THE WAY- OUR COVENANT WALK WITH GOD
It can be a tremendous leap of faith to cross the gulf which separates the ways of the world to the strait and narrow path of a covenant walk with God. The first step of this journey wherein we enter the gate to the city of God is represented by our belief in Messiah and entering into the waters of baptism- immersion in the waters of life. In doing so, we come forth a new creature in God, but this new walk can feel a little intimidating and sometimes overwhelming. How then do we walk? What then should we do as we press forward to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life:
"And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?
Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark." (2 Nephi 32:1-4)
In Israelite culture an angel is a messenger of God who comes to deliver the Words of God. The Holy Ghost as the mind and life of God enters into us and in doing so brings us to a relationship of oneness with the creator. True messengers or Angels speak by the power of God not only because they deliver his words in exactness, but because their message they deliver is meant to bring us into a state of oneness with God--his life, his character, and his attributes. In receiving the Holy Ghost (Ruach ha Kodesh) we become vessels of light that both receives the life and light of God to bestow upon others. This connection is key as it changes us into vessels or fountains of living waters to both God and Man
"And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." (2 Nephi 32:8-9)
Prayer can have dramatic effects in our inner and outer worlds. Through prayer we walk in the spirit of God and in doing so healing comes to the brokenhearted. Through prayer deliverance comes to the captives and the blind receive their sight. Through prayer the oppressed become the liberated. It can change the course of mighty rivers and move mountains. It can and has changed the course of human events. Prayer can affect the consciousness of others. It is not wishful thinking. True prayer is a union of heart and the mind wherein streams of living waters flow out into all levels of the material and spiritual worlds of existence. When one creates in this manner the images of the heart as they mirror the creator become manifest reality in our physical world.
The desires of the heart in oneness with God energizes that image so that as children of God we engage in co-creation with the Father of Lights. The greater the prayer of desire the stronger the spiritual creation. Like a seed planted and nourished it brings forth after its own kind and the reality of the spiritual creation becomes the reality of our present existence. As this occurs the spiritual creation is birthed into this world even as all things were created by God spiritually before they were created physically thereby neutralizing all doubt, fear, and competitive creations.
Without the power of strong intent and desire the power of prayer is neutralized as it becomes empty words bouncing off the ceiling. Prayer at that point becomes "vain repetition" and is not “heard”. Prayer has to be fueled with true intent toward the oneness that comes from loving God and bestowing love upon others. Without this life giving oneness the offered prayer has not the strength to breath life in the physical world.
Our Western ideas of prayer come out of a Greek Mindset where prayer is often conducted in long discourses of words. While words do have a place, in the Hebrew mind the words of a prayer are meant to evoke desire-- i.e., form the vessel. Praying in Desire is one of the highest forms of prayer in that out of the desires of our hearts the often unspoken words ascend before the Throne of Heaven as a sweet incense. Words without desire have no form or life and never ascend beyond the mouth of the supplicant. We can see this same principle being practiced by the Nephites in the very presence of Christ, "And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire." (3 Nephi 19: 24)
In the Israelite mind the physical world and the spiritual worlds are intertwined. A stirring of desire and action below creates a stirring of desire and action from Above to reach down and lift the one's offering the prayer like a Father who lifts his small child into his safe, loving, and protective arms. Such an idea can be seen even among the scattered remnants of Israel abroad who recorded their teachings for their followers and descendants:
“One who prays must devote his heart to the meaning of the words that come forth from one’s mouth. One must imagine that the Shekhina [presence of God) stands opposite him. All extraneous thought must be removed so that ones’ thoughts and intent in prayer will be pure. One should imagine as if one is speaking to a king of flesh and blood before whom one’s words would be prepared and conscientious, G-d forbid to make a mistake. All the more so [should one be this careful] before the King, Who is the King of kings Who examines every thought. Thus was the way of the pious and the men of renown: they would meditate and direct their attention to their prayers until they reached the level of detachment from the physical world and the dominance of the power of mind...One must meditate upon those things that humble the heart, and direct [one’s heart] to his Heavenly Father.” (Shulkan Arukh, Orah Haim 98:1)
As we reach up declaring, "Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth." we stir the realm of the spiritual before the throne of heaven as all doubtful and random thoughts fall away as we bring our desires into oneness with God. This idea of focus of mind and desire is what is known as singleness of heart. By walking in the realm of oneness in desire, thought, and actions with God and his commandments one is speaking the language of God. It is this kind of prayer engaged in daily practice that shakes the realms of the spirit and changes the course of events here in the material world. This is how true miracles occur.
True miracles are created first spiritually by coming into union or oneness in desire and thought with God in the realm of the spirit only to be carried out by actions of faith in our world here below. Prayer of this kind causes a union of heaven and earth and causes the hearts of men to be cleansed and raised like sweet incense rising before the throne of heaven. This type of prayer is not a abstract thought or principle but an intentional act of creation everyday. This is the secret to embracing the arms of redemption and the creation of a miraculous reality. This is the secret to Israel's purpose and her preserving power as salt that preserves. No weapon forged by man can stand against a people who have come into oneness with God.
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t always know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. (Romans 8:26-27)