Category Archives: Song of Prayer

Give Up Your Little Life Beset with Fear

1 – Waking

“Help me to wake My children from the dream of retribution and a little life beset with fear, that ends so soon it might as well have never been. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.8)”

2 – God

This is a prayer, presumably, from God Himself, asking that His children—us—be awakened. He would do the awakening, when we are ready. Let us never forget that; he makes the decision when we are ready.

3 – No Retribution

God would have us set aside a dream of retribution, which is punishment borne of judgment. He would have us set aside a “little life beset with fear.” I do know that personally I never get angry unless I am stressed, and I think that this may be true for many people. For many others whom I encounter. May we give up our dreams of retaliation (a form of retribution) and give up our dreams of fear.

4 – Fear?

We have nothing to be afraid of. That is the glorious promise.

5 – God Calls

“Listen, My child, your Father calls to you. Do not refuse to hear the Call for Love. Do not deny to Christ what is His Own. Heaven is here and Heaven is your home. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.8)”

6 – Heaven

“Heaven is here.” Yes! When our hearts are right, we know Heaven on earth; we do not have to wait until after death. Heaven, right here, is our home. And we all long to return to home.

7 – Christ Self

God would have us recognize His call for Love. We are meant to embody the Christ Self Who is within. This is our heritage.

8 – Meditation

These statements are meditative in intent. They are not meant to led us farther along the pathway by our minds, but by our hearts. We meditate upon the lovely words and soon find ourselves farther along the path homeward.

9 – Release

“So now return your holy voice to Me. The song of prayer is silent without you. The universe is waiting your release because it is its own. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.10)”

10 – Judgments

We need to give up our own judgments. We need not to try to make decisions on our own, something that is impossible anyway. We make decisions with Christ or the Antichrist (from the ACIM Text), because our agreement with another is what makes all things happen. And we would make decisions with Christ, Which, in ACIM, is the Holy Spirit. We would not choose to go about our world today, wily-nily. We would choose to live it with Christ. Let’s be assured that our intent to do so is all that is needed.

11 – A Call from God

“Remember this; whatever you may think about yourself, whatever you may think about the world, your Father needs you and will call to you until you come to Him in peace at last. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.10)

12 – Listen

God will never give up on us. He will continue to call until we are ready, and until we listen in earnest.

Dear Father/Mother,

Let us lead a good life today. I realize that a “good life” is an abstraction, but I would try to make it concrete—following You throughout the day. Let me remember to ask of the Holy Spirit what my next step ought to be. And then may I listen and follow.

This is the only way to walk along the pathway home.

Amen.

All Healing Is of the Mind, and so Continuing Physical Symptoms Should Not Alarm Us

1 – Healers

“Healers there are, for they are Sons of God who recognize their Source, and understand that all their Source creates is one with them. (S-3.III.5)

2 – Gender-Inclusive Language

Of course, “Sons” also includes “Daughters,” because the terminology of the 1960s was all-inclusive, the male embodied the female as well.

3 – Sons and Daughters – Capitalized

This passage suggests that Sons and Daughters, capitalized, are the real healers. This is reminiscent of the warning that an “unhealed healer” cannot really heal (from A Course in Miracles). And those who have not yet recognized their inner Self may be living in the personal self, which listens to the ego, and not be able to heal very much at all.

4 – Exceptions

Of course, there are exceptions, for God can use us all.

5 – The Source = God Himself

The Source, in this passage, is God Himself. We are sourced in God, and until we recognize this, all that we do will be confused.

6 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice alone can tell you how to heal. Listen, and you will never fail to bring His kindly remedy to those He sends to you, to let Him heal them, and to bless all those who serve with Him in healing’s name. (Song of Prayer, S-3.III.6)”

7 – Holy Spirit

God’s Voice is the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration. Listening to this Voice will tell us what to say or do when faced with illness of whatever sort. The Holy Spirit has a “kindly remedy.” And He blesses all.

8 – Reassuring

These are reassuring words indeed. We can be assured that the mind will be healed, and ultimately everything that is not of the mind (or the spirit), everything that is of the body, is illusion (ACIM tenets).

9 – Holy

“How holy are the healed!. . .Their healing has restored their wholeness so they can forgive, and join the song of prayer in which the healed sing of their union and their thanks to God. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.1)

10 – Forgiveness

When we are healed, we can forgive! A wonderful promise.

11 – The Sequence of Healing

“You first forgive, then pray, and you are healed. Your prayer has risen up and called to God, Who hears and answers. Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.4)”

12 – Physical Symptoms

We ought not to fret if we forgive, then pray, and then have continuing physical symptoms. It is not up to us to decide when God’s healing will be accepted.

13 – Healing Is of the Mind

And remember that all healing is of the mind, and so the body may often still display symptoms of illness. We have often chosen those very symptoms as a learning device, and if the particular ones we are faced with were healed, they could easily soon be replaced with other symptoms of illness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the many healings, over the years, that I have known I my life. Often the healing was mental, or emotional, and that too is good. But when I was very fortunate, the healing was physical as well. Help me to think aright so that I can be placed under Your care for complete health. As Catherine Marshall said, I know that you are “for health” all the way.

Amen.

There Is a Place for Helpers in Healing

“False healing rests upon the body’s cure, leaving the cause of illness still unchanged, ready to strike again until it brings a cruel death in seeming victory. (S-3.II.6)”

1 – False Healing

This “false healing” is the “body’s cure,” which ignores the mind’s powerful importance to healing. The body’s cure would be physical healing. Physical healing sometimes does not last, though there may be a respite. And, frequently, the body adopts some new symptom of yet another illness, and the cycle starts all over again.

2 – Healing of the Mind

The healing of the mind is different, and A Course in Miracles says that healing that lasts is always of the mind. When we have chosen a symptom in the body, the body will choose another symptom if the mind has not been healed, “ready to strike again.”

3 – Forgiveness

So the cause of the illness has not been eradicated. We are told elsewhere that only forgiveness can heal the mind and thus heal sickness of the mind. The mind is always the healing place to begin.

4 – Healing-to-Separate

“Healing-to-separate may seem to be a strange idea. And yet it can be said of any form of healing that is based on inequality of any kind. (S-3.III.2)”

5 – Difficult Passage

This is a bit obtuse. We do not want to see inequality between our brother and ourselves. We want not to experience “healing-to-separate.” If we think that we have walked further along the path to God than our brother, and therefore think that we are better than he/she, then we are much mistaken. Only time separates us from our brother, and time does not really exist; it is an illusion.

6 – Equality

Let us resolve to bring equality into all of our relationships. The sooner we see everyone as inherently equal, the sooner we will experience healing of the mind, and often of the body as well.

7 – Physicians

“Someone knows better; this the magic phrase by which the body seems to be the aim of healing as the world conceives of it. And to this wiser one another goes to profit by his learning and his skill; to find in him the remedy for pain. (S-3.III.3)”

8 – Esteem

This passage explains our propensity to elevate physicians to a higher plane, to go to them, always, for cure. Now Jesus never denigrates physicians or the medications that they give. He says that pills, though a form of magic, may be a compromise cure. We may increase our anxiety if we try to heal without pills, and we are already in a compromised state of mind, and so anything that raises anxiety is not good.

9 – Patient’s Mind

But the mind of the patient only is the way that healing progresses. The mind decides if healing will be allowed. If healing is not allowed, then illness may progress even unto death (and most choose some illness as the way to exit from this life to the Other Side). “Special agents” seem to be ministering to us, but actually they are not always needed. Yet do not see this statement as a choice not to go to physicians, for Jesus never says this. The mind of the patient makes the decisions about illness or healing. (These are tenets from the Manual of A Course in Miracles)

10 – Helpers

“Is there a role for healing, then, that one can use to offer help for someone else? In arrogance the answer must be ‘no.’ But in humility there is indeed a place for helpers. (S-3.III.4)”

11 – Helpers = Physicians

These helpers are often physicians. And in humility there is a place for helpers. And we ourselves can be helpers as well. We do not have to alone and lonely when we are sick. We can reach out, and in the reaching out, often we find solace and healing. Our minds may have made the decision, but we may be too weak to heal ourselves alone. We do need help, and often this comes by way of orthodox medicine and/or other people who heal by alternative methods. We decide, though not sometimes as the conscious mind. The Self makes these decisions, the inner Self which we do not always consciously access.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a healing today. I know that I don’t need a physician today; the healing I need is emotional. Help me to react peaceably to all that I encounter. Help me to be less stressed, for it is only stress that brings out the anger in me. I would be tranquil and calm, in love with You and all of Your creation today.

Help me to know when to go to physicians. They have their place, and Jesus never denies this. Help me to know the difference between healing with You only and healing with others.

Be with me as I walk through this day. May it turn out better than I fear right now.

Amen.

What Death Should Be: A Quiet Choice, Made Joyfully and with a Sense of Peace

“False healing merely makes a poor exchange of one illusion for a ‘nicer’ one; a dream of sickness for a dream of health. This can occur at lower forms of prayer, combining with forgiveness kindly meant but not completely understood as yet. Only false healing can give way to fear, so sickness will be free to strike again. (S-3.II.1)”

 

1 – False Healing

 

There is much in the Song of Prayer that explains when and if healing will occur when we have asked for a healing. Jesus uses terms in the Song that do not occur in A Course in Miracles. Here we see the term “false healing,” in which we simply exchange dreams of sickness for a dream of health. But this dream of health may not last, if we have not forgiven totally. Our forgiveness is still often the “forgiveness to destroy,” in which we “forgive,” but we do not forget, and we think ourselves superior to the one we are forgiving. We think that we are in a better position than he/she is, but we certainly remember the wrong word or deed.

 

2 – Forgiveness that the World Gives

 

ACIM tells us that this type of forgiving is all the world can give. And it is a false forgiveness. We think that the person could have done better, when in actuality all of us are doing as well as we can, given our understanding at the time. The word or deed of another is actually a call for help (an ACIM tenet), and the only sane response (also a term from ACIM) is to rush to the other’s side with help. It keeps our rights from being sacrificed (ACIM tenet).

 

3 – Our Rights

 

What does it mean to keep our “rights from being sacrificed”? We are due a good day. All of us are. And when attack has entered the picture, which always happens when we hold against another his/her insanity, then we are sacrificing our own rights to a good day. We are mulling over things best forgotten. Only if our personal safety is an issue do we need to distance ourselves, and even this is not an ACIM tenet. To my mind, though, it is common sense to remove one’s self from the vicinity of another in attack mode, verbal or physical.

 

4 – Death

 

“Yet there is a kind of death that has a different source. It does not come because of hurtful thoughts and raging anger at the universe. It merely signifies the end has come for usefulness of body functioning. And so it is discarded as a choice, as one lays by a garment now outworn. (S-3.II.1)”

 

5 – Other Side

 

We move in this passage to the end of life, to the time that forgiveness has been extended to all whom we have encountered, and we are ready to go home to the Other Side. We do not always get sick at this juncture, though most do. We can simply lay the body aside as a well-worn garment, ready to assume a new form, our ethereal body (not an ACIM tenet, which does not identify what we will be like after death).

 

6 – Choosing Death

 

We can choose death in this world. We do not have to stay here if pain is too great. And I am not talking about suicide. The Self within knows when we have had enough, and there are exit points. Then we develop a terminal illness, and we leave.

 

7 – Remain Healthy

 

But it does not have to be thus. We can, in the ideal world, remain healthy until the end. And then simply lay the body aside. But this usually does not happen, for many of us are weak and frail. We do not yet know how to forgive sufficiently to keep ourselves from sickness and always to choose health.

 

8 – What Death Should Be

 

“This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. (S-3.II.2)”

 

9 – Consoling Thoughts

 

So death should be a quiet choice, made “joyfully and with a sense of peace.” What consoling thoughts! Thank you, Jesus, for guiding our minds to such a conclusion.

 

10 – Liberty

 

“We call it death, but it is liberty. It does not come in forms that seem to be thrust down in pain upon unwilling flesh, but as a gentle welcome to release. (S-3.II.3)”

 

11 – Ruth Montgomery

 

Liberty! That is what death at the conclusion of a good life is really all about. Ruth Montgomery, in 20th century writings by automatic writing from her Guides, asserted that death is like walking through an open door. Would that this be all that it is for all us! Ruth wrote such books as A Search for the Truth and A World Beyond, after a long and distinguished journalist in Washington, DC.

 

12 – Death as Benign

 

So we can choose to see death as something entirely benign. We have nothing to fear. Suffering, yes, perhaps. But pain does not have to turn into suffering. We can exit gently.

 

Prayer:

 

Dear Father/Mother,

 

May I see death in a wholly benign way. May I welcome death at the time that is right for me. I realize that this is not yet, for I am healthy and very immersed in living in this world. When my time comes, help me to lay aside my physical body as one would lay aside a well-worn garment.

 

Help me to live joyfully every day of my life. May my prayer life, today, be enriched by turning to You in “praying without ceasing.” When I pray for assistance, You always respond, and right away. You tell me what to do to have peace. I can depend on You, and for this I thank You.

 

Be with me now throughout this day. May my words and deeds always reflect well on You. Help me to set a good example as a student/teacher of A Course in Miracles.

 

And may this day go well. Thank You.

 

Forgiveness Is the Key but Who Can Use a Key when He Has Lost the Door for Which the Key Was Made?

“Forgiveness is the key but who can use a key when he has lost the door for which the key was made, and where alone it fits? Therefore we make distinctions, so that prayer can be released from darkness into light. (S-2.I.9)”

1 – Different Types of Forgiveness

This section of Song of Prayer confirms what the rest of the treatise says about prayer. This section identifies the various types of forgiveness, giving their distinctions. Jesus would have us release forgiveness from the shadows (“darkness”) into light.

2 – Most Insidious Form of Forgiveness

The most insidious form of forgiveness, the ego’s form of forgiveness is described in the following passage:

“Forgiveness-to-destroy has many forms, being a weapon of the world of form. Not all of them are obvious, and some are carefully concealed beneath what seems like charity. Yet all the forms that it may seem to take have but this single goal; their purpose is to separate and make what God created equal, different. (S-2.II.1)”

We are actually all the same; we are One, and therefore there are ultimately no differences among us. But forgiveness-to-destroy, being the ego’s brand of forgiveness, does—as all things of the ego—seek to divide, to separate. And God would not have it so.

3 – Free Will

But as a part of our belief about ourselves, our egos have a will of their own. And God gave us free will, never to be denied. He also sought to preserve that will in active ways. Cause-and-effect is one such effect with which Jesus himself will not tamper. It is a primary device of the mind, and Jesus will not interfere with our minds. So we must willingly give up our egos, and we have surely learned by now that this cannot be done alone. We need, desperately, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit will never have us pretend to forgive offenses that we think do not deserve forgiveness. He wants all or nothing—forgiveness of the misdeeds (misdeeds at least as we perceive them) and a will to forget as well. Then we are home free. We have given up judgment, and with the giving up of judgment, the way to awake is near (from the Text of ACIM).

4 – “Better” vs. “Baser”

“In this group, first, there are the forms in which a ‘better’ person deigns to stoop to save a ‘baser’ one from what he is truly. (S-2.II.2)”

This is more elucidation of the “forgiveness-to-destroy.” When we think that we are better than another, we always think awry. And this is patently obvious to all who have studied A Course in Miracles.

Let us leave such foolishness behind forever, today. May we see that the equality of our brothers and sisters with us is a given. With that given, forgiveness is easy, because we wish that they too will forgive us when we have made mistakes. What we wish to receive, we must first give.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I practice only genuine forms of forgiveness. May I know that all individuals deserve forgiveness, total and complete, and that to deny this is to fail to receive forgiveness myself. Would I allow myself to receive forgiveness? This I must ask. Thank You for letting me understand that forgiveness has a sound basis, that it is always justified, and that when we recognize that we live in an illusory world, we know that misdeeds have not really happened at all.

Be with us today, as we seek to forgive genuinely.

Amen.

Forgiveness Offers Wings to Prayer, to Make Its Rising Easy and Its Progress Swift

“Forgiveness offers wings to prayer, to make its rising easy and its progress swift. (S-1.in.1)”

1 – Justified Forgiveness

I return repeatedly to the truth that forgiveness is perfectly justified for our brothers and sisters. The bottom line is that none of them has ever done anything that has hurt us in our essence, because we live an illusion, a dream. But that does not mean that they could just do anything that they wanted, because it is a dream. They are held accountable for actions taken in the dream. But we forgive any negative actions, because we recognize that these actions are just mistakes, easily correctable.

2 – Sights Soaring

When we forgive, we set our sights soaring. Forgiveness helps US, for we are set free. Who has really been the jailor and the prisoner when we have held things against our brothers and sisters? A jailor must stay in jail to watch his prisoner. So too have we been in jail when we have watched over others whom we perceive as mistreating us. (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)

3 – Wings of Prayer

The “wings to prayer” that forgiveness offers are great blessings. It means that our prayers reach farther than the ceiling, metaphorically. I have an old family story that told of an individual who bent on his knees before the bed, to say nighttime prayers, and rose to anger and attack, continuing an argument that had begun earlier. My mother used to say that his prayers had not reached the ceiling.

4 – Conflicted Prayers

Be that as it may, the prayers were probably very conflicted and therefore lacked the wings that a forgiving prayer would have offered. So we are helping ourselves when we forgive; we keep our rights from being sacrificed (from ACIM Text).

5 – Misunderstood Forgiveness

“No gift of Heaven has been more misunderstood than has forgiveness. It has, in fact, become a scourge; a curse where it was meant to bless, a cruel mockery of grace, a parody upon the holy peace of God. (S-2.I.1)”

We, including myself, have in the past believed that a given action on the part of another did not “deserve forgiveness.” This was a very great mistake. All actions deserve forgiveness. We do not have to stay around, though, if the actions continue in the attack mode. We have to make a decision about whether we are better off with or without our significant other. (This is perennial advice of Ann Landers, the columnist.) But whether we stay or leave, we can still forgive. We can pray out our animosity. Norman Vincent Peale indicates that the prayer may need to be ongoing for a considerable length of time. But pray out animosity we can indeed.

6 – Disturbing Passage

This disturbing passage from Song of Prayer mentions a “scourge,” a “curse,” a “cruel mockery,” a “parody upon the holy peace of God. These are strong words indeed. We are in for trouble if we fail to heed. God would not have us fail to give full forgiveness to our equal. He would also have us will to forget the misdeed once we have genuinely forgiven (an interpretation, not stated in Song of Prayer). The only way, in my opinion, that we can be sure that we have forgiven is the litmus test of forgetting. This may come immediately or may lag behind the forgiveness, but prayer will always bring that day closer.

7 – Forgiveness-to-Destroy

“Forgiveness-to-destroy will overlook no sin, no crime, no guilt that it can seek and find and ‘love.’ Dear to its heart is error, and mistakes loom large and grow and swell within its sight. (S-2.I.2)”

Forgiveness-to-destroy is the ego’s interpretation of forgiveness. We still hold the “sins” against the other. We may say that we forgive, but we do not see ourselves as equals with the other. We see ourselves as better than the other, able to bestow forgiveness where forgiveness is not actually justified. Or we can withhold forgiveness. It matters not which we do, for when we have determined to remember the misdeed, not to seek to forget it, we have not really forgiven. We have bestowed “forgiveness” on an inferior brother, not as “advanced” as we are in spirituality.

8 – Foolishness

This is foolishness. All of us are equals, and ultimately all talents and gifts will be shared. Only time separates us, and time does not really exist (from ACIM).

9 – Not Worthy

So let us seek to eliminate vestiges of forgiveness-to-destroy. It is not worthy of ourselves, and it will not give us the peace that we seek. It is an example of the ego taking real solutions from God and then reinterpreting these solutions in way that will not work. We are duped into blaming the other, and when we blame we cannot forgive. We are as much victims in this scenario as anybody else.

10 – Holy Minds

We need to think of our own minds, holy minds given us by God. And we need allow no black non-forgiveness to mar the content of our minds. Let us seek today to be rid of the ego’s machinations. This part of our belief about ourselves—the ego—can be discounted, and discounted for all time. Awakening will ultimately free us of the scourge of the ego.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forgive my brothers and sisters their foolishness, their insanity, now and forever. Everyone does the best that he/she can at any given moment. There are no exceptions to this rule. And when I forgive, totally and without reservations, I am free to offer gratitude to others. This frees the way to happiness, great joy. I love more completely, and the one who benefits the most is not my brother/sister, but myself. Of course, the other benefits as well, for we are in this world together.

Help me to live a good day today. This day is a gift, for another day is always a gift. May I not forget to thank You for this gift.

Gratitude is a great releaser. It frees my mind to enjoy the day. It frees my mind to love. Thank You for these truths, brought home so readily by Rhonda Byrne.

Amen.

Pray. . .and True Humility Will Come at Last to Grace the Mind that Thought It Was Alone and Stood Against the World.

1 – True Humility

True humility means that we no longer act egotistically. A friend of mine whom I think has reached enlightenment seems ego-less. She is calm and easy in her demeanor, and she seems very much at peace—regardless of what swirls around her. She is a results-oriented person who works hard but is not compulsive about work. And she engages in written dialogues with what she calls her Inner Wisdom, which we can understand is the inner Self.
We know that prayer helps us to reach this new state of mind and heart. Here is the relevant passage:

“Prayer is a way to true humility. And here again it rises slowly up, and grows in strength and love and holiness. Let it but leave the ground where it begins to rise to God, and true humility will come at last to grace the mind that thought it was alone and stood against the world. (S-1.V.1)”

2 – Personal Experience

Prayer is very important to me personally. When I am anxious, I can pray and immediately feel God’s presence, soothing me. And this is a very practical way of viewing prayer. But the Presence is enough to allow communion with the Divine. It is enough to set a day on the right pathway. There is no end, it seems, to be blessings that prayer can wrought.

3 – Prayer

“Now prayer is lifted from the world of things, of bodies, and of gods of every kind, and you can rest in holiness at last. Humility has come to teach you how to understand your glory as God’s son, and recognize the arrogance of sin. A dream has veiled the face of Christ from you. Now can you look upon His sinlessness. (S-1.V.3)”

4 – Beyond the Illusion

We seem in this passage to have reached beyond the dream, the illusion in which we live. But here we can see that there has been a dream that “veiled the face of Christ from you.” Now we look upon His sinlessness.

5 – Personal Experience

I once met an individual who told me that we were eventually to see Christ in all people whom we meet. And at that time, I was in a satori that allowed me to do just that. It was a challenging time, because who can see the face of Christ in all her brothers and sisters, and remain calm? The change in venue was startling. It was heartwarming, though, very heartwarming. I could even see pictures in the newspaper and sense the realness of the people depicted there. The satori ended soon enough (too soon), but the memories dwell on. And I hope for a return, a safe return, to such perception.

6 – No Blame

When we see Christ in all people, we do not blame them for anything. We are completely forgiving, though this does not mean that we allow ourselves to be abused. We absence ourselves from the scene if abuse is taking place. Abuse is less likely, though, because we are no longer doing anything to bait it. We are benign creatures, living solely for Christ. We are calm and at peace; anger and attack do not touch us. And so the individuals with whom we come in contact are influenced by our attitude.

7 – Sinlessness

We truly see sinlessness for what it is. We know that our brothers and sisters have only “missed the mark,” as the word “sin” actually means. And this missing of the mark is the way that a mistake can be defined. Our brothers and sisters are innocent. And well it is for us to view them that way. It preserves our rights (from ACIM Text).

8 – Ladder Ends

“The ladder ends with this, for learning is no longer needed. Now you stand before the gate of Heaven, and your brother stands beside you there. The lawns are deep and still, for here the place appointed for the time when you should come has waited long for you. Here will time end forever. At this gate eternity itself will join with you. Prayer has become what it was meant to be, for you have recognized the Christ in you. (S-1.V.4)”

9 – Awakening

This passage represents a beautiful rendition of the state of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, enlightenment. When we have recognized the Christ within, we are home in God. “The lawns are deep and still,” for nature means much to us in this state of mind and heart.

10 – Jesus

The ladder ends with this, for Jesus has come to cancel out all mistakes that we ourselves could not cancel out by our own efforts. And God has reached down and taken us up into Christ-consciousness. This truly is the end of the ladder, when the ladder can be withdrawn, because the “climb” is complete.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live in an ego-less state of mind. May I eliminate judgment from my repertoire of emotions. I know that when I have eliminated all judgment, then I will awaken. Jesus has promised this. Thank You. May I be patient in the meantime. May nothing mar my wondrous peace in this ever more beautiful world of yours.

Be with me today so that I don’t lapse into judgment and therefore into anger and attack. These fearful emotions are just that—emotions of fear. And we would leave all anxiety behind as we walk into the sunlight with You.

Thank You for the blessing of another good day.

Amen.

Praying for Others Lifts Projections of Guilt

water-lilies - monet

“Praying for others, if rightly understood, becomes a means for lifting your projections of guilt from your brother, and enabling you to recognize it is not he who is hurting you. (S-1.III.1)”

When we pray for our brothers and sisters, we are enabled to feel more positively toward them. We begin to feel compassion much more readily, and, if all goes well, we recognize that others deserve the forgiveness that we try to offer.

2 – Projecting Guilt

This passage indicates that what we are doing when we fail to forgive is to project guilt upon our brother. The reason for this projection is that we never hold anything against our brother that we do not first think we ourselves are guilty of (from the ACIM Text). We first denounce and reject ourselves, and then we project that denunciation upon our brother, who is actually as innocent as are we. We ourselves, though, while we can see ourselves as innocent (and normally do see ourselves as innocent), do not automatically, without some guidance from the Holy Spirit or the Self, see our brothers and sisters as innocent. On the contrary, we are wont to blame them for all manner of our troubles. This is projection from our own inner personal self (or “little” self) to others. And it is insane.

3 – Hurt Ourselves?

Our brother is not really hurting us. We are hurting ourselves. Our brother has done nothing to hurt our Self, though he may verbally or physically abuse our minds/bodies. Our Self remains above the fray.

4 – Special to Holy Relationships

We always hurt ourselves by this dynamic of projecting guilt onto our brothers and sisters. We would not have it so. And we must not have it so if we are to see our special relationships turn to holy. Turning to holy relationships prepares us for the Awakening.

5 – Praying in Error

“It is not easy to realize that prayers for things, for status, for human love, for external ‘gifts’ of any kind, are always made to set up jailers and to hide from guilt. These things are used for goals that substitute for God, and therefore distort the purpose of prayer. (S-1.III.6)”

This can be a difficult passage. When we pray for tangible goods, we often mislead our inner personal selves, our little selves. Our Self is not mislead, but this inner Self can become inaccessible to us in our rapaciousness to gather the physical to ourselves.

6 – Intangibles

We need to focus on the intangibles. We need to rise above a constant desire for more material goods, because this is an endless road. We will get one “toy,” only to want another, and then another. There is no end to the desire of the ego for material things.

7 – God as Our Friend

It is hard to realize sometimes that having God as our Friend will ensure that we stay on the right pathway, the pathway to complete and total happiness—even in the absence of material goods. We know that God also wants our material needs satisfied; He is not blind to our creature comforts. But the communion of our spirit with God is the greatest blessing that human beings have on this earth. And this communion, in prayer, assures that more and more good will flow to us. It is an example of the law of attraction, like attracts like. Our desires are in the right place, and God answer us, therefore.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to life guilt from my significant others. May I realize that I am always blaming myself when I see guilt in others; it is my own presumed guilt that I see.

Be with me today as I seek to get my projections ended. I would not push onto others my own sense of guilt. And my own sense of guilt is misplaced. To know this is such a blessing!

Help me to have a good day. I haven’t asked for this recently, but this day promises some stress, and I would not buy into that emotion. Help me to offer gratitude to You for the day that has been given. And may I reap the reward of another day in this world, the intangible rewards of communion with You while still on earth.

Amen.

Forgiveness-for-Salvation

“Forgiveness-for-Salvation has one form, and only one. It does not ask for proof of innocence, nor pay of any kind. It does not argue, nor evaluate the errors that it wants to overlook. (S-2.III.1)”

1 – Attack / Anger

The most important thing to remember when faced with the attack and/or anger of another person is to remember just to overlook the error. If we dwell upon the error, we will make it real to us, and thus much harder to forgive. Jesus knows that we tend to retaliate, and he would not have it so.

2 – Innocence

In this passage, Jesus indicates that we are not to spend any time looking for “proof” of innocence. We just know that, in his inner Self, our brother/sister is innocent of wrongdoing. Our brother/sister has merely made mistakes, which cry for correction, but not punishment. As Richard Carlson (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff) says, nobody (except very disturbed people) get up in the morning with the express purpose of making our life miserable. If an individual knew how to have perfect love for us, that is what we would get. It is only ignorance of how to bring this about that brings on the problem. And the problem doesn’t really exist, being in illusion or dream.

3 – Payback

We do not ask for payback when we love our brother/sister. We do not just return love where we find it, and only there. We return love, in the form of forgiveness and pardon, even when we superficially think that another person does not “deserve” forgiveness. We especially return love at such times. And then we know the bliss that comes from going with the flow in our love. We do not retaliate; it is the worst thing that we could do.

4 – Forgiveness

Jesus indicates elsewhere that forgiveness preserves our rights, that it is the only sane response. We would be sane in an insane world.

5 – Comfort

“He will not leave you comfortless, nor fail to send His angels down to answer you in His Own Name. He stands beside the door to which forgiveness is the only key. Give it to Him to use instead of you, and you will see the door swing silently open upon the shining face of Christ. Behold your brother there beyond the door; the Son of God as He created him. (S-2.III.7)”

The “He” in this passage is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not leave us comfortless, even when all the world seems against us. There is no conspiracy of attack on us. We are in fact seeing the attack because we do not want to see it. But we have attracted it to ourselves. Our brother is showing us a tableau of our secret wishes—what we would do to him. And we would change our brother only when we ourselves have changed.

6 – Key

Forgiveness is the only key, as given in this passage. We can, in following A Course in Miracles, only reach Awakening by our relationship to our brother, and that relationship must be transformed from the special to the holy, and this transformation happens only when we have forgiven. If only one person forgives totally, all the world is saved—a statement made in the Manual of ACIM that is not easily understood. But it may be understood by the fact that we all are One, and therefore there is actually only one person in this world—all of us in the One.

7 – Christ in Our Brother

When we see Christ in our brother, we will forgive. And Christ is in our brother’s heart. The Christ Self, according to A Course of Love, is deep within us all. It is the real person, not the persona, or little self, or personal self. This real person wants our forgiveness, and this real person does not wish to harm us in any way. Indeed, we cannot be harmed, though we can think that we are. For we live in illusion—a truth to which we return over and over.

Affirmation: “I would seek comfort in my brother today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please give me patience today. Especially patience with my significant others. I cannot get inside their minds to understand the motives of what they do. I can only forgive them their distress. I can go with the flow, and let their decisions in some measure dictate what our life together will be. This is as it should be. We are walking alongside each other, with neither ahead or behind.

Thank You for the many blessings that I can see, as well as the many that I can’t see. All comes to me from Your hand. I appreciate the love that You send down upon my head. May blessing reign upon my loved ones as well.

Amen.

Prayer Is a Ladder Reaching Up to Heaven

1 – Spiritual Transformation

We seek transformation as in Awakening, a spiritual transformation but one that allows us to function even better in the secular than we did before. Secularism is not to be discounted. Many are ready to be reached only through the secular. Here is the full quotation:

“Prayer is a ladder reaching up to Heaven. At the top there is a transformation much like your own, for prayer is part of you. (S-1.II.7)”

2 – Reach Heaven

We see in this passage that prayer will allow us to reach Heaven, and nothing is said but that this is a Heaven on earth as well as beyond death. We do not have to wait for death; indeed, in A Course of Love, we are bade to allow the elevated Self of form to function unheeded in the world of form—this world. If prayer will get us to Heaven, why do we not pray more often? Is it because we didn’t know about the goal before? We didn’t know that prayer would get us to Heaven?

3 – Efficacy in Prayer

Perhaps. But maybe we don’t see evidence of efficacy in prayer, though prayer is its own reward. We shouldn’t be trying to “get” things in prayer. We simply ought to relaxed and be easy with God, our Source. He wants us to commune with Him; He is lonely without us (from ACIM Text).

4 – Forgiveness

Prayer guides us toward forgiveness:

“Prayer in its earlier forms is an illusion, because there is no need for a ladder to reach what one has never left. Yet prayer is part of forgiveness as long as forgiveness, itself an illusion, remains unattained. (S-1.II.8)”

We don’t attain forgiveness for ourselves and others because we don’t recognize that all is an illusion, and we don’t recognize that the things—attack and anger—that we hold against our brothers and sisters are “distress that rests on error” (from ACIM Text), and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is fully justified, because our brother is innocent in his heart of hearts. It is only in illusion that he has sought to harm us by word or deed. And we try to forget the misthought or misdeed, not holding it against him as undeserving of pardon. This continued “holding” is the way that the world forgives, thinking that the one pardoned is not worthy of being forgiven, that he does not deserve forgiveness.

5 – Deserve Forgiveness?

We doom ourselves when we think that one does not deserve forgiveness. This is the “forgiveness to destroy” that Jesus talks about in the supplement to A Course in Miracles on psychotherapy. What we offer another, we receive. Like attracts like in the law of attraction. What we give, we receive.

6 – Wholly Justified

Let us give forgiveness as wholly justified, for it is wholly justified. In actuality, our brother has only called for help by his misthought, bad word, or bad deed. And when one is calling for help, we are to respond where we see that need.

7 – Anger and Attack

It is not easy to see the wholly justified way of forgiveness when we are confronted with anger and attack. We want to retaliate. This is a very human response, and Jesus indicates that people will respond in kind when attacked. But we need to make a different choice, a better choice, another way. We need to recognize that all want love just as do we, and it is only ignorance of how to attain love that leads us down the wrong pathway (a concept addressed by Hugh Prather in The Little Book of Letting Go). Only very disturbed people would get up in the morning making plans to hurt us. Only ignorance of how to live can mean that the choice of attack is made. And would we denounce another for his/her ignorance? We too have been ignorant of the way, but now, at last, we are learning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day go well. May I use the law of attraction, like attracts like, to offer to all my brothers and sisters the best of which I am capable. I would be calm and relaxed today, for it is only under stress that I lose my temper. I would remain tolerant and, above all, forgiving today.

Be with me throughout the day. Be with others. May I do what I can to give everyone that I see a good day. This is especially true for my significant others, for they are the most impacted by any moods that I might drop into.

Keep me settled in a generous good will to my fellow men and women. And thank You for being there last night, when I slept in Your peace.

Amen.

Song of Prayer: Prayer Is the Greatest Gift with Which God Blessed His Son

A beautiful passage follows from A Song of Prayer:

“Faith in your goal will grow and hold you up as you ascend the shining stairway to the laws of Heaven and the gate of peace. (S-1.in.2)”

1 – Laws of Heaven

Note that we are to abide by the “laws” of Heaven. That means that the laws of this world are superseded. We do not have to follow the ego’s ways any longer; we are free, because our will has been set free. And we are at peace. We have inner peace. This blessing is one that we should not push away from ourselves, but welcome. The first obstacle that peace must flow across is our desire to get rid of it (from the Text of A Course in Miracles).

2 – Another Way

We are so restless in this world, in these days. We need to know that there is another way, the other way that Bill and Helen (co-scribes of ACIM) were led to discover. Bill reached that peace, though Helen never did—despite the truth that she understood A Course in Miracles very, very well. We need to give up our own restlessness.

3 – Restlessness

Giving up our restlessness is easy when we understand what blessings await us, even while still in this world. We need to get quiet within, to become perfectly calm and quiet. And often, to do so, we need to commune with God, to pray. He will not let us down.

4 – Our Need

“To you who are in time a little while, prayer takes the form that best will suit your need. S-1.in.2)”

We are the ones who are in time now. And we can even “use” prayer, in a practical sense, to get us where we want and need to go along God’s pathway home. It is not against grace to see the practicality of prayer. It is an exceedingly fruitful way to sense God’s presence in everyday life. And to see His blessings come raining down upon us.

5 – Don’t (Always) Ask

“The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need. To ask for the specific is much the same as to look on sin and then forgive it. Also in the same way, in prayer you overlook your specific needs as you see them, and let them go into God’s hands. (S-1.I.4)”

This is a step beyond “asking.” We know that our needs will be met; it is only our wants that are at issue. And our wants are frequently things that do not serve us.

6 – Are You Ready?

Not everybody is ready for this next stage of prayer. I frequently am not, and I do not feel that this is a shortcoming. When my faith is strong (and strong faith vacillates among all of us), then I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that my practical needs will be satisfied without my asking. But when I am in anxiety, I am not so sure. This is when I have feet of clay. And I am convinced that God hears my prayers for the tiny things that I think I need. He answers me in tangibles, when they are called for—and in intangibles, when his comfort is all that I really need.

7 – Not Supplication

“Prayer is a stepping aside; a letting go, a quiet time of listening and loving. It should not be confused with supplication of any kind, because it is a way of remembering your holiness. (S-1.I.5)”

This is the highest form of prayer: to reach toward God, as in The Cloud of Unknowing (a medieval, anonymous treatise) with a dart of longing. We do not supplicate when in this frame of mind, for all that we want is God. He alone satisfies our every need.

8 – At Peace

And we are at peace. But we cannot always reach this height. Sometimes we do not reach this height at all:

9 – Can You Reach This Level of Prayer?

“This is not a level of prayer that everyone can attain as yet. (s-1.I.6)”

Do not be chagrined if you find that you still needs prayers of supplication. God hears all types of prayers. I think that his major wish is that we feel Him near, that we commune with Him, that we are friends. After all, ACIM says that God is lonely when His children do not communicate with Him. He recognizes that channels are closed, and He thinks that His children sleep and need to be awakened. (These are paraphrases from the Text of A Course in Miracles.)

10 – Sleep

May we seek today to rouse ourselves from sleep. In the highest sense, the words that I paraphrased were meant to be a precursor to Awakening, a step that God takes for us. But in another sense, we can rouse ourselves from the deepest sleep to feel the quiver of our eyelashes as we come into consciousness. We do this every morning, and then we see another dream, for this world is a dream, an illusion, maya.

11 – Prayer of Thanksgiving

We need to realize that God is with us, however we pray. We can recognize that our needs are already met, and then we will move easily to the prayer of thanksgiving. This is a higher form of prayer than supplication. It is the prayer of gratitude, which puts us on God’s wavelength immediately. When we are thankful, God moves to answer more and more of our needs and even some of our wants. Always He is a loving God who would not leave His children to drift apart in a world without escape.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today. I seek to express my gratitude to You for the manifold blessings that You have bestowed on me, even when I did not take time for gratitude. Now I do take that time. From the bottom of my heart, thank You for my good life. And may I do what I can to lead my brothers and sisters to a good life. We are all in this together. And we will sink together or we will swim together in the waters of the unconscious, You.

May this day go well. May I be tolerant of everyone with whom I come in contact. May I be forgiving, always forgiving of those who have distress that rests on error. Help me to have the healing of my anxious emotions that I need, and this is a need. I can serve better when I am calm and relaxed. Help me to be easy and relaxed today.

Thank You for being there for me. Thank You for staying close to me so that I can feel You.

Amen.

True Prayer Must Avoid the Pitfall of Asking to Entreat

“True prayer must avoid the pitfall of asking to entreat. Ask, rather, to receive what is already given; to accept what is already there. (S-1.I.1)”

1 – Advanced Stage of Prayer

Prayer is at a very advanced stage when we DON’T ask to entreat, because most of our prayers, in truth, are requests to God that he fulfill something that we perceive as a need. And this is not lamentable in the early stages of our pathway to salvation. But when we have become certain that God wishes us well, that He is answering our needs (and that He wants to do so), we can instead thank Him for His blessings in a benediction.

2 – Ask, Receive, Thank

Even rudimentary prayer, as outlined by Norman Vincent Peale, a writer/minister in the last century, is to be seen as asking, and then immediately conceiving of receiving, and then showing gratitude by thanking God. If more of our prayers were of the thanksgiving type, we would sooner know that God wishes us well, because when we are thanking Him, we are expressing our faith that He has already answered our prayer. And He does answer all prayers, in my belief, but just sometimes the answer is to wait, and sometimes the answer is no. He has our best interests at heart, and we often don’t perceive our own best interests—hence we ask amiss.

3 – Expert Askers / Inexpert Receivers

We ask to receive. So many of us, as Norman said, are expert askers but inexpert receivers. And we would reverse this. We already know how to entreat God, and so Jesus does not need to give us lessons in this. But receiving is another matter entirely, and we often don’t contemplate the receipt of that for which we have asked.

4 – Contemplation

“Prayer is a stepping aside; a letting go, a quiet time of listening and love. It should not be confused with supplication of any kind, because it is a way of remembering your holiness. Why should holiness entreat, being fully entitled to everything Love has to offer? (S-1.I.5)”

The above passage explains further why entreaties somehow miss the mark. The definition of prayer given here is closer to contemplation, or even meditation, than we usually recognize. But we cannot get through to our innermost Being, the God/Christ within, if we are overwrought. Our emotions are stirring up the ego in us, and we flounder in not being able to perceive or to know guidance. So Jesus asks us to get quiet, to let go and let God. And we listen for the guidance that will be forthcoming, either (as described) from the Holy Spirit or the Christ Self within.

5 – Holiness

When we have remembered our holiness, we are not in the throes of the ego, unless we feel guilty about so praying. The ego believes that we cannot see ourselves as holy, that we are sinful creatures who have thrust off God. This means that it would seem to be arrogance to believe ourselves holy, or even to see our brothers and sisters—others in this world—as holy.

6 – Arrogance?

It is not arrogance. The Christ Self within knows of no arrogance. The altar within is very still, and the still point of our contemplation will assure us that we are innocent, guilty only of making easily correctable mistakes.

7 – One Problem / One Answer

“You have been told to ask the Holy Spirit for the answer to any specific problem, and that you will receive a specific answer if such is your need. You have also been told that there is only one problem and one answer. In prayer this is not contradictory. (S-1.I.2)”

This passage allows supplication, but it points out that there is really one problem—separation, or presumed separation from God. And when this is healed, we do not have to focus on supplication to the extent that we have previously. We will know inwardly what to say and do; we will be heirs of the Kingdom, and we will know ourselves as beloved of God.

8 – Supplication

Yet supplication is not denigrated as long as there is a need, as long as we perceive ourselves as having needs that have gone unfulfilled. Asking, according to Catherine Marshall (an inspirational writer of the last century) is the most elemental form of prayer. And God listens to this form as well. Just remember to thank Him for what we are about to receive. He does not need our gratitude, but we need a soft heart, a full heart filled with thankfulness.

9 – Song

“The form of the answer, if given by God, will suit your need as you see it. This is merely an echo of the reply of His Voice. The real sound is always a song of thanksgiving and of Love. (S-1.I.2)”

This passage sums up the benevolence of God in prayer. Our needs will be supplied, as we perceive them. Our needs never go unfulfilled. It is just our desires that sometimes are answered with a no, and there is a blessing in this, for God knows the context, and He does not give us hurtful things. Often we ask for that which would hurt us, and He would protect normally protect us in this prayer. Only when we are still pursuing a separate pathway, in separation, presumed, from God, does He let us continue along. This is the hard way, the way of turmoil and more problems. And pain. But sometimes we are not ready to learn the easy way, though that is God’s first choice for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me as I seek to pray prayers that are in line with Your highest wish for me. I know that You hear my prayers, regardless of how raw they are. You take me as I am. I can always go to You. There is no separation between us. Guide my thoughts to pray prayers that enhance my relationship to You. Be with me throughout the day when I am not actively praying. And thank You so much for the presence that I feel when my prayer seems heard.

I know that my prayers are always heard. Thank You for giving me that reassurance. If life seems good, it is because I have prayed. Thank You for engaging me in mental dialogue. May this form of prayer continue to take me farther along my pathway.

Amen.