In my view, spirituality and religion are related, but not the same thing. Religion has arisen in an attempt to codify spiritual thought and ideas by the establishment of doctrines, creeds, stories, and other traditions – and to make it “experiential” through ritual and repetitive prayers.
But these things can distract us from the organic spirituality present in all of us. They can distract us from the spontaneous human experience of our spiritual nature and longing.
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Prayer will be heard with greatest effect when it comes spontaneously from the heart and soul expressing in your own words your desire to help others or to become a more spiritual person.
Do not pray for material things because God has already provided what you need. Do not pray for elevation of your earthly status, for it counts for nothing in the spiritual realm. Rather, pray for elevation of your soul through your expression of love, compassion, and service.
You might like to see the discussion of prayer that appears on pages 76-81 in The Teachings of Silver Birch, edited by A.W. Austin.