Here is a subject that may be considered way out there to many, but I feel can be one of the most important unknowns for people to get a better grasp of.
Sacrifice is the act of willingly giving up something in order to affect a change for the positive. Some people would picture an alter high up, possibly on a pyramid where a human life is extinguished for the greater good of a village, city or civilization,
this has happened in the distant past for many different reasons like for promise of good crops or good weather or lack of natural disasters and the such,
the effects of sacrifice are varied greatly depending on the situation and conditions. Power from a sacrifice varies greatly depending on a lot of factors.
I would like to start with the perfect example of a sacrifice that has affected the greatest good on the planet that I am sure most would agree with, and that is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross,
this is a man that voluntarily gave his life so that everyone could be forgiven their sins. Jesus could have made a confession to not being the son of God and his life may have been spared, he could have denied what he had done to save his own life, but he chose to stick to his guns and help everyone else at his expense.
What made this such a powerful event is that this man was perfect, he was without sin what so ever, in his whole existence he never succumb to evil of any sort, he actually had everything to live for but exchanged it all for us to have a chance to be one with his father.
This example would be hard to beat in any circumstance, there is a power in purity, which is why virgins were a prime example of sacrifice subjects, but that is not enough, the subject has to be freely willing to do this or else it would just be considered murder,
also the reason for the sacrifice would have to be good, it couldn't be for a personal gain or to greatly change the cosmic balance, ideally it would have to be mostly a selfless act, so if the subject was sick and about to die anyways, the power of the act would be diminished.
To suffer or to relinquish a right or liberty does not always have to result in death to affect a good thing to happen especially if it is selfless, Gandhi is a good example of this type of act where a voluntary act of starvation would help free a nation, he was not coerced in doing this, it was completely of his own God given free will.
I myself have made sacrifices for a good result that would help many people including myself, I was careful not to make it something that would upset a cosmic balance, but it was a ritual that was not exactly fun, and at times was painful, it drew upon the power of the people of our great nation that freely gave their lives in order for us to enjoy the liberties that we have today,
I cannot go into detail as to what it is specifically, and I will explain later why, but it did not directly profit anyone, only their well being.
This now brings me to prayer, prayer is also a great force that has many levels of effectiveness depending on the subject and circumstances. Prayer is somewhat like sacrifice in the way that it is used,
the most effective types of prayer would have to be totally selfless acts, meaning that praying for someone you know would not be as effective as praying for someone you do not know or even greater if you pray for someone you dislike,
like most people, we pray for our loved ones, and when I say that it is not as effective as praying for someone you dislike, I do not mean to deter anyone from praying for anyone they wish, as all prayer helps,
also prayer is most effective if no one knows that you are praying, also that is not to say that telling someone that you will pray for them is bad, especially if that act would bring comfort to them, but telling other people that you have prayed for so and so will diminish the act as it has just become less selfless,
this is also not to say that praying together in church is bad, but sometimes intention is confused by people thinking that if people see me praying, they will think I am a good person, this would be leaning towards being a selfish act that may end up hurting more than helping.