The highest level of prayer is not a prayer FOR anything. It is a deep and profound silence, in which we allow ourselves to be still and know God. In that silence, we are changed. We are calmed. We are illumined. Prayer is meant to dissolve the worldly focus, to dissolve our sense of a separate self, to help us detach from the noisy world order.
Prayer is like pouring hot water on an ice cube, melting the cold and encrusted thought forms that still surround our hearts.
Did the two sides reach agreement… Doubtlessly not. Yet something more profound happened: They saw each other as people. This is an increasingly rare occurrence in our country; we have become skilled at avoiding practically all interaction with those with whom we disagree...we have the ingredients for a culture polarized by the perception that we are good and virtuous, while they are inhuman and evil. The law professor John A. Powell...calls this "othering" and has shown that it leads to hatred and discrimination. But on the odd occasion that people are exposed to each other as people...othering is hard to maintain. And that is the rare moment when human compassion and empathy can break out.