“To pray out of fear is not to pray at all, because such prayer chooses not the union that is the prerequisite. To pray out of fear is to ask from an unreal state of lack for what is seen as missing or desired. In contrast, true prayer, formed in union, is a means of creating, recollecting, or recalling a divine memory and transforming that divine memory into a present moment experience. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.6)”
Affirmation: “I will choose to avoid fearful prayers.”
1 – Fearful Turmoil
When we are in fearful turmoil, our emotions are so engaged that it is hard to sense God’s presence. We are not in union with God, because we cannot feel His presence. This is the so-called foxhole prayer, i.e., “There are no atheists in foxholes” (a reminder of World War I). We need in some way to alleviate the fear, and I have found that prayer, in fact, does alleviate fear. I can pray myself to sleep when I am anxious. Is there a problem with my experience vs. the words of Jesus in this passage?
2 – Personal Experience
I think not, because I am calmed by the prayer, a calming that precedes receiving an answer (an answer that is sometimes just blissful sleep). I do not go to sleep fearful, and I do not remain fearful as I pray. The fear just drops away, and I pray from a relaxed state of mind and heart.
3 – Divine Memory
The latter half of this passage is difficult to understand. What exactly is a “divine memory”? I think that Jesus is calling on our Self/Christ at this point. When we experience the Self/Christ, we are healed from a divine perspective, for the Self/Christ is our part of the God within (an interpretation, not stated precisely in A Course of Love).
4 – When to Pray
We need to begin praying when we are afraid or fearful, but–and this is the important point–we will not remain afraid or fearful. We will, in nearly all cases, immediately begin calming down, for we will be recalled to trust in God. We need never cease to pray because we think that we are too overwrought. God will create the holy instant that will bring us peace.
Thank You for guiding me to know that praying to You in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, is a very practical way to induce a return to sleep. I think that You welcome this communion, for our private times together heal and calm me. Thank You for letting me adopt practical use of prayer for a very human need of sleep.
Thank You for leading me to realize that the best prayer is not one of fear. The prayer may begin with anxieties, but the prayer will take me out of the anxieties into peace. Thank You for this blessing.
If I can reach divine healing today, it will be because You have led me every step of the way. Fort this leading, I am very grateful.
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