Extracts

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Prayer

swedenborg

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[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Prayer" (search under Inner Life/Practices)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.1": detail "Section 487"
One who prays out of fear cannot be heard, only one who prays from the heart.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Prayer" (search under Inner Life/Practices)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 3126"
I saw by a spiritual idea that prayers to the Lord, if they are done from conscience as a duty, are then good, but if so that one may obtain or deserve something, it is not good, even evil.

[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Prayer, effects of" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.3": detail "Section 3677"
I realized that prayers accomplish nothing at all when they are offered only to beg forgiveness for one's evils, and one then imagines, once I have entreated, I then have remission of sins. But sins are not remitted unless there is repentance from the heart together with some minor torment and grief, and thus acknowledgment of one's uncleanness, during which and after which, prayers do avail.
 This I realized to be true, and that otherwise prayers, and sacraments, and other rituals accomplish nothing—rather, they confirm us in evils, for they lull the conscience with the thought that our sins are remitted by entreaty and we have utilized the means of salvation. Thus one returns into former uncleanness. A certain one wished to beg forgiveness in this way, and then realized the truth with the help of a spiritual mental image.