Prayer and Worship

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PRAYER AND WORSHIP

I. NATURE WORSHIP

1. Early worship was suggested by nature objects close at hand. (944.2) 85:0.2

2. Man has worshipped everything on the face of the earth—including himself. (944.4) 85:0.4

3. The first object of worship was a stone. (944.5) 85:1.1

4. Hills and mountains were early worshipped; gods lived on mountains, demons in caves. (945.3) 85:1.5

5. The cults of tree worship are among the oldest religions. (945.6) 85:2.3

6. Clouds, hail, windstorms, thunder and lightning overawed early man. (947.2) 85:4.3

7. Nature worship led to the deification of sun, moon, and stars. (947.4) 85:5.1

8. Fire was long worshipped. (947.3) 85:4.4

9. Man’s early fear became religious as nature became personalized, spiritized, and eventually deified. (950.2) 86:0.2

II. CHANCE AND LUCK

1. Early man lived in fear of chance—existence was a gamble. (950.6) 86:1.4

2. Even the wise man said: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.” (951.2) 86:1.6

3. The savage personalized everything—both nature and chance. (951.5) 86:2.3

4. Presently, good luck was associated with good spirits—bad luck with bad spirits. (955.9) 86:6.4

5. The savage willingly paid the premiums of fear and priest gifts toward his magic insurance against bad luck. (956.4) 86:7.1

6. Modern man has removed the insurance business from the realm of priests to the domain of economics. (956.5) 86:7.2

III. THE GHOST CULT

1. Ghost fear was the fountainhead of world religion. (961.2) 87:4.1

2. Men viewed ghosts as having unlimited rights but no duties. (962.2) 87:5.1

3. Self-deprecation was an effort to avoid ghost jealousy. All this led to civilized modesty and restraint. (963.2) 87:5.7

4. The effort to placate ghosts and bribe spirits led to a world philosophy. (963.4) 87:5.9

5. The ghost cult rendered ancestor worship inevitable. (960.5) 87:3.1

6. Evolutionary religion was born of man’s fear of the unknown, the inexplicable, and the incomprehensible. (986.3) 90:0.3

IV. DEATH FEAR

1. To primitive man, death was a shocking combination of chance and mystery. (952.3) 86:3.1

2. Dreams gave origin to the belief in a future life. (953.1) 86:4.2

3. The ghost cult led to the belief in recurring incarnations. (953.4) 86:4.5

4. Death was feared, because it released another ghost to be contended with. (958.3) 87:1.1

5. The funeral service was an effort to get rid of the ghost. (959.4) 87:2.3

6. Man inherited a natural environment, acquired a social environment, and imagined a ghost environment. The state is man’s reaction to natural environment, the home to his social environment, the church to his illusory ghost environment. (955.6) 86:6.1

V. FETISHES, MAGIC, AND CHARMS

1. For ages the “breath of life” was a fetish. (955.1) 86:5.13

2. The doctrine of spirit possession is fetishism. (967.1) 88:0.1

3. Belief in relics is an outgrowth of the fetish cult. (968.6) 88:2.1

4. Magic developed science; astrology led to astronomy; magic numbers to mathematics. (972.5) 88:6.5

5. Magic still lingers—many fossil words afford evidence—spellbound, entrancing, and astonished. (972.7) 88:6.7

6. Ancient magic was the cocoon of modern science. (973.1) 88:6.8

VI. SACRAMENTS AND RITUALS

1. Salvation depended on vows, oaths, pledges, fasting, and prayer. Then came self-denial, suffering, and deprivation. (965.3) 87:6.16

2. The cult of sacrifice evolved into the cult of sacrament. (984.3) 89:9.4

3. Religious observances evolved through placation, avoidance, exorcism, coercion, conciliation, and propitiation to sacrifice, atonement, and redemption. (986.1) 90:0.1

4. Ritual sanctifies custom and perpetuates myths. (992.3) 90:5.2

5. Mysticism often leads to social isolation and religious fanaticism. (1000.2) 91:7.1

6. The common people craved consolation and promises of salvation. (1081.4) 98:4.1

VII. EVOLVING PRAYER

1. The first prayers were not addressed to God—they were like saying: “Wish me luck.” (994.2) 91:0.2

2. With the coming of God-consciousness, these petitions attained the level of prayer. (994.3) 91:0.3

3. Man prayed before he knew God—when in need or when jubilant. (1001.5) 91:8.1

4. Primitive prayer was bargaining, argument, with the gods. (983.6) 89:8.8

5. Early prayer was hardly worship. It sought health, wealth, and life. (983.6) 89:8.8

6. Prayer may be an angry cry for vengeance or the joy of a liberated son of God. (1001.11) 91:8.7

VIII. PROVINCE OF PRAYER

1. Prayer is communion between man and his Maker. (996.3) 91:2.5

2. It is impossible to separate the psychological and spiritual aspects of prayer. (997.4) 91:3.6

3. Prayer can never be ethical when the petitioner seeks selfish advantage over his fellows. (997.6) 91:4.1

4. Prayer must not be so prostituted as to become a substitute for action. (997.7) 91:4.2

5. Prayer does not change God, but it may effect great changes in the one who prays. (998.3) 91:4.5

6. Prayer is a sure cure for the habit of criticizing others. (998.6) 91:5.3

7. We should be tolerant of those who pray in primitive fashion. (999.3) 91:5.7

8. Prayer is not the cure for organic diseases. (999.5) 91:6.2

9. Prayer enriches the life; worship illuminates destiny. (1123.5) 102:4.5

10. Jesus taught sixteen conditions for effective prayer. (1638.1) 146:2.1

IX. TRUE WORSHIP

1. In the highest sense, we worship only the Universal Father. (65.3) 5:3.1

2. Worship is dispatched over the Father’s personality circuit. (65.4) 5:3.2

3. Worship asks nothing for the worshiper. (65.5) 5:3.3

4. From the standpoint of worship, God is one—a unified and personal Deity. (640.4) 56:4.5

5. Worship is the highest joy of Paradise existence. (304.3) 27:7.5

X. REAL RELIGION

1. The early Christian cult was most effective, but is today devitalized by the loss of fundamental ideas. (965.8) 87:7.4

2. No cult will survive unless it embodies some masterful mystery. (966.4) 87:7.9

3. Doctrines may differ, but in worship unity can be realized. (1012.5) 92:7.4

4. Religion is the foundation and guiding star of enduring civilization. (1013.10) 92:7.15

5. Jesus enlarged the neighbor concept to embrace the whole of humanity. (1133.7) 103:5.2

6. The great need of both science and religion is fearless self-criticism. (1138.5) 103:7.7

7. The religion of the Hebrews exalted morals, the Greeks beauty. Paul preached faith, hope, and charity. Jesus revealed a religion of love, security, and service. (2095.3) 196:3.19

8. To Jesus, prayer was “doing the Father’s will”—a way of religious living. (2088.5) 196:0.10

XI. RELIGION AND CIVILIZATION

1. The power of an idea lies not in its truth, but in its vividness of appeal. (1005.5) 92:3.3

2. Religion handicaps social development, but without it, there would be no morals or ethics. (1006.3) 92:3.6

3. Evolutionary religion is man’s most expensive but effective institution. (1006.5) 92:3.8

4. Religion is the efficient scourge which drives indolent mankind from inertia forward to levels of reason and wisdom. (1006.6) 92:3.9

5. The church, in fostering racial degeneracy, has retarded civilization. (1088.6) 99:3.5

6. In these unsettled times, as never before, man needs the stabilization of sound religion. (1090.2) 99:4.6

7. The cosmology of the Urantia Revelation is not inspired. (1109.3) 101:4.2

8. Every new revelation gives rise to a new cult—with new and appropriate symbolism. (966.1) 87:7.6

9. There have been five epochal revelations on Urantia:

  1. The Dalamatian teachings.
  2. The Edenic teachings.
  3. Melchizedek of Salem.
  4. Jesus of Nazareth.
  5. The Urantia Papers. (1007.4) 92:4.4

BIBLE REFERENCES: Ps 66:18. Prov 21:13. I John 5:14, 15. Ps 34:17. Prov 15:8. John 15:7. Ps 37:4. James 1:5. Luke 18:1. Mark 14:38. Phil 4:6-19. Jer 29:12-13. Ps 92:1. Col 4:2. I Thes 5:18.

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