Prayer is the most powerful thing!
—The force that makes the impossible possible— (Vol. 2)
Family Education Department (※at the time of writing)
The prayers of fallen people tend to hope for things to happen, such as “Please do this,” or “I hope this happens.” These are “the prayers of a servant,” or “the prayers of a young child.” Yes, these prayers are honest and frank, but the motive is centered on “me.” However, “a prayer of filial piety” is important in order to build an emotional bond between parent and child. The motive behind the prayers of filial sons or daughters is not themselves, but “God.” Have any of you ever started a prayer by saying, “I want to pray for God”?
When you enter a sanctified, holy place, you should first pray for God’s sake. It is the time when you are to meet the Lord, so first you should pray for God. Next you should pray for Jesus. Only by praying for God’ will you come to understand the heart of God, the heart that He experienced throughout history.
Cheon Seong Gyeong, Holy Scriptures of Cheon Il Guk, Book 11, Capter 2. 1. 13
We pray to offer our minds and bodies to God. Prayer is a time for devotion: not to offer external things to God, but to offer one’s mind and body completely to God.
Selected Words of Rev. Sun Myung Moon 28-25, 1970.1.1.
- Prayer of Gratitude
The basis for a life of faith regarding filial piety is “gratitude,” and to offer “thanks” for the deep love of God is most important in prayer. When something good happens, or when you meet a good person, and you feel happy, take it as “God’s gift” to you and offer a prayer of gratitude. However, don’t just appreciate good things and happy moments. Even during unpleasant times—when you meet someone you may have a disdain for, or when feelings of contempt arise—accept the situation as something you may need (for your growth) while asking God His intent behind the affair, and offer a prayer of gratitude for giving you trials and tribulations (to overcome). No matter how distressing or difficult these situations may be, we need to offer prayers of gratitude. Even if what happens are undesirable, God’s providence is behind these affairs, which aid our growth and capacity to love. We are able to establish a relative standard with God’s love only when we offer prayers of gratitude.
- Prayer of Report
Next, we need to report to God about our actual situations. Originally, a desirable prayer was one of returning a “good performance report” to God with glory and joy. Prayers are not just words; but we practice and then report, and these reports become results. Even if we are facing problems or difficulties, we need to report on these issues frankly and honestly. This does not mean just reporting about external matters, but to also report about your feelings when facing these difficulties. God will be most pleased when you are honest and open.
- Prayer of Repentance
When faced with a problem or challenge, people sometimes search for a “culprit” and ask, “What is the cause? Who’s the problem?”. They may tend to look for a wrongdoer apart from themselves. When a culprit has been identified, feelings of “demand and justice” may overflow. However, the most important attitude for believers of faith is a “sense of responsibility.” No matter the situation, we need to see it as a “reflection of our heart and as a relative standard.” The attitude of “repentance” to change and grow oneself is the proper attitude that will allow us to become owners of Cheon Il Guk. The person who always repents is a person who has a strong influence over love.
In addition, it is important to be honest and pray for your shortcomings. Those who are able to say, “I used to be this kind of (a bad) person. There were times I was like this, and there were times I was like this,” and repent for their past and repent for the present, are people who can be reborn, internally.
- Prayer of Mediation
Prayers such as those offered for the recovery of someone who’s ill, prayers of support so that someone may overcome tribulations, and prayers of asking forgiveness before God for the sins of a friend are “prayers of mediation” that are dedicated to those near you. If you offer prayers for witnessing candidates so that they may “meet God” and “encounter the word,” they will often be witnessed to in mysterious ways. Even while on the cross, instead of hating on those that tried to kill him, he prayed for their forgiveness. It was a noble prayer: one of loving the enemy. Likewise, let us offer prayers of mediation for the people around us.
- Prayer of Request
This type of prayer covers everything from the individual to the family and from the country to the world, but a “prayer of request” is to appeal to God what your desires are. However, please be careful not to ignore your responsibilities and pray only for your happiness, for the current situation to improve, or for your partner to change. Rather, it is important to devote yourself to fulfilling your responsibilities, and pray that your faith may never change, that you may have clear wisdom, and that you may love completely.
- Prayer of Determination
We thank God for giving us His grace and allowing us to start anew, and we convey our determination to God that we will do our best with a renewed spirit every day (week or month, etc.). God remembers these decisions we’ve made, so we must never forget or change or determinations. This type of prayer is also a “promise to God.” Based on the cheongseong of believing in God, to become a person that can be trusted by God is part of our life of faith. Let us make a pledge, motivated by filial piety, and determine to follow this path no matter what.
I believe that prayer is the greatest power, because it makes possible what is impossible. In the Unification Church we emphasize prayer, but we do not teach a different method of prayer. It is just the contents of our prayers that are different. My teaching has been, “Do not pray for yourself.” I teach that you should pray instead for your mission, for others, and to offer words of comfort to God.
Cheon Seong Gyeong, Holy Scriptures of Cheon Il Guk, Book 8, Chapter 2. 4. 19
What you pray for will always be accomplished. You are able to receive power through prayer. By praying, you will be shown how prospects of certain issues will develop in the future. (Spirit world) will tell you, “You should do this for this issue, and you should do that for that issue.” By knowing this fact, you can do great things. If you pray, you will be able to find the way. You have to know that prayer is more important than eating.
Selected Words of Rev. Sun Myung Moon 104-111~112, 1979.4.15