All my life, I’ve been fascinated with things that glow in the dark. Where does the light come from? This is now fundamental to my understanding of prayer, and of my vocation.
The picture shows what I take for the latest advance in the world of fluorescent materials. Here are germanium nanoparticles in a colorless colloidal (gelatinous) suspension, being irradiated by ultraviolet light. By virtue merely of where they are and what they are, the invisible light that shines on these particles is changed into visible light.
The nanoparticles catalyze that process: they do no work of their own, expend no energies of their own, and take no active part in the process; but it won’t occur without them.
These “quantum dots” can be made of silicon or germanium. We have the technology to manufacture them with great precision. As I expected, the particle’s diameter is proportional to the wavelength of light emitted. As I did not expect, the wavelengths of the light emitted are much greater, 160 times greater, than the diameters of the particles themselves. The particles have diameters of 2.5 to 5 nm, whereas the wavelengths of light emitted are 400 to 800 nm.
Related: Quantum Dots of Many Colors
Our souls are exactly like those nanoparticles, catalyzing the transformation of high-frequency energies from the infinite world beyond space-time, which we cannot see; into lower-frequency energies in the finite world of space-time, which we can see.
In any living thing, a majority of that light becomes the Life Force, empowering those processes that make us different from inanimate objects. This light appears as the aura — and our feelings, thoughts and actions.
We emit light on other frequencies when we pray for other living things, affecting those creatures’ souls; and still other frequencies when we pray for situations, affecting the future.
This is prayer: energies passing from beyond, through your soul, into this world. You take no active part in the process, and expend no energies of your own, but it won’t occur without you.
Another analogy that I’ve held for years compares the intercessor to a lightning rod.
During a thunderstorm, somehow negative electrical charges build up in the clouds and positive charges on the ground. As this polarization increases, a path of least resistance may develop, and energy will discharge across this path, from the sky to the ground. The presence of a lightning rod on a rooftop, for example, may catalyze this discharge.
An intercessor is like that lightning rod, facilitating a discharge from “heaven” to “earth” to meet human need. Prophecy operates the same way, only expressing the energy in the form of words.
Note that the lightning rod is completely passive, inert, throughout this process. The energy that passes through it is the only energy involved; the lightning rod exerts no effort of its own. It functions by virtue merely of where it is and what it is; in other words, its position and its composition.
As to position, the lightning rod will not function if it’s lying on the ground. It needs to be on top of a building or other structure.
It also needs to be “grounded.”
As to composition, the lightning rod must be made of a material that conducts electricity — iron or aluminum, copper, silver or gold. Wood or rubber will not work. God has appointed those materials to other uses.
Ideally, the intercessor likewise is completely passive and inert throughout the process of intercession. The energy that passes is the only energy involved; the intercessor exerts no effort of one’s own. One serves by virtue merely of where one is and what one is; in other words, one’s position and one’s composition.
The intercessor’s only work is to perfect one’s position and one’s composition.
To get into the correct position to intercede, at any point in time one merely enters silence and focuses one’s attention on the desired outcome.
Optimizing one’s composition to intercede is a lifelong process. As with music, so with intercession: some people, like Mozart, are born with exceptional talents. Most others have varying degrees of talent they can develop. Everyone has some skill just by virtue of being a soul.
Simply strive to be the best person you can be, however you understand that. Every moment, pursue your ideals — the noblest principles you can conceive of — understanding that these may change over time, as you grow in wisdom. Faith — what you believe — matters little; faithfulness — acting as you believe, “walking your talk,” integrity — is everything. This is also a skill one develops over time.
14“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
The picture of the nanoparticles helps me understand Jesus’ words. He wasn’t joking. I don’t want to discourage anyone from intercession, but just as light includes infinitely many colors, God has given human beings infinitely many different ways to bring light into this world. Paul correctly says in 1 Corinthians 12:
“4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
We may think of those who excel in art, or music, or sports. Some do more in one, others in others. But even each of those fields has many dimensions within itself, so that one person may excel at one and another person at another.
Vladimir Ashkenazy excels at playing the piano works of Rachmaninoff, which very few can play. He’s brilliant — but probably would not be as outstanding playing Beethoven, or the violin, or (God forbid) the trombone. In those activities, other folks can shine.
Rodin excelled as a sculptor, not a painter, and of van Gogh the opposite was true. Just among photographers, some are relatively more gifted at producing images in black and white, and others images in color.
LeBron James was born with a specific collection of attributes specific to success in basketball. Michael Phelps has a corresponding set of attributes for swimming. But put LeBron in the swimming pool and Michael on the court, and neither one is likely to do as well.
Some excel at homemaking, others at parenting, others at gardening, others at tending animals. Some excel at building design, others at construction, others at demolition.
There is no end to the different ways in which any person may excel.
Your heart’s desire indicates the unique way you and you alone can best bring light into this world.