The power of prayer works wonders, but prayer must be serious and done with one united heart, not a divided heart. When the moment of marriage comes, it is a most serious moment in life for both men and women. In that moment you become dead serious, but prayer is even more serious than that. If you pray with that attitude then it will be answered. If your parents are on their deathbed it is a serious moment and the words you speak then are urgent. There is no way you could doze at that time. Your prayer to God is more serious than that.
Prayer is like a covenant between you and God, a promise. Once you make a contract, you follow through and, then it will undoubtedly be fulfilled. That is the attitude I am talking about.
You must not be disappointed when prayer is not answered, immediately. Some answers come late. At other times you should not be overjoyed when prayer is answered, quickly. Because you are surrounded by the world, there are many stages to go through horizontally and vertically. The answer to prayer does not come from you, but down from heaven and it takes time to reach you. There have been many foolish people who prayed wanting to receive the answers up to a point but who didn’t go the final inch, and when they weren’t satisfied they betrayed God. When you pray for the world you may not see things changing immediately around you. So you may think that the prayer is meaningless. But far away the communist world starts to crumble. The impact of prayer can be felt in a far-away place. If you are in the Abel position, the answer comes from Cain and it takes time to reach you.
Depending on the type of prayer you pray today, some prayers may be fulfilled one thousand years from now. I pray such prayers. I am not praying just for this world today; I am praying for 1,000 and 2,000 years from now. If that prayer makes a bridge between that time and now, then the Unification Church will continue to flourish even a long time after I am gone from the earth. That kind of prayer is needed. If many of you pray that kind of eternal prayer, the world will start to shake and the impact will be far-reaching. The root of that prayer is your tears, sweat and blood, and out of it beautiful flowers will blossom. When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane he was deadly serious, shedding tears, sweat and blood. Deep prayer is not a short prayer of one hour but ten hours, and all day long with seriousness in your heart. Such prayer will move God and history.
What prayer position do you prefer? The best is to kneel and lower your head. You have to restrict your body’s freedom, as though it were bound. You will feel pain, but overcome it because you must be serious. Then, God will know your attitude – you are serious. That is a necessity for prayer. Without prayer Jesus and the saints could not have done the great things that influenced the world. The power and impact of prayer guided and made history. When you resort to the power of prayer, you can have hope because you never know when the fulfillment will come. However, so many times and occasions you forget about prayer.
My prayer is centered on the culmination of the third seven-year course. You may think I relax when I am alone, but there is no moment of relaxation because my mind is always concentrated on the completion of the third seven-year course. You must understand the importance of prayer and have conviction that prayer will be answered. Through prayer you can receive power. Through prayer you can receive visions into the future and guide yourself accordingly. You will know what kind of difficulty is coming and how to divert it and overcome it and prosper. If you know how to steer yourself then you can do big things, and prayer alone can pioneer such a path.
I go out to nature – woods, oceans, waters, and grassy fields – because it gives me a better environment for prayer, and I love nature for that reason. I love to pray through the quiet of midnight, because it is the best time for meditating. I don’t say much about the visions I receive, but if you receive them then don’t you think I do too? That kind of new world can only be reached through prayer. In that position you can taste love. This world is desert-like, you cannot feel the warmth of love. But the world created through prayer has a climate where love can thrive. You must learn and study how to generate your own power. You must make yourself self-propelling. In order to do that, prayer must be the diet of your life.
Whether, people recognize your efforts or not, you must do your duty enthusiastically. Do it because you have a covenant with God. Day and night you move on; there is no pause. That is a living testimony. Every several years my topic of prayer changes, which shows progress to a new era. In a prayerful mind I know precisely what time it is in God’s timetable. That kind of preparation is necessary for self-perfection, and you must learn it through the power of prayer. Do you pray in the way I taught you today? If you do so, please raise your hands. You must pray for His kingdom and His righteousness.
The Importance of Prayer
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
April 15, 1979