Bishop Martin - The Progress of a Soul in the Beyond

- Chapter 179 -

(Says Peter): "Friend, when the Lord, the almighty Creator of all the heavens and worlds, took the flesh on my earth, living as a human being among us, He taught all of us to pray, saying:
'But if you pray, then speak: Our Father which art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy most holy name. Thy kingdom of love, truth, and life eternal come to us. Thy most holy will be done always, through all eternities. Give us this day and always our daily bread. Forgive us our sins and weaknesses to the same extent that we forgive our debtors, whatever they may be like. Do not let our weaknesses be assailed by temptations that would defeat us, but deliver us from all evil that might ever befall us. Thine, O Father, is all the power and might and glory forever! Thine be all the praise and honor, all the love and gratitude forever!'
Since the Lord Himself taught us to pray like that, it should not be wrong for us as His children to ask Him for what we believe we need.
To thank the Creator for all His countless blessings is already a great and holy privilege for us free beings, as we thus acknowledge to God all that we have and receive as free gifts, and not as a judgment. The petition, however, ranks even higher, for it is an expression of our realization that we may not only acknowledge as a free gift what we receive from God, but that we even have a free choice of the gift.
To attain complete liberation of our spirit , we not only need to realize what vital necessities we receive from the Lord as free gifts, but even more important is our freedom of choice concerning our needs. This obviously requires more introspection and uninhibited self-cognizance than the realization that everything we are, have, and receive, are free gifts from God the Lord.
He who thanks for a gift received, but who does not feel the need for any further gifts he may eventually require, is still very stupid in his sphere of life with a lot of brutish elements. For, also, beasts thank the Giver by their instinctive happy enjoyment of what they receive, although they are unable to recognize Him. However, unable to understand its needs, a beast can also not ask for things. When it is hungry, it looks for food. Having found it and satisfied its hunger, it rests until it becomes hungry again. This rest is a dumb thanks for the food it has found, but while it'is resting satisfied, it does not know that it will be hungry again and need further nourishment.
With man it is quite different, for he knows what he needs. After having satisfied his hunger, he is quite aware that he will again be needing food. But he also knows the Giver, and, therefore, he should not only thank Him after he has satisfied his hunger, but should combine a petition with his thanks. Thus he acknowledges all the more clearly having received everything from the Creator and that he expects also in the future to receive from Him all that is good and necessary.
At the same time, through such a petition, man stands before his Master just the way He wants him to: as a completely free being who is not only entitled to receive, but also to ask freely and humbly. Surely such a right presupposes considerable self-cognizance, without which no man could attain perfection?
These reasons should suffice for your wisdom to understand that petition is more essential for every free spirit than the most due thanks.
And if my most forcible reasons should still not satisfy you, friend Uron, the fact alone should suffice that the Lord Himself has repeatedly encouraged us to ask for the things we want to receive. But He has only very seldom reminded someone to say thanks.
Thus He gave us a sacred form in which to pray and ask for things. However, I hardly know of any particular form for thanksgiving.
True, the Lord Himself thanked the Godhead, as the Father within Him, on several occasions, and only once reproached the nine cleansed who had not returned with the tenth to praise Him. But, notwithstanding this, He never suggested to us how we should thank, whilst He did that expressly where praying for something is concerned.
Therefore, if the Lord expressly demanded prayers of us much more imperfect earth-dwellers, it is unlikely that He would consider it superfluous with you.
So I am now telling you on behalf of the Lord that you will from now on receive everything that you now have from Him, but only through prayer. Those of you who will not pray, shall receive only little or nothing at all.
For, if you are free, you must also know for yourselves what you need. When you realize this - which will be much easier for you here than it was for us on our earth - then pray, and you will be given what you have asked for.
If you agree to this, answer in the affirmative, and my brother John will take over your guidance. It is up to your free will to choose and decide!"