Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Conscious Dreaming

UV 1640/10000 Conscious Dreaming
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
I Samuel 1 v 10
Alfred Tennyson, the poet laureate of England wrote: “ More things are wrought by prayer than the world ever dreamt off.” Actually, prayer is in a sense “conscious and realistic dreaming” for it is dreaming holding the hand of the Almighty, all loving, all providing, all sufficient, gracious and all knowing. Even before we open our hearts and lips to pray, He knows our need. Our need becomes the seed of faith- it becomes the means by which our faith, small as it is, begins to grow. As the One who holds our hand is Omni-competent to grant any request, there are no limits to our praying and everything is possible. We dream in a semi-conscious or unconscious state of sleep but we pray in what I call a “ super-conscious” state of awareness of the presence of God. We can hear the rustle of His feet as He moves in us and around us even as Adam and Eve heard and were warned of the Lord coming near to them. We can feel His ear inclined to our lips to hear us even as we “ pour out our soul” as Hannah did. In prayer, our souls are poured out as a libation, an offering of our being that is pleasing to the Lord. That which we pray for is never greater or more valuable than our intimacy with the Lord.

Hannah’s affliction was the curse or limitation of barrenness. A blessed life is an unlimited life of limitless possibilities. She consciously dreamt that it was possible for her to have a child if it pleased the Lord. She wept bitterly over her barrenness and made sounds of groaning that Eli, the short-sighted priest thought that she was drunk. Her tears were itself “ liquid prayer”. It melted the heart of her compassionate Father who opened her womb at that moment. Her affliction moved her to greater faith and commitment to give back to the Lord what He had given her. She only wanted to overcome her limitation. Her tears demonstrated that her faith was deep and authentic. Prayer is not a superficial “wish list” that we present to the Lord. It is the cry of our hearts, our deep longing.

We should not hesitate to do “conscious dreaming.” We should not be modest or doubtful in asking the Lord in faith. The Lord sees our afflictions, our deep need, the longing of our heart and the totality of our circumstances. It is His prerogative to decide the means and the timing of delivering the answer, of fulfilling the dream, of satisfying the need. Eli encouraged Hannah to believe that her prayer is heard by the Lord. He asked her, “ Go in peace and the God of Israel shall grant thy petition.” As soon as we pray, we receive the peace of God. This is the beginning of the process of conscious dreaming. Thereafter, even as our eyes and senses do not perceive anything happening, in our spirits we can sense, that the dream is growing organically or part by part even as a baby is formed in the mother’s womb.
Prateep V Philip

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