As with the essay Prayer as Blasphemy, we are again going to be a bit iconoclastic as regards prayer. Does prayer work? Of course it does and so does prozac. But should I use either one? No! All forms of prayer, save one, seek to change the nature of reality. They fly in the face of the reality that the Universe is perfect just as it is and our attempts to change it to our liking have us swimming against the current of reality itself.
Only the prayer of gratitude accepts reality as it is. This is a very wholesome prayer and in harmony with the goal of Self-realization. All prayer involves thought—the process of thinking—the process of co-creation. We create our own reality through the process of thinking. Hence, thought itself is prayer.
Now let’s put all of this together for the sake of clarity. Let’s shift paradigms. Remember that the goal of Self-realization is awareness, that is to say “to wake up.” Awareness is being in the present moment and embracing reality as it is, not resisting “what is.” If we don’t like what is happening, we are suffering and we must allow the acceptance of our suffering—the acceptance of “what is,”—to awaken us to the nature of truth, the nature of reality.
Virtually all of humanity finds elaborate strategies to avoid suffering, to avoid reality and to remain asleep. Prayer is one of those strategies. Whatever we do, we must not pray. Unless it is a prayer of thanksgiving and acceptance, prayer is toxic. If religion is the opiate of the masses—prayer is the prozac.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry:
Who Am I? The Second Great Question Concerning the Nature of Reality
Where Am I? The First Great Question Concerning the Nature of Reality
Simple Reality: The Key to Serenity and Survival