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Joy in Spiritual Living

Prayer at the Start of the Day

Great Spirit Prayer

Suffering

How To Pray

Assorted Prayers

Dear God

The Beatitudes

Twenty-Third Psalm

1 Corinthians 13  (The Love Chapter)    

Spiritual Development 

To Understand Truth (Krishnamurti)

Learning From Others (Confucius) 

        

 

Click here to go to   Meditation - Inspiration - Success

 

 

Spirituality defined

Spirituality is the realization of the universality of Truth and the experience of bliss. It is an opportunity to realize and become conscious of a Higher Power.

Truth?

A good answer to this question is provided by Joe Miller in his book,  Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller

'The Truth IS, nobody can say it. You've got to BE it! You've got to live it. That's Sufism, that's Theosophy, that's Christianity, that's Vedanta, Zen, Buddhism, Native American Spirituality. Whatever name you want to put on it, you have to feel the at-one-ment with the reality. Your surrender is signing off from personality and ego standpoint, then living from the One.'

Fitness for spirituality

Just as the tiniest drop in the ocean has a right to feel as part of the ocean, each individual (who is a manifestation and creation of the Ultimate) has a right to feel the Ultimate. Just like one's physical fitness is determined by the strength of the body, one's spiritual fitness is determined the feeling of oneness, the desire to be with the divine and the strength of one's will power.

Difference between spirituality and religion

In reality, religion and spirituality are the same. Spirituality is at the core of all religions. However, some religions have forgotten this core and fiction seems to have replaced fact. Religion has come to mean 'blind organized faith' and has become dogmatic and fundamentalistic in its views. Spirituality is an one-on-one communication with the Divine, without the influence of any organization or a set of dogmatic views. It is based more on personal experiences rather than the experiences of others.

Yoga as a good irreligious path

Yoga is Self-conquest {God-realization}. Since the Divine is universal, there is no religion in yoga. There are various philosophical approaches to yoga, but the aspirant is free to choose whatever path he/she deems fit.  It could be said that Jesus and Buddha taught Bhakti yoga and Jnana Yoga respectively.

 

 

Joy in Spiritual Living

 

There should be joy in living the spiritual life. A faith without joy is not entirely genuine. If you are not happier as a result of your faith, there is probably something wrong with it. Faith in God should bring you a deep feeling of happiness and security, no matter what happens on the surface of your life. Each new day is another opportunity to serve God and improve your relationships with other people. This should bring joy. Life should be abundant and outreaching. It should be glowing and outgoing, in ever widening circles.

 

Prayer at the Start of the Day

 

Dear Lord, thank You for the night's rest which You gave me.  I am very grateful for the renewed energy and enthusiasm it has brought.

Accept my gratitude, O Lord, for bringing me to the beginning of this new day. I accept it as a precious gift from Thee. May I use it minute by minute to do Thy will.

Guide me in every problem I shall face, every decision I shall make this day. Help me to treat everyone kindly and to be fair and just and thoughtful in everything today.

If I should forget Thee during this day, O Lord, please do not forget me.

All this I ask in Your name.

Amen.

 

Great Spirit Prayer

 

Great Spirit who's voice in the winds I hear; and who's breath gives life to all the world, hear me.

Before you I come, one of your many children small and weak am I.

Your Strength and Wisdom I need. Make me walk in beauty. Make my heart respect all you have made and my ears to hear your voice.

Make me wise that I may know all you have taught my people and the lessons you have hidden in every rock.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brothers and sisters, but to make me able to fight my greatest enemies.

Make me ready to stand before you with clean hands and straight eyes. When life fades as the fading sun sets, may our spirit stand before you without shame!

 

Suffering

 

I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God's plan for my spiritual growth.

God, thank you for all that you have given me, all that you have taken away, and all that you have let me keep.

 

 

How To Pray 

Without prayer, I should have been a lunatic long ago.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

How can we make our prayers more satisfying and fulfilling? One of the best ways is to see and hear ourselves as we pray, as if we were getting a bird's-eye view of what we look like and how we sound when we pray.

Seeing from above in this objective way gives a good overview of the strength and the meaning of our prayers. Are we whining and fidgeting as we pray? Maybe we aren't really praying but instead are asking to get our way. Do we sound angry, with fists clenched? Maybe we need to work on letting go first before we pray.

This is how our Higher Power sees and hears us. Our Higher Power knows which prayers are serious, meaningful conversations and which are filled with self-pity, resentment, or fear. Tonight we can hear ourselves pray and learn whether we are truly praying or merely taking time for self-centered feelings.

Before I pray tonight, let me run through the things I want to say. Help me keep self-centered feelings at a minimum and true sharing and communication at a maximum.

From:  Night Light by Amy E. Dean

 

Assorted Prayers

 

O Lord, Thou knowest what is best for us; let this or that be done, as Thou shalt please. Give what Thou wilt, and how much Thou wilt, and when Thou wilt. Deal with me as Thou thinkest good, and as best pleaseth Thee. Set me where Thou wilt, and deal with me in all things just as Thou wilt. Behold, I am Thy servant, prepared for all things; for I desire not to live unto myself, but unto Thee; and Oh, that I could do it worthily and perfectly! AMEN

 

O Lord, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings, being ordered by Thy governance, may be righteous in Thy sight. AMEN

 

God, preserve me from the cares of this life, lest I should be too much entangled therein; also from the many necessities of the body, lest I should be ensnared by pleasure; and from whatsoever is an obstacle to the soul, lest, being broken with troubles, I should be overthrown. Give me strength to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. AMEN

 

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what Thou wouldest have us to do; that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in Thy light we may see light, and in Thy straight path may not stumble. AMEN

 

O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts unto Thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden, but a delight; and give us such almighty love to Thee as may sweeten all our obedience. Oh, let us not serve Thee with the spirit of bondage as slaves, but with cheerfulness and the gladness of children, delighting ourselves in Thee, and rejoicing in Thy work. AMEN

 

God Of Our Life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, we beseech Thee; turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Thy honor and glory. AMEN

 

Make us, O Lord, to flourish like pure lilies in the courts of Thine house, and to show forth to the faithful the fragrance of good works, and the example of a godly life, through Thy mercy and grace. AMEN

 

Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of the world. Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy and kindly help where I had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness. AMEN

 

Lord, merge my will in Yours. May it accept with love the bitter and sweet of life. Possess my intellect, that I may think of You, aspire to You, be guided by You on my journey through life. No matter how long the years may be, let no murmur escape my lips, no unkind thoughts take shelter in my heart, no self-seeking lurk within my soul. With a smile upon my lips and a song of joy within my heart, may I walk courageously with You, my hidden Lord and Savior. AMEN

 

Keep us this night, O Lord, from all works of darkness, and whether we wake or sleep, let our thoughts and deeds be in accordance with Thy holy will. Preserve us from all dangers and terrors of the night; from restless watching and sorrowful thoughts; from unnecessary or fretful care and imaginary fears. Let us awake tomorrow renewed in strength, and cheerful in spirit; may we arise with holy thoughts, and go forth to live to Thine honor, to the service of our fellowmen, and the comfort and joy of our households.  AMEN

 

Dear God,

I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself...and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe this: I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. I hope I have that desire in everything I do. I hope I never persist in anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it at the time. Therefore, I will trust you always, for though I may seem to be lost, and in the shadow of death, I will not be afraid, because I know you will never leave me to face my troubles all alone.

Anonymous

 

 

THE BEATITUDES

 

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain; 

and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: 

for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called

the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: 

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,

and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: 

for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

(Matthew V)

 

 

Twenty-Third Psalm

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the

shadow of death,

I will fear no evil.

For Thou art with me.

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of

mine enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil.

My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the

days of my life.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

1 Corinthians 13  (The Love Chapter)

 

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkliing cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

Spiritual Development

Spiritual development is achieved by daily persistence in living the way you believe your Higher Power wants you to live.  Like the wearing away of a stone by steady drops of water, so will your daily persistence wear away all the difficulties and gain spiritual success for you.  Never falter in this daily, steady persistence.  Go forward boldly and unafraid.  Your Higher Power will help and strengthen you, as long as you are trying to do its will.

 

To Understand Truth (Krishnamurti)

"To understand Truth, one must have a very sharp, precise, clear mind; not a cunning mind, but a mind that is capable of looking without any distortion, a mind innocent and vulnerable.  Only such a mind can see what Truth is.  Nor can a mind that is filled with knowledge perceive what Truth is; only a mind that is completely capable of learning can do that.  Learning is not the accumulation of knowledge.  Learning is movement from moment to moment."

 

Learning From Others (Confucius) 

"Even when walking in a party of no more than three I can always be certain of learning from those I am with.  There will be good qualities that I can select for imitation and bad ones that will teach me what requires correction in myself."