Connect: Not only will I try to discern through mental activity, but I will also discern by connecting with The Divine through prayer, meditation, and contemplation.
When our common sense fails us—as it will from time to time—we fall back on the spiritual practices that have proven effective for centuries. Prayer, meditation, and contemplation are spiritual observances that have been used by many spiritual guides and masters to connect with The Divine, and these three practices are still guiding people to find their own spiritual path.
These practices—combined with love and kindness—create a winning combination that move us toward a greater understanding of our purpose, our path, our light, our happiness, and our peace. They move us out of the sphere of religious observance to spiritual participation. Not only do we know about The Divine, we come to experience and to know The Divine. Whereas religion might instruct us to fear God and follow the rules, spirituality leads us to love The Divine and to become divine-like in our lives.
The power of prayer has been highly touted and often to the neglect of meditation and contemplation. These last two practices seem to have been demonized by some Christian circles as being a part of Eastern religion and therefore not to be experienced or practiced. What a shame. Some of the greatest minds have depended heavily on all three practices, and if I had to pick which one would be the least effective, in my opinion it would be prayer. This is especially true if our perception of prayer is to make petitions to The Divine, to pray without ceasing (which sounds like talking nonstop), or to claim something or even someone in the name of God or The Divine when that claiming goes against freewill or the will of our Higher Power.
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