"After this manner therefore pray ye.";
Your daily life is your prayer, but you pray also when you meditate and seek to attune yourself with the higher plane of your being.
For the steps to prayer, the key is in the Lord's Prayer. Let's review this prayer together that we may learn from it as did Christ's Disciples, how to pray.
The first step of all prayer is the directing of your mind inward, away from the thousand and one mundane thoughts that chain it to the external world. Our first step in prayer is to prepare the mind to reflect the inspiration of God. To still the mind. To "be still and know that I am God." The Psalmist said, "Lift up thine eyes unto the Hills from which cometh help." Your first step in prayer is the lifting the "eye of the Conscious Mind" to the "hills" of the Spiritual Plane of Mind (that interior plane from which flows help).
Our Lord then tells us the second step. Hallowed means reverenced ... an attitude of love. Not awe, not fear, but the surrounding ourselves with an aura of reverence that comes naturally with the awareness of what is happening in prayer. You are applying to the Source of Life. Be reverent, feel reverent.
The third step in prayer is a review of your stewardship. By expressing our desire that God's Kingdom come on earth as well as in heaven, we infer our responsibility of being a laborer to that high purpose. At this step in prayer you must review what you have done in your daily living to bring the Kingdom on earth. You must determine how your thoughts have reflected the Father's. At the third step we reaffirm ourselves as instruments of the Father.
The fourth step is an acknowledgment of our trust and faith in Our Father. We make only a single petition in our entire prayer for things. It is the only thing we seek - sustenance that we may maintain the Gift of Life, and no more. For with the spiritual perception we discern that God is omnipotent and knows our needs without our pleadings, and we know he will supply that which we do need. To ask for more than our Daily Bread would be a denial, rather than an affirmation of God's Wisdom ... for he is the Vine, and we are the branches. We abide in Him, and He in us. Does not the vine know what is required of the branches? The fourth step is affirmation of Faith.
The fifth step is to affirm the Oneness of Life. In our fifth step we affirm that all are "one in the body of Christ," and if we hold debts over others, we wound ourselves, inflict a wound on the Divine Body, and have not understanding. In our fifth step we "confess our sins" and promise on the morrow to make tangible amends that we may be forgiven (regain the awareness of Oneness).
When the fifth step of our prayer has been completed, we are ready to make the Great Petition. We ask for the highest blessing that can be bestowed by the Father - the Grace of Understanding. For to be led into the Light - is to be led away from temptation, and delivered from Evil. There are no shadows in the center of Light, and we petition that we may be opened to the Light. This petition is the sixth step of prayer.
Our last step in prayer, and the close, is our final affirmation that God is All and the All in All. He is the Power, the Glory and we have our Being in Him. It is the affirmation that our Ego is not in us, but in Him.
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This prayer given by Our Master to His Disciples to teach them how to pray is the key to all prayer. Follow these steps as you pray. Talk with the Father as you would a beloved friend, and in your own words, you will then find prayer to be the key to your Great Work.