Favourite Quote: ‘On Prayer’ by Frederic W.H.Myers

I am glad that you have asked me about prayer, because I have rather strong ideas on the subject. First consider what are the facts. There exists around us a spiritual universe, and that universe is in actual relation with the material. From the spiritual universe comes the energy which maintains the material; the energy which makes the life of each individual spirit. Our spirits are supported by a perpetual indrawal of this energy, and the vigor of that indrawal is perpetually changing, much as the vigor of our absorption of material nutriment changes from hour to hour.

I call these ‘facts’ because I think that some scheme of this kind is the only one consistent with our actual evidence, too complex to summarise here. How, then, should we act on these facts? Plainly we must endeavour to draw in as much spiritual life as possible, and we must place our minds in any attitude which experience shows to be favourable to such indrawal. Prayer is the general name for that attitude of open and earnest expectancy. If we then ask to whom to pray, the answer (strangely enough) must be that that does not much matter…..

(from a letter by Frederic W. H. Myers to a friend, quoted in William James’

“Varieties of Religious Experience”

( pp 508-9)

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