Edgar Cayce once told of a dream he had in which he was taken to Heaven and shown a room full of parcels and gifts that people had prayed for and forgotten; gifts of Heaven, awaiting mankind’s receptivity.

I can imagine such a space looking like the dead letter room in a huge post office where millions of letters are handled daily. Many reach their destination, but many due to insufficient postage or incorrect addressing are never read and never answered.

Since earliest time man has cried out to the gods, hoping to influence his destiny by winning their favor. The need to pray most often comes when we are frustrated by situations beyond our control. This is what turns people to seek beyond themselves — fear, despair, loneliness, poverty, suffering of all kinds. I doubt that on this planet there is a single being who has not cried out to the darkness, “Somebody, please help me! Does anyone care?”

Prayers often seem to go unanswered. We supplicate, beg, threaten and try to bribe God with our prayers and nothing happens. We may pray to Jesus, or Jehovah, Buddha, Krishna or Allah; the desire is the same — to have the power to move mountains, to know the future and to influence our own destiny. Just as a wise parent does not give in to a child’s every whim, a wise and just God cannot instantly grant every wish. Have you ever prayed earnestly for something and then found yourself later “unpraying” your prayer with equal fervor due to some change in circumstances? Trying to run the show your own way is a pretty risky business. Most of us are happiest when circumstance favors us, but very few would wish to feel themselves totally responsible for the world around them. Jesus said, “All things whatsoever you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22) We may find such a promise overwhelming in its implications.

Prayer is a way of uniting your energy with God. It allows you to focus and direct your desires, to effect Creation. As we mature through experience we learn that having all we might ask for may not be in our best interests. After many foolhardy attempts at directing our own affairs, we become humbled by the world and learn to seek direction. Prayer is part of this search, within our hearts, and in the world about us, we can hold this wonderful communion with God, sharing at every moment our desires, our needs, our confusion and our joys.

As we mature in prayer we learn to trust and to know that there is really only one prayer that needs be said, “Thy will be done.” I think it says it all. When you can say it, not just once, but over and over then your prayer becomes powerful, full of faith, hope and love. When we learn to trust and firmly believe in God’s love and compassion, his desire that we might have abundant life, then we can put our life into his care with childlike trust and say, “Thy will be done.”

Prayers should be full of hope and expectancy. Expect and hope for answers, guidance and help. Affirm your beliefs with God’s promises,

I have come a light into the world that whosoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
— John 12:46

and with the faith of other seekers,

I shall be Thine always.
(Paramahansa Yogananda)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me . . . (23rd Psalm)

There is no power or strength but the goodness in God.

Visualize what you are praying for. When you pray for a sick friend imagine that person is with you. Lift them in your arms to God. Believe that God loves the friend, even more than you, believe in God’s power to heal; know that there is much to be learnt from suffering and say, “Thy will be done.”

Plant seeds of faith in your prayers and expect a harvest. Believing in love, give generously of yourself in all things and you will find all things returned to you in abundance. If you are seeking help or healing for yourself; pray first for others. When you pray for financial help, give first that your gifts may be multiplied. That’s the way it works.

There is great power in prayers of praise. Learning to say thank you for every blessing and every crushing blow is a challenge worthy of any seeker-after-truth. When you can see even your greatest problems as a gift you will find you have a much greater control over your life and a greater freedom to work out creative solutions to your problems.

The Salvation Army has a song that goes, “Throw out the lifeline, someone is sinking.” Our own problems can overwhelm us if we try to handle them alone. Prayer is an action, a strong action in a positive direction, a lifeline to pull us out of our own despair. Pray often and your prayers will become stronger and more directed. The words don’t have to be fancy — just you, the way you speak. Share your life fully and completely with God, even the little details. You will come to know that nothing is hopeless. No area of your life does not concern him. There is no darkness where light cannot shine, no area of your life where a miracle cannot happen.

O taste and see that the Lord is sweet: blessed is the man that hopeth in him. (Psalm 33:9)

Good books to read

A Daily Guide to Miracles by Oral Roberts, available from the Oral Roberts Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Bible — any edition you prefer

Beyond Ourselves by Catherine Marshall

In his trance readings, the late seer Edgar Cayce often spoke of attuning forces of vibrations within the body to restore health. He repeatedly stated that the mind was highly interactive with these inner energies. “. . . All healing of every nature is the changing of the vibrations from within — the attuning of the divine within the living tissue of a body to Creative Energies . . . Whether it is accomplished by the use of drugs, the knife or whatnot, it is the attuning of the atomic structure of the living cellular force to its spiritual heritage.” The great wealth of medical commentary given by Cayce is catalogued at the Association for Research and Enlightenment (PO Box 595, Virginia Beach, VA 23451) headed by his son, Hugh Lynn Cayce. Most of the medical research on Cayce’s pronouncements is being done at the A.R.E. Clinic (4018 N. 40th St., Phoenix, AZ 85018) headed by Drs. Gladys and William McGary. A recent book on his remedies is The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health through Drugless Therapy by H. J. Reilly and R. H. Brod (Macmillan Publishing, New York, 1975.).

Reverend Paul Solomon, a Baptist minister-turned psychic, also channels information in medical and health research as well as spiritual growth and enlightenment. Solomon feels his work is an extension of Cayce’s because “we’ve duplicated every single claim made by him.” In a style not unlike Cayce’s, Solomon does his readings in a deep slumber and by request. One excerpt from his readings on healing states “. . . there is available, even at this moment about the body, all the energy that is necessary to build and heal tissue. Then, all that is left is the directing of this energy. Be aware then, that there is no direction of this energy without the attunement of the divine, without use of the divine law. Become then, as a channel. See self as a channel. Realize that what you have been given, that is the body centers, those centers you call chakras, or the kundalini force, is but an electrical conduit from this divine energy that fills the atmosphere with the prana of life. Use this as a conduit between self, between God and the one that you would heal.” (The Paul Solomon Tapes)