Tag Archives: anxieties

Pray from Fear into Inner Peace

cezanne.jas-buffan-pool“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.”

Reflections:

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.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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.

Amen.

Request a Miracle

monet.bathing

“I ask you now to request a miracle.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 3.7)”

Affirmation:  “I ask for a miracle today.”

Reflections:

1 – Not a Specific Miracle

This passage does not mean a specific miracle, we find out later.  But Jesus leads us along a long pathway to that conclusion.  We have long been thinking in specifics, and he is more general, more abstract.  We do not ask for specificity except with the ego, which dwells in the specific.  We ask for the larger concept of miracles that are in the will of our Father/Mother, God.

2 – Our Attitude toward Miracles

I have perhaps let on too soon that the miracles is not meant to be specific.  Jesus has a reason for planning his words in such a way.  He would have us contemplate our attitude toward miracles, our fears and our anxieties about asking for miracles.  He would have us know that when we believe that our answer will be in the affirmative, more than likely the answer will indeed be in the affirmative.  God will say “yes” to our heartfelt prayer.

3 – Personal Experience

I once went for 14 years without asking, in prayer, for something that I really wanted.  I did not get the green light to pray for that outcome.  And so I did not (except for three days toward the end of that pathway, but that is another story).

4 – Asking in God’s Will

We do know when we are asking in God’s will.  And we know when we are asking from the ego.  So our intuition or our feelings do guide us.  There is no need to pray in vain.  We know in advance when the prayer is right, and when we need to ask what to pray for.  God does not keep secrets of this nature from us.

5 – Miracles Are Our Birthright

Miracles are our birthright.  And we first learned this concept, this knowledge, in A Course in Miracles.  Now A Course of Love follows to guide us all the way home.  And much later, on the mountaintop with Jesus, we will see how that comes about (from the Dialogues of A Course of Love, the “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” previously discussed in this blog).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know what miracles to request, always asking for what would be good and true, and not spending time changing windmills.  May I know that Your will and my real will are identical, but until I have experienced Awakening, I don’t have as likely a way to discern what is good and true.

Be with me today as I walk through this world.  May my prayers and my communion with You be good and true.

Help us to help each other.

May the joy of asking for miracles, in the abstract, overcome any disappointment that we might mistakenly feel that our every wish will be granted.  

Amen.

Little Scraps of Fear

“You retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One from entering. . . .Watch your mind for the scraps of fear, or you will be unable to ask me to do so.  I can help you only as our Father created us.  (T61)”

Affirmation:  “watch your mind for thousands of little scraps of fear”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety Created by Our Minds

Here Jesus is explaining something that he discusses at length elsewhere.  We cannot ask him to relieve us of anxiety or fear, because it is created by our minds.  He does not want to interfere with the results of our thinking.  Instead, we are to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to eliminate the conditions that led to our fear.  These fears are ego-related, without exception, for love knows no anxiety.

2 – Personal Experience

My greatest challenge in life has been my proneness to anxiety, and anxiety is an especially acute form of fear, and hence is of the ego.  As I have followed A Course in Miracles over the years, the anxiety has declined precipitously.  I know that I am following the ego too easily when I feel that old-time anxious feeling.  It is a warning sign that I need to stop listening to the weakened ego within me, and get back on the pathway to God.  The Holy Spirit so prompts, and when I listen to His Voice of intuition, I am reassured that all will be well.

3 – Ask for Help

It is a daunting task if we surmise from this passage that we must remove “thousands” of little scraps of fear.  But the passage does not indicate this.  We can easily remove them all at once, in the best case scenario, by asking the help of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Ask Repeatedly

Then we will know peace.  If another day arrives, with more scraps of fear, we simply ask again.  We cannot expect complete freedom from anxiety until surrender to God is complete, and this may not happen immediately.  It could, of course, but realistically it often doesn’t, because we are very much still creatures of this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

When I awake in the middle of the night, fearful, may I turn these scraps of fear over to the Holy Spirit for resolution.  May I gently return to sleep, knowing that He is taking care of them.

May I have help in the conditions that have brought this fear about.  Thank you for being there for me.

Amen.

Calm and Quiet

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more. (T301)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly calm and quiet all the time”

 

Reflections:

1 – Calm and Quiet Is Ahead for Us

How different we will be when we have awakened!  “Perfectly calm and quiet all the time.”  This description is hardly what we feel now.

2 – Drama Turns Negative

Perhaps all of us would not wish “calm and quiet” as a universal experience.  We are so used to busyness, with its attendant drama.  Yet drama turns negative all too often, and peace, the peace of God, is found in calm and quiet.

3 – Are Calm and Quiet Desirable?

Perhaps we do not now think that to live in calm and quiet all the time would be desirable.  Perhaps we still think that drama will make us feel more “alive.”  If so, we would do well to test out this recommended calm and quiet.  Spend moments with God that are calm and quiet, and see if these new emotions don’t create a desire for a more frequent calm and quiet in daily life.  We will live better when we are not scurrying about, filled with adrenalin rushes.  We will accomplish more and accomplish better.

4 – Blessings of God

We must try to see for ourselves what the blessings of God would bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me for a long time, long enough for me to know that being perfectly calm and quiet is desirable.  I do not always seek Your peace, but I do know that Your peace is a better choice than any other I have ever found.  

Help me not to escalate the difficulties that come with living in this world.  May I turn aside from self-created drama, and may I turn aside from the drama that my brothers and sisters try to engage me in.  I would not seek drama for any reason, knowing that to do so is to give up the peace that only You can give.

Be with me in the upcoming 24 hours.  Help me to be guided to the decisions that will bring calm and quiet to my significant others, all those who read this blog, any other people whom I encounter today, as well as myself.  Thank You for the love that You show to all of us irrespective of our own choice to seek You.  You seek us, whether or not we recognize Your seeking.

Thank You for being there for all of us.

Amen.