To begin any and every writing about God, it is necessary to acknowledge the three fundamental laws of God: respect, courtesy, and gratitude. No matter if you are dealing with having visions, praying for a friend, or grocery shopping, these three laws always apply. If it’s not respectful, courteous, or grateful, it’s not God.
I have found over the years that God can be understood to some infinitesimal degree. And in that understanding one can find simplicity. The above laws about God are simple. If you want to follow God, even in a small way, and find yourself yelling at your neighbor about raking their leaves into your yard, find a way to back out of the argument and look for something respectful to say. Or something about them for which you can be thankful. If nothing else, do your best to limit yourself to courteous behavior.
It’s not always possible. But it is always possible to walk away from a situation that isn’t going well.
That said, it’s time to move onto the fundamentals of prayer. For the time being, I am going to deal only with the prayers that we say for ourselves. I will call these, “gimme” prayers. They go, generally, dear God, give me (fill in the blank). This could be health, a car that starts in the mornings, or anything else. Really. Anything.
We can ask God for anything.
We might not receive it. But we can always ask.
So, first off, the prayer needs to be screened. Does it reflect the three fundamental laws of God? What this means is, if you are praying for your neighbor’s wife to leave him and come to you, put the prayer aside now.
Asking for something that will ultimately harm someone else is not what prayer is all about. Causing harm to another person, for whatever reason, is the true definition of evil.
Prayer is the act of bringing an idea into reality through God. And if we want to show honor to God, then we need to stick with the respectful, the courteous, and the grateful.
I hope so.