/ Khutbahs

The Art of Thoughtful, Creative Prayer

Your destiny is yours. It is inescapable, but it can come to you either as a surprise or as a matter of your complicity in its creation. And in either case the latter hold true.

We've know for some time that we both can and do write our own books.

For example. I'm writing this book for me. It will serve a multifold purpose. It will be new and news to me although a repeat of things long known; it will with every word influence my destiny - although our destiny is predestined so is the degree of influence we exert upon it.

If we pray to God in the right way our prayers can be answered. If we pray in the wrong way it is only a cynical gesture in support of our beliefs that 1) either God does not really exist, or 2) the God exists but is somehow unrelated, unconnected and disinterested in us.

I have spent years praying in the wrong way and now I'm going to change. Because that brought me nothing but the fruits of my own efforts (all of which is a miracle, don't get me wrong)

This book is on thoughtful, creative prayer. It IS a thoughtful, creative prayer. It is a plea to the almighty gracious God to show me the way to a more affluent and enjoyable life. After all, for all the blessing in it (and I do count them), what have I got? Here I sit, writing again about the desires and feelings I have inside me that this is not in vain. That God is no a waster and that I've surrendered the personal interests in life to see what God would have of me and it has gloriously led to this.

Prayer is your vision of a heavenly life with the faith that it is destined. And it helps to have your vision corrected by understanding the nature and purpose of God. Primary among these understandings is that God did not create to punish. It is a very low (almost human) estimation of God and unreal, impossible and incorrect to believe that a God so kind, powerful and loving can have a mean streak, and actually create creatures strictly so that God cold punish them; to show off God's power by casting them into some sort of eternal or otherwise hellfire or damnation; to demonstrate God's might and power through punishment. It sounds way more like my evil step-dad than the God Who Created us for Love.

Now the Sufis have many legends in their history explaining the nature of God and the 'motives' for His creating. So quickly I'll say that the study and practice of Sufism is the quickest and most efficacious way I know to arrive at a conclusive understanding and benevolent outcome.

You can start at and spread out from there. But!, it does require belief. Not only must you believe in God to understand and benefit from the teachings of God, but you must believe in the teachings in order for them to have the desired effect on you. For it is said in all scriptures that "as you believe, so shall it be."

Our estimation of God and our estimation (esteem) of ourselves is virtually one and the same thing.

The image of yourself you hold in your mind is whom you shall surely be. Now there's complicity.