You Get What You Pray For (As Long As…)

At the suggestion of a friend, I recently started listening to an audio-book called “Outwitting The Devil”, by Napoleon Hill.

To summarize it briefly:

It was written in an interview style, where Napoleon Hill is interviewing the Devil. The purpose of the interview is to make the Devil expose all his dirty tricks as to how he controls humans.

I must say, it is very controversial considering what year it was written in (1938). Because of it’s controversial nature, it was actually hidden away. In fact, Hill’s wife made him promise not to publish it. The manuscript sat, unpublished, until 2011, when it was finally released.

But that’s all besides the point.

One concept that Hill and the Devil discuss, is the power of prayer. The Devil states two things about prayer.

  1. Most prayers are empty begging, and therefore do not yield the fruits that people are begging for.
  2. All prayers achieve results.

Naturally, those two statements can seem to be contradicting. Which Hill actually mentions in the interview. He point-blank, asks the Devil if those two things are opposing statements. The devil says that the are nothing of the sort, and both are accurate. His reasoning is that when most people go into prayer, they are only doing it because everything else has failed. Therefore, they are praying, but their assumption is that it’ll fail. The outcome is exactly what their subconscious assumes the outcome is going to be.

With that being said, the part that I find most interesting, is when the Devil states that you should go into prayer demanding what you want. By doing this, you enact the law of nature that states that you will receive whatever you want so long as you are definite in your pursuit.

Whether you believe in prayer or not, the previous statement makes a lot of sense. When you are definite on what you want, you are naturally going to make it happen — come hell or high water. When you have the clear vision as to the outcome, any temporary setback is just that — temporary. You will enact plans that will get you to your goal. You will readjust those plans when they don’t go as planned — instead of giving up in your pursuit.

This makes me come to an intriguing conclusion…

Prayer is an effective tool, even if it’s not a prayer to a God.

I realize that you may disagree with this statement. Also, you may say that it’s not a prayer if you’re not aiming it at a higher being. In “Outwitting The Devil”, Hill defines many terms in ways that we don’t think of them today. For example, he uses the Devil’s statements to define God as “infinite intelligence”, and not as a “being”.

Whatever you believe, there are many lessons to be taken away from the book. “Definiteness of purpose” being the biggest one.

I know in my own life, I don’t always have that definiteness that is required to get myself from point-A (starting point) to point-B (desired goal) efficiently. And it isn’t until I establish that definiteness that I reach my desired outcome. The book has done a good job at making me realize this.

It has truly made me think about my faults… However, Hill gives practical solutions. He shows how anybody can solve their shortcomings, and escape the Devil’s clutches!

Until next time,

Jerrod H.


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