Since my first blog for the Prayer Ministry I’ve been receiving now and then an e-mail from a CCC member asking me about the Prayer Ministry.
The questions are usually about how I pray, what my vision is for the Ministry as its co-founder, how the team works together and so on. But also I get some comments like these: ” I haven’t been long enough with the Course to join you in the Ministry”, or ” I forget to pray”, or ” Even as a Course student I’m not sure how to pray”, or ” I don’t know what to say when I want to pray”.
These kind of comments make me see that actually some of our CCC members would like to join me in the Prayer Ministry , but the fear of doing the prayer work correctly is hindering them to follow their hearts. So, I thought I give a short explanation here in my blog to all those who are still pondering over joining me.
You don’t have to be an advanced Course student to be able to do the Course based prayer. You can join me at any level of your progress with the Course. The only thing I need of you in joining me is your love and willing heart to do this selfless and holy work. The desire of your heart to help your brothers in need is the only prerequisite for doing the prayer work. God listens to your heart, not to your words.
From the time of your joining you will become a member of my prayer family. You will have all the support you need. I will send you first an e-mail and explain everything about our work. I am always available to you per e-mail and phone call. I will answer any questions you may have regarding the prayer work and the Course teachings about it and help you with any concerns you may have. You can also e-mail any of my dear team members. They will be more than happy to help you.
I am also teaching a monthly class on “The Song Of Prayer” . You can share with us your experiences with praying, your comments and your insights, if you wish. We have a lively and lovely class!
Now, I will add the comments of my team members. They commented on my thoughts about seeing the potential out there among the CCC members to join us in the Prayer Ministry. Their messages for you:
“My experience with the Prayer Ministry has been a gentle, practical reminder of the principles of ACIM. First, giving is receiving. Although people send prayer requests to my prayer members and me, I am astonished by how much I have received from the experience. I pray for others, but I am finding more peace, joy and prosperity in my own experience as I pray for these things for others. Second, separation is an illusion. When I pray, even though I keep lists of the people who are requesting prayers and the specific things requested, I reach a place within me where individual things and people do not exist. Rather, I am joined to something (love, God, Jesus, angels, I really cannot name the being or feeling) that encompasses all of us and joins us. I’m not in ecstasy or anything exotic like that. It’s more a sense of calm, peace and wholeness and no separation exists. This is the moment I know experientially that we are one, despite our bodies and our various needs, wants and ailments. Lastly, and this is not a Course precept per se, the Prayer Ministry and each of its members have accepted me, both in terms of overlooking my ego personality and loving my contribution to the cause. I am so not an advanced Course student, but I feel that I am learning more about ACIM through the Prayer Ministry and through the Prayer Ministry’s acceptance of me and my perspectives on the Course. In sum, having the honor of praying for my brothers has helped me see the Course in a practical light that I would not have had otherwise and I received acceptance from a group of near total strangers when I began this endeavor. I am very grateful that I joined.”
“The prayer ministry has taught me so much. Prayer comes from a loving heart that longs for the healing and union of all. For me it has given a deeper sense of union and a glimpse of unconditional love and the gift of extending love to all. We need the world to pray together so come any and all who love.”
“When the Prayer Ministry first began last fall, I contacted Greg and Pari to request prayers for my youngest daughter, Julie, who was having trouble finding a job in her field—although she had graduated from college a year and a half earlier. She had an interview coming up with the Red Cross, but was feeling very discouraged, and it sort of broke my heart to see that and to not know how to help. As soon as they began praying for her, I felt a great sense of relief about her situation, and I knew that whatever happened, she was safe and would be fine, and I could stop worrying about her. Julie seemed to lighten up about the whole process too, which I was grateful to see. Although she didn’t end up getting the Red Cross job, she now has a great job that she loves with another service organization, a new boyfriend she is really happy with, and her first apartment! It’s great to see her so happy and independent and fulfilled, and I’m grateful to the Prayer Ministry for their gift to her and to me.
Now I’m a part of the Prayer Ministry myself, and it has been an amazing experience, one that has really opened a window for me to how much God loves us. I didn’t have any experience with praying for others before joining the ministry, although I have always loved The Song of Prayer in the Course. I feel a lot of love coming in and going out when I pray, not just for the people who have invited us to pray for them, but also for the other members of our team, and just for everyone, really. There is this sense that all is well, that we are all safe and treasured, and that all God wants for us is to feel His Love. In addition to the joy of praying together and helping others in this way, I also love our monthly telephone classes, where we share our experiences and where Pari leads us in reading and studying The Song of Prayer together. There’s a lot of love and laughter shared on those calls, as well as a chance to share any questions we have or doubts we are feeling.
I’m really grateful to the Circle for the gift of this ministry, and encourage anyone who feels a tug in the direction of learning more about the power of prayer to please join us.”
“My heart wants to pray and wants to be prayed for. Prayer is a soothing balm for me and when I am praying for others I find a peace and a calm and a sense of safety like no other. I call it sending love, and in this sending love to others I find my Self. There we are all together as One. The dear hearts that reach out to us for help are all the very same Heart. It really is the heart of the matter, as they say. To anyone interested in joining the prayer ministry, but is afraid, or unsure of your ability I want to say – we are all afraid, we are all unsure – all the more reason…..your heart knows the way, all you have to do is follow.”
“I surprised myself by joining the Prayer Ministry with no experience and being brand new to the Circle of Atonement, but t he team welcomed me, unconcerned about my skill level. Soon after I joined, Robert gave an audio class on how Helen prayed. Anyone interested in praying but looking for some direction may find this immensely helpful, as I did. Instead of praying for the resolution of earthly troubles of others, I ask each prayer recipient to join with our appointed Guide and me in awakening and walking towards God together, and I remind them of every aspect of their holiness.
As a group, we study the Song of Prayer and discuss our interpretation and practices. During prayer, I feel a sense of peace and joy, which I believe comes from fulfilling a part of my function. As well, during prayer I feel a sense of certainty in the eventuality of our final goal. The way seems sure. This is where giving and receiving are clearly one, as we experience the truth that we must already have what we give to others.”
“Ever since I can remember…I have always been saddened by the human condition. I have been deeply affected by world events whether far away or very close to me. I have always been frustrated that more cannot be done to fix this world and all the pain that lies within it. I have searched my mind and heart as to what I can possibly do. I have prayed hard about things..all of my life. I think it is through this prayer…that I eventually found a shining light. It was ultimately prayer itself that has led me to believe something can be done. Praying is the ultimate gift I can give to others, near and far away. It is the most loving act I believe, that we can do for each other. It has lead me to believe that the human condition is perhaps not so sad and that through prayer, we actually have a very active way of helping each other.”