the teaching of Jesus christ

The teaching of
Jesus Christ


First prologue On Love
Second prologue The Redeemer
Part one The Father
Part two The Son of The Father
Part three The Paraclete
Part four On equality before God
Intermezzo On the mystery of praying




 

INTERMEZZO
 

THE MYSTERY OF PRAYING

 

According to the ancient and holy account the pupils of the wise carpenter, the exalted ‘Rabbi’ from Nazareth, are said to have once come to him with the request:
“Lord, teach us to pray! (Luke 11:1)
Upon which, – so the ancient record tells us, – the teacher of life, who was one with God, instructed them to cease from babbling traditional long litanies in the manner of those who know not. Instead of this, they were to use those wondrously beautiful, simple words which are now found on the lips of all those who profess, in whatever form of creed, or claim to profess, the love-filled teaching of that sublimely great man of God.
Nevertheless, till this day only very few really know how to ‘pray’; even rarer is the one who has comprehended the meaning of ‘praying’ in that sublime and holy way the great Man of Love wanted to be followed. – –
One may well be acquainted with the words which he, according to the ancient account, instructed his pupils to use, – yet these words too are now ‘babbled’ no differently than previously other prayers which he not particularly liked.–
The desecration is no less when they are spoken in most unctuous tones; indeed, even reverential sensitivity towards their meaning disclosed through thought does not in any way convert the recital of those magnificent words into genuine ‘prayer’. – – –
And so it appears to have become necessary once more to teach what real ‘prayer’ truly is, – to teach how a ‘prayer’ can emerge from words of human language, and what deep secret hides in prayer!

The sacred priestly art of creating ‘prayers’ and of really “praying” has almost been completely lost today. Where it is still practised in some form or other, it is done so mechanically, stripped of all life, or superstitiously. –
But even where one thinks one is still praying, one can only see in that prayer a plea to the Godhead, an expression of thanks, or praise. Although all these elements may be found in prayer, by no means do they make up the essence of prayer. – –
One no longer knows that even a structure of the most wonderful words of praise, thanks or beseeching must first be genuinely ‘prayed’ before it can become ‘prayer’. –

 


From: On Prayer pdf pages 4-6