How is Prayer an Action?


Moments of silence or prayer as the only solution to world problems (such as mass shootings) have been rightly mocked by comedians and politicians alike. My personal favorite is this clip of the Harlem Gospel Choir on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee where they sing, “Oh Lord we pray, some day we’ll do more than pray…like I’m talking about some legislation…some background checks…” But notice, even there, they start with prayer.

Listen, no one could accuse me of avoiding action. When I take those personality tests—you know the ones that waste 30-60 minutes of your time telling you what you already know about yourself (love them!)—I always score off the charts on taking action vs. deliberating, studying, etc. All my life I’ve been a doer and for most of my work (like prior to ministry) I was a paid activist, organizer, lobbyist and communicator on behalf of healthcare workers, consumers and working families. I started walking a picket line or canvassing door to door with my father at the age of 7, protesting the Vietnam War, supporting the farmworker grape and lettuce boycott, working to ban nuclear power and more.

But I partly left the world of paid political organizing (even though I miss the money, honey) to pray for a sea change. As a student of spiritual science, I have learned that world of effects is an out-picturing of our individual and collective consciousness. It starts in here and it shows up out there.

In my personal life, every time I feel stuck, afraid, like there is no choice, I know that Life has another solution that I haven’t thought of. When things feel most desperate, when I can’t act my way out of it, I know that I need to call on the power that created all things, that IS all people, animals, matter and energy, for a change.

This isn’t just spiritual science, it’s hard science. Quantum physicists tell us that underneath everything, at the level of the unified field, it’s just energy and light. There’s nothing at the level of the unified field that would suggest that this light energy will look like a lamp or a chair, let alone a Republican or a refugee child or a seemingly intransigent political situation. In the field, all is possibility until consciousness “collapses” possibility (waves) into probability (particles—or what we would call “reality”).

So, what is “prayer” or “Spiritual Mind Treatment” as we also call it in the Centers for Spiritual Living? It is using my mind, connected to the One Mind (or unified field) to “speak my word” for a particular outcome (which is using my consciousness to collapse waves into particles). Since my best thinking, and all of our best thinking, is what got us into the current political “reality,” I have found that the most powerful prayers in addition to affirmation, include surrender to the highest good, letting go of what I think I know, opening the parameters of the possible to something else that wants in.

So, this is why and how prayer for a solution, for change, is really an action. In many ways it is the most powerful action we can take. In our spiritual philosophy we say “treat and move your feet.” So yes, we pray, and then we vote for a world that works for everyone. We pray, and we show up to support whatever we think represents that world. Understand this though: Prayer is a form of voting too. It is electing the future we want by calling upon a power much greater than ourselves.

So knowing that there is only one power, presence and energy in absolutely everything, I unify my mind with that power. I speak my word for the children who are separated from their parents on our borders (and everywhere in the world). I know that there divine right order and action present in the world and I speak my word for highest good for those families. I speak my word for highest good for all refugees in the world. I speak my word for highest good for all US citizens and residents. I speak my word for knowing that all people are people regardless of documentation. I speak my word for a vibration of love between us all. I know that there is more than enough food, shelter, clean air, clean water and love for every person and child in the world. This is a stone cold fact. Life, show me what else is possible? How does it get any better than this? What energy, space and consciousness, can we be to distribute all precious resources to all who need them? And anything that doesn’t allow it, can we destroy and uncreate all that now? Life, banish all judgment, resentment or hatred from me towards anyone different than I am. Thank you, Life. Thank you, Life. Thank you, Life. I release and I let go and so it is.



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