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Table of Contents for The Mystery of Prayer   


Chapter 1
Modern Man's attitude to prayer
Amongst those who have no thorough knowledge of the mystery, technique and special importance of prayer, the thought may easily occur that prayer is of no interest to modern Man. Indeed, even amongst those who study spiritual science, one may find people who really cannot feel comfortable about praying to God. They wonder what there is left to pray for when everything is logical and perfect, when "everything is very good". Would it not be blasphemy to implore the Godhead for some special favour or "help in the hour of need", when everything is embraced by the divine will so that "even the very hairs on our heads are numbered", when not even a speck of dust can fall by chance?
      It is a matter of course that the materialist who has no knowledge whatsoever of any purely spiritual or cosmic phenomena, but has faith only in what can be weighed and measured, considers praying to be pure nonsense and the culmination of naivety and superstition. But can he, in the long run, base his life on this point of view? Can great knowledge of material matter and an ensuing acquisition of a prominent scientific and social position be a guarantee that he will never become unhappy?
      And what about the developed religious person who already believes that everything is subordinate to the divine will? The person in question has even begun to see that this is so. Is this vision or this new knowledge a completely reassuring guarantee that he will never become unhappy either? No, certainly not. No knowledge, whether of the material or the spiritual plane, can give such a guarantee. Of what use is it to be a brilliant geologist, physicist, chemist or even psychologist? Can that guarantee that one will never lose those one loves most? Can that guarantee that one's spouse will not fall ill and die prematurely? Can that guarantee that one's children will become exactly the magnificent examples of health, morals, intelligence and status that one has, in all sincerity, hoped for and dreamt of?
      Is not the distinguished religious scientist in precisely the same situation? Does the knowledge he possesses about the perfection of the universe give him any guarantee that he will not meet with the same calamities? No, knowledge alone cannot guarantee happiness.

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