Just as a king would request the presence of his subjects in his royal court, so too does God require man’s presence in order for each to commune.
Neurological research scientists Andrew Newberg and Eugene D’Aquili, in observing the brains of Franciscan nuns, concluded that man is not pre-wired to be a spiritual being, but rather requires man’s seeking of the divine, through discipline, in order to engage the divine. The Bible indeed notes, “If you seek him, he will be found by you.”
Engaging God requires presence. God being indicative of the unconditional is always accessible. Thus it requires man’s concentration upon Him in order to engage Him.
In my book, The Discipline of the Secret, much emphasis is given to the practice of concentration.
To be present is to operate from a point of concentration that draws awareness out of the conditional world and into unconditional being. In accomplishing this, we bring awareness into God’s domain, as God is being.
Most believe we need to clasp our hands and think real hard in order to pray. However, this accomplishes little and is nothing more than mere thought. Having been a former atheist, this behavior was clearly a delusory practice resulting in little significant effect other than to self-soothe the nervous man.
We do not enter prayer to think about God and have our identity in thought, but rather, to be with God, and have our identity realized in oneness with Him.
Being present requires drawing our awareness, that is, our center of attention, into the body so that we may experience and be aware with every nerve and cell thereof. Why should we bring our attention inward? Because Christ said “the Kingdom of God” is not “here” or “there” but is “within you.”
Initially, a practice of concentration may be intellectual and observatory, but can later blossom into an actual physiological force experienced as what the apostles and Christ called, the Holy Spirit.
Regarding the Holy Spirit, Christ noted, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Therefore, invite yourself into the king’s court, and do so with a spirit of meditation, not with the unneeded clasping of hands and desires of plain thought.