What do I think prayer is?
Well, this question cannot be answered without discussing what I think God is. So, both questions will be looked at here, though not necessarily in any particular order…and I cannot say this will be an easy read. These are complicated subjects, but if you apprehend the essence of what I mean then I’ll consider it a win for both of us.
Prayer, or more specifically the answer thereto, is the necessary response of reality—specifically its underlying RATIONAL philosophical apparatus, and this apparatus is God. In other words, God is reality as expressed, and as possible (efficacious), through the objective rational principles which utterly imply it. Starting with an irreducible metaphysical primary (which can only be Ability, because existence must be active for it to be possible, and all action must be underwritten by the Ability to act), and proceeding through epistemology, ethics, etcetera, etcetera, where all the root philosophical premises (epistemological premise; ethical premise, etc.) proceeding from the metaphysical primary are corollary to promote, affirm, and reinforce the primary (and therefore themselves) thus creating what I call the Great Corollary…or the Many Truths (the premises) from the One Truth (the metaphysical primary).
Now, I know this explication is pretty abstruse (though less so if you follow my blog) and this is a function of the complexity of the subject. And the reason, in large part, for this complexity is because the church has spent almost the entirely of its existence avoiding the question. The substitution of truth by the Church, you see, with equivocation, tarted-up logical fallacy (contradiction explicated as Truth), mysticism, pagan and neo-pagan syncretism, despotic absolutism and collectivist authoritarianism, emotional blackmail and outright blackmail, spiritual manipulation, excuse-mongering, and plain old lying, has made getting to the truth of what God is, and thus what is meant by prayer to God, exceedingly more complicated and enigmatic than it ever needed to be if we could have avoided the past two thousand years of the intellectual error of the sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and fools who have traditionally comprised Christianity’s ruling (priest) class.
If you have spent any time in the Church you will know, unless you are a child or have the spiritual mind of a child, or are blinded by or thoughtlessly committed to the Platonist propaganda which passes for truth there, that there simply does not exist any actual definition of God anywhere therein whatsoever. And you will understand that this is precisely why no one in the church really knows what prayer is, means, or how to do it. Oh, for certain there are some mildly clever attempts to provide a meaningful answer to the question “what is God?”, like “he’s the Creator”, which in reality tells us not what he IS but what he DOES, and this only vaguely and insufficiently; or we might hear “he is the Alpha and the Omega (first and last)”, which only obliquely describes his nature and utterly omits the relevant practical implications of such a claim, and does not describe how such a label has any meaning beyond the mere figurative and/or poetic. Alpha and Omega implies an infinity of being, which is fine, but what is required, and omitted, is how one reconciles the paradox of an infinite Agent manifesting as somehow distinct (finite) in reality. I am not saying that such a paradox cannot be resolved, just that the church has never done so…and will NEVER do so.
Next, of course, we have the extra-biblical assertion that God is a “Trinity”…the “Three in One”—whatever that means. And don’t bother asking, because NO ONE knows. If you do dare put on your hazmat suit and wade into the fetid abyss of Christian apologetics and ask about the “Trinity” you will get a smorgasboard of equivocation amounting to, in practicality, a big fat shrug. All explanations of the Trinity are designed to dazzle, not inform, because the church realized some five hundred years ago that explaining a rank contradiction in terms was impossible, even with all the divine clarivoyance of the whole medieval priest class, including the Pope with his magic tin can and string direct to God. Back then, of course, demurring from the orthodox interpretation of God as Trinity was apt to get one murdered for heresy. Today, murder is not the church discipline de jure, as much as the modern priest class would ABSOLUTELY embrace that power being that it is entirely consistent with Christianity’s doctrinal premises, however, disagreeing with the unbiblical notion of God as “Three in One” indeed marks you as an outcast and a troublemaker, unsaved and evil, denying even the most basic of God’s “truths”.
And here’s something else about the Trinity, as long as we are on the subject…and this relates to my overall point in the article here anyway. I submit that the doctrine of the Trinity is a thinly veiled ADMISSION that Christian orthodoxy has absolutely no idea what God is or how to describe his nature. Thus, a contradiction in terms (Three which is simultaneously One) has become the final word on God’s essence…and it is assumed that this makes him somehow awesome as opposed to ridiculous. We are supposed be inspired to literal and figurative prostration at the thought of our Creator as that which man cannot possibly fathom by any cognitive faculty or conceptual framework.
And herein lies the whole damn problem.
In an effort to make God astonishingly vast and complex, and thus to inspire man to worship and tremble at his feet, Christianity has instead made him a farce—an arrant joke—by placing him utterly beyond anything rational, and thus (and most abominable) playing straight into the hands of his those who mock and scorn his existence. God defined as “Three in One” creates an interpretation of the Father which has been punted beyond man’s cognitive, conceptual, and intellectual frame of reference. By defining God as a contradiction, Christianity has ensured that man cannot possibly apply the Father’s existence to reality in any way at all, making him utterly irrelevant to man, and exchanging practical and rational theology for mysticism, superstition, spiritual despotism, and willful ignorance; and making these things virtues whilst mocking, condemning, and murdering as heretics those who nurture a pure, holy, innocent, and RATIONAL desire to know him.
And finally, it would do us all well to remember that the madness known as the doctrine of the Trinity saw its Protestant canonization punctuated with murder when the scoundrel and false teacher, John Calvin, had Michael Servitus burned at the stake for rejecting it. And this is the spiritual primordium from which today’s Christians claim to know God?! I think not. Look not to the church, my friends. God is not known there. The church has ghosts, but they are not holy.
Needless to say, then, since Christianity contains within all its disputations, catechisms, liturgies, and doctrinal interpretations no description of God which may pass for even a remedial or marginally realistic definition of the the nature of the Almighty, it clearly cannot provide a definition of prayer to him, nor how one should pray, nor what one should pray for, nor when, nor what one may expect with regards to its efficacy and outcomes.
So what is prayer? Well, I will tell you…understanding that this is a summary. Giving full attention to such a topic would, I think, necessarily fill volumes.
Prayer is an extension of man’s right not to be governed by deterministic cause and effect (cause and effect being purely an abstract rendering of what is an entirely relative relationship between objects when excluding the presence of the observer). Prayer is an extension of man’s existence as a function not of abstract natural law, but of reason. Reason extends beyond the mere physical/ontic parameters of the “laws of physics”, and demands that reality accommodate man’s RATIONAL will. And this either by man’s physical OR metaphysical extension of himself. That is, either by his hands or by his rational will—his understanding of his intrinsic right to witness his rational desires BEYOND those hands; that man’s will as it controls the object known as his body may likewise control ALL of that which is rationally obligated to affirm his absolute Self. And because prayer is an expression of man’s categorical right to his own rational and absolute existence, he need not ask or entreat or beg or bargain with reality. He commands it. And then it shall obey. God, you see, then, is not the worker of the effects of man’s prayer. MAN, himself, is. God, however, being an extension of the rational/moral (rationality and morality being corollary) existence of man (or, rendered more allegorically, he is Father and man is Son) is man’s PARTNER in manifesting the outcomes of that which is commanded.