God is infinite. God is love. By definition of existence then, you and I are each a tiny piece or manifestation of God as is everything in the universe, known or unknown, even Christopher Hitchens. This is why all prayers are answered one way or another. This is also why some folks seem to have more ability or success with their prayers than perhaps you or I may have. The more able you are to overcome your physical bag of skin and its gravitational moorings, the more likely you can access your true spiritual self, that is God, that is pure energy and set yourself upon a good and true path for yourself and maybe even for those around you. The true path will always be the energetic path to love and understanding and may or may not include physicality.
It doesn’t matter what religion you belong to or what your spiritual ideology is, though I would caution that not all religiosities are equal in the same manner that all roads do not lead to the same destination or one teacher may be better at instructing than another. The short road to Toronto will likely be the very long road to Sydney. Spiritual growth and understanding follow analogous paths, hence the comparison and sometimes the difficulty. Prayer is the act of a creature, let’s say a human getting in touch with its spiritual nature, that is, its true nature, pure energy, which is to say God as a matter of convenience. Infinity knows no limits including space-time boundaries. As an intricate part of infinity by virtue of your existence, you are therefore not limited either excepting as you choose within your own ability to do so. Our choices become limited or are limited by our own knowledge or lack of knowledge as the case may be. Lack of knowledge blinds us to a multitude of possible horizons and choices.
As Adam Smith mentions in The Money Game, “If you don’t know who you are, the markets are an expensive place to find out”. From a personal standpoint, life itself is an expensive exercise in finding out who and why we are. Why, of course, is love. Who is up to you. Given that religions are created and managed by humans, they are fraught with human imperfection and lack of understanding. The fact that the Catholic Church has largely lost sight of its spiritual mission does not constitute proof that infinity (God) doesn’t exist nor that every word the Church teaches is incorrect. Quite the contrary. It only serves to prove once again that acting out on a firm lack of knowledge may likely place you on the wrong road. I guarantee that it will be tough on faith regardless of religious preference.
Faith is nothing more than a belief in your own nature, that of the universe and acceptance of your part and responsibility within it. For an atheist or a person of Islam or Christianity or a Jew to suggest that faith consists of only certain limited words, concepts and images is to be wantonly ignorant of human nature and certainly of the unbound nature of the infinite creative force making up all existence, that is, God. I include atheism because to believe in nothing is to believe nothing exists, which is its own religiosity based on its own knowledge base and therefore requires its own faith. Faith in nothing is still faith.
Human lack of knowledge and understanding tend to lead members of various religious groups into a divisive or adversarial relationship with members of other religions or groups. It isn’t much different really from Greenbay Packer fans contesting with Minnesota Viking fans. The contest may have no actual importance, but it can lift us out or above ourselves and because of this it can have value and right or wrong, we take it very seriously. It’s all good until striving becomes negative and hostile at which point any benefits become marginal. All of this is a matter of choice and a focus of energy.
Life on earth would be better if humans could realize that all existence is nothing more than pure objective energy manifesting itself in a myriad of ways. We are all each other and there is no practical value in arguing about it. You are what you want to be. Your choices are real because energy is real and therefore have real consequences. Energy doesn’t lie – it just is. As humans we have energy awareness and consciousness and possessing these aspects of energy allows us to use it well or to misuse it; to comprehend it or not. Pure energy is pure love. Hate does not exist in this world. Hate is the extreme condition of choosing not to love. Energy, that is, God does not encourage humans to war with each other. Humans choose war by refusing to love.
Love and hate are analogous to the physics of heat and cold. Cold does not exist as an energy form. It is not measurable. Cold is the absence of heat energy. Heat energy is real; it exists and it can be measured. Likewise hate does not exist. Hate is a condition brought about by the refusal to focus on love. Denial of the positive, objective, energy of love and therefore our focus on the energy of love as our natural state of being results in the rudderless condition of emptiness and possibly hatred. This is never done to us. We choose within our own power to choose. The energy flow of Love requires responsibility to our true nature.
We each manipulate our own personal awareness in ways that can result in lying to ourselves, which in turn brings about the very reality we envisioned. If our thinking and awareness are negative, our energy focus and hence our reality will be negative. This is the physics of love energy flow. God doesn’t do this to us. We choose it and our focus ourselves. Humans don’t recognize this simple fact of their own power because they typically don’t see that we are each a manifestation of God, that is, infinite energy. The choices we make in life are quite actually everything we have and are in life. We literally create our life. The focus of our energetic consciousness directs the energy flow around us and within us because it is us.
The sooner we come to grips with this spiritual reality the sooner we can learn to say YES when YES is appropriate and NO when NO is appropriate. When we learn to see ourselves in each other we will finally be able to choose intelligently and live in peace.