The Content of Prayer
Sun Myung Moon
April 15, 1979
The Importance of Prayer
Suppose you have been married for some time and are deeply in love, but then suddenly your wife or husband dies. Would all of heaven and earth crumble for you? That might be the very moment you could curse God for taking your loved one away, saying “God, What kind of God are you? You said You loved me, but then took away my spouse. You are destroying me!” But, instead of being resentful, you can thank Him saying, “God, I am grateful for all You have given to me. I will overcome this trial and challenge. Then, I will be ready for the next. I will face any challenges for Your sake.” Then, your faith can become deeper and stronger. God is your parent. If He takes a loved one away, it is not because He hates you but for some greater reason or purpose.
In our Unification Church faith the most beautiful word is “indemnity”; through indemnity we can pay the debt of sin. You say to God, “God, there is no one else who could stand such a burden of indemnity. This price of death, I am willing to accept it, since You have chosen me. I can accept it with gratitude to You.” When you compare the time you spend without the person you loved with the millions of years your generations will live, your payment of indemnity is small in comparison to the blessing God will give you and your descendants. If you are truly grateful from the depth of your heart — expressing, “God, I will accept and digest this challenge, so I will be ready for the next” — then, God will feel that He has really found an extraordinary child. He will say, “How wonderful my child is!” and His blessing will automatically be yours. Your attitude will decide the amount of blessing.
If an extraordinary grief or tragedy hits you, are you ready to thank God and ask what is next? It is natural that you say you are grateful when good things happen to you and then curse God when unpleasant things happen. With knowledge of indemnity there should be nothing you cannot bear. You say “I cannot do anything by my own power alone. I trust God for everything.” That is the attitude of those who truly know God. When you first join this church your eyes might be bright and filled with fervor, but after three years your eyes get a little duller, don’t they? (No?) Ten years later? It is easy to say no, isn’t it? But do you really have confidence? (Yes.) Then, I will believe you.
Prayer is an absolute necessity. You may kneel all the way down to pray, but the most important thing is that you create an environment of commitment first. Unless your basic attitude is ready, no amount of prayer will be useful. In the Christian world today many millions of people pray every day, but do you think they pray to destroy the Christian churches? No, they pray for prosperity, but the churches are crumbling nevertheless. Why is this?
Do you pray for the sake of the Unification Church? You don’t need to pray for the Unification Church. Pray for the bigger things: the nation, the world, the liberation of God. What you are really doing then is praying for a cross even bigger than the Unification Church.
If you pray for yourself or for things smaller than the church, then God will not answer because He is not interested in listening to such boring prayer. When you talk about the nation and world, He gets excited and starts looking for ways to help. This is training for how to love greater things. If you really live like that then even if you don’t have time to pray God will still back you up. So, you don’t need to worry about yourself.
In churches today people pray for their denominations, their social security check or their family problems and their pet. God’s ears hurt when He hears those prayers and He will plug His ears. If those people prayed for God to use their church to help save the world and liberate God, He would perk up and be amazed because God is a person just like you. When your prayer is self centered, God is thoroughly bored and nothing will happen.
Therefore, you pray for God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, the world, your nation, and His liberation. These are the central themes of prayer. In order to fulfill bigger things you need an adventurous mind willing to take risks. Then God will tell you, “Don’t worry if I am right behind you. Go forward with a joyful heart despite the persecution facing you.” Then, if you throw yourself into overcoming the stone walls and persecution before you, God will take up your battle.
God will judge your opposition for He knows who is just and who is unjust. But first God will watch, giving you a chance to knock your opponent down with your own capability. Even if you are defeated, God will comfort you saying, “My child, well done!” This is the same thing a father and mother would do. If you come running to God to ask for help before you even confront your enemy, He, like any parent, will be ashamed to hear you and will send you back out again.