According to Emmet Fox, prayer is “…our only means of returning to our communion with God” and “… is the only thing that change’s one character. A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change.“ (The Sermon on the Mount – The Key to Success in Life, page 41)
This reminds me of the story set forth in the book of Alcoholics Anonymous, in which an alcoholic American businessman was told by Dr. Carl Jung that the only possible hope for the man’s recovery was to have a vital spiritual experience. To Jung, “…these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once guiding forces … are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate…” (page 27).
With this spiritual experience, we tap into a resource which is something greater than ourselves and experience a profound alteration in how we deal with life. This is certainly how it was for me when I ventured into the 12 Step program many years ago. As I studied and practiced the principles of the program to the best of my ability, over time my soul was changed, awakened – which could only be for the better. It was changed by a Power greater than myself and as I expressed those changes, there was a ripple effect on others. My awakening always affects the world in some way.
So it is with prayer. We cannot pray without making a difference in ourselves to some degree and hence in others.
Any time I pray, it is a spiritual experience, one in which my soul is changed, and to some extent yours too. We are One.