The Prayer Meditation (#82)
The difference between prayer and meditation can be understood by saying that during prayer, we ask God for something, and during meditation, God speaks to us.
When we pray, it is considered advantageous to spiritual growth to pray selflessly. All religions direct their followers to have faith in God and to demonstrate that faith by having confidence that everything that happens or will happen to you is guided by God for your evolution in holiness. This being the case, it is completely unnecessary to pray for anything for oneself. Thus, selfless prayer is ideal. For instance, a not very developed person may pray to God to be relieved from their own suffering, while a highly developed person would see their own suffering as a gift or test of God to make them a stronger person. They would most likely send out prayers for God to relieve others from their suffering. So the formula for spiritual growth could be stated to be "the more selfless the prayer, the more advanced the pray-er".
The souls who pray totally selflessly are most likely to be the most advanced meditatively as well. Their meditation would be empty of limited selfish desire and therefore they will be able to fill limitlessly with God's direction, inspiration, light,and love. The "Prayer Meditation" is as follows:
Sit quietly in your sacred place. Relax and center yourself. Witness yourself praying to God. Witness silently, detached, without commentary, judgement, or comparisons. Say a prayer for yourself. Say a prayer for someone else. Say a prayer for everyone and everything. Do this again and again for a total of 3 cycles or do it for a total of 12 times or until it feels like you've done it enough. By the act of Witnessing, you will eventually clearly see that you feel really good when you pray for others. You may even be somewhat spiritually embarrassed in front of yourself when you witness yourself praying selfishly. As always, it is appropriate at times like that to simply inwardly say "Oh Well" and then go back to the meditation instead of scolding yourself, feeling sad, or in any way dwelling on it negatively. For this and for all the times you see yourself as an egotist or unevolved or whatever, be gentle with yourself and laugh and learn lovingly from your goofyness.
As you practice this technique, you will automatically become less and less self-centered and more and more selfless. We actually spend hours and hours every day subconsciously praying to fulfill our desires and ego trips. As this suffering-causing habit lessens, we become more and more ready to listen silently as God whispers lovingly to us.
Let us pray that you and everyone and everything will soon gain the bliss selflessness brings and live happily ever after.