017

"Let Us Pray"
January 15, 2017
Christopher Ross+

"[Prayer is] raising of the mind and heart to God."1

"[Prayer] includes worship, praise, thanksgiving, sorrow, reparation, and petition. .... [Petition] is only one aspect of prayer; the highest form is that of adoration or worship."2

"Prayer is the great religious act. .... It is the acceptance of the prime fact of being created. .... It is unconditional and therefore sensitive openness to God .... Essentially, prayer is the explicit and positive realization of our natural and supernatural relationship with the personal God of salvation."3

"Prayer is the means by which God's power is released into human life. .... Prayer is a spiritual law which we may call into play."4

"... prayer is not a process of getting your way but rather a program of taking God's way, an experience of learning how to recognize and execute the Father's will."5

"Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view."6

"Communion with God is true prayer. We must not pray to gain anything or to have anything changed or corrected. Prayer which is conscious oneness with God always results in bringing forth harmony, peace, joy, success. These are the 'added things.' It is not that Spirit produces or heals or corrects matter or the physical universe, but that we rise higher in consciousness to where there is less matter and therefore less discord, inharmony, disease or lack."7

"The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need. .... Prayer is a stepping aside, a letting go, a quiet time of listening and loving. It should not be confused with supplication of any kind .... Prayer is an offering, a giving up of yourself to be at one with [God]. .... This is not a level of prayer that everyone can attain as yet."8

"[Prayer is] an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought; a set order of words used in praying; an earnest request or wish; the act or practice of praying to God or a god; a slight chance, as in "haven't got a prayer.""9

And when all else fails:

"We can only fully define those things that are smaller than we are."10

1 attributed to St. John Damascene, 8th century monk and priest
2 The Catholic Encyclopædic Dictionary, 2nd Ed., Rev., The MacMillan Company, New York, 1956, p. 392
3 Encyclopedia of Theology: The Concise Sacramentum Mundi, The Seabury Press, New York, 1975, pp. 1272-73
4 Faith and Practice, The Rt. Rev. Frank E. Wilson, Morehouse-Barlow Co., New York, 1941, p. 126
5 The Urantia Book, Uversa Press, New York, 1955, Paper 180, Section 2, pgh. 4I
6 Ralph Waldo Emerson
7 The Infinite Way, Joel Goldsmith, DeVorss & Company, Marina del Rey, CA, 1947, p. 109
8 The Song of Prayer, Foundation for Inner Peace, 1978, p. 2
10 Denial of the Soul, M. Scott Peck, M.D., Harmony Books, New York, 1997, p. 129