Ralph Waldo Emerson on Prayer

Prayer that craves a particular commodity, — any thing less than all good, — is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will then see prayer in all action. Self-Reliance

I forgot how fascinating Emerson’s Self-Reliance is. We had a class on Transcendentalists in college and he was a particular favorite, along with Walt Whitman. Full texts for Emerson can be found here.