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Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates - Archived Messages

RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for April 20, 2008 

               Much of prayer is speaking, yet much of it is listening.  And the speaking we do in prayer is important, but the listening is even more important.  For it is as we listen that God speaks.  And it is when we are still that God acts.  It is in the silence that the word of God is uttered and the work of God is done. - James Dillet Freeman, "Be"                                                                        

        There are so many ways to pray, and for most of us we have experienced more than a few.  And most of us have had times when our prayers were not answered in the way in which we hoped they would be.  But, whether our prayers were answered or not, and whether or not we understood later why they were not, our prayers did change us.  It is the nature of prayer to do so, for prayer is always within the mind of the person praying and this is where we connect with God, Infinite Spirit.

     Many people pray for trivial things and often do not experience the results of their prayers.  But, all too often, we do not pray for the greater things for we are uncertain of the answer or believe that we do not have the faith for the prayer to be answered.  Faith, according to the ancient scriptures, "is the substance of things hoped for."  And in this, we can be certain that this "substance" requires us to be focused.  It is the greater things that we pray for that truly unify us with God, for it is in the greater things that we realize that God is necessary for their fulfillment ... and so this desire for the greater things is what impels us to seek to know God in a greater way.  If I were to pray that my dinner would be tasty and satisfying, my attention to God would end at the end of my meal.  But as I seek that something greater to have, to do, or to be ... I am going to be spending a great deal more time focused on God.

     Prayer does not change God ... prayer changes the one praying.  And no matter what method of prayer that we may use, we must "recognize" God, first, and always, if we plan to be successful in our prayer life.  It has been said that the "highest prayer" is not the one where we ask for things ... but I don't believe this is necessarily true.  I believe that the prayer that causes us to have a continuing personal relationship with God is the "highest prayer" ... no matter what it is that we seek.  For in Truth, things are effects ... success is an effect, prosperity is an effect ... health is an effect ... but they are effects "caused" by our relationship with God ... or lack of it.

      Prayer that is Life, brings us the "experience of God" in our lives.  In back of every Good desire that enters our mind and heart, is our underlying desire to know that God is for us.  Few can deny this as the truth.  And those who do, will never experience the fullness of Life.  We know how to walk, by walking ... we know how to talk by talking ... to sing by singing ... to know God is to experience God, not as just a Principle, or as a word, but as a Presence in our life.

     Many of us have arrived at the point in our spiritual development where we realize that prayer is simply recognizing that God Is.  And in knowing that God Is, we know that our Good Is too.  But, without prayer, we can easily lose sight of this and find our faith diminishing.  There is little difference between an atheist and someone who says they believe in God but does not pray.  For to believe in God is to believe in prayer.  "Faith without works is dead ..." we can read in the ancient scriptures, because the author of these words knew that faith must have life to it.  Answered prayer gives our faith life!

     Throughout the scriptures there are stories of prayers being demonstrated in the lives of simple people.  People who were blessed with greater abundance, greater health, and greater success.  These stories of successful prayer have continued throughout history, proving that prayer has life to it.  Everyone can pray and everyone can have their prayers answered in the affirmative.  As I mentioned above, there are many ways to pray, and it is up to us to find the one that works for us.  We must seek the right way for us and be determined to experience God as a Presence in our life.  We must be willing to learn as much about our personal relationship with the Infinite as we can.  As we discover new ways of expressing our desires in prayer, we will find ourselves more and more confident that the Presence of God is with us, that God is working for us.

In this work I teach affirmative prayer and I personally practice affirmative prayer every day for myself and others.  I know and affirm that the Truth of every illness is that there is perfect health waiting to be revealed.  I know and affirm that instead of financial lack, there is an abundance that will flow into our lives as we accept a greater measure of it.  I know and affirm that beyond the appearance of loneliness there is loving companionship waiting for us to attract it into our lives through faith and prayer.  "It is the Father's Good pleasure to give ..." ... let's make it our good pleasure to accept our Good!


Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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Prayer Is A Powerful Thing
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