Tag Archives: asking

Develop a More Loving Image of God

Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time. Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear.” (ACOL, T4:3.6)

We were raised in a dysfunctional environment—all of us, regardless of how loving our parents tried to be toward us. They too partook of fear, and thus we were nurtured in fear. The world became a place in which we sought the approval of our parents, and this approval became something to earn, something about which we must exert effort.

Our relationships continued from this first one, of parents to children (us). We sought to grow through achievement, our own efforts, and the world became a fairly grim place indeed. We projected this fear upon our image of the God within, though we didn’t know that He was within. Most of us saw God as an external Creator, someone, something like Santa Claus, who knew everything that we thought and did, and weighed it in the balance to decide if we were good little boys and girls.

This is indeed a fearful way to view God, and we imagine that this might indeed hurt Him (if the Creator were to have an ego such as we have, which He doesn’t).

So we grew up, supported by our fearful ideas of this world. Only religious convictions can actually save us from the dilemma in which we find ourselves. And these do not necessarily have to be of a traditional sense. God is God of the secular as well. And He will provide.

We need only ask, though we are apt to forget the asking part when we are fearful. Then, focus our minds on receiving, for all too often, we ask but do not leave plenty of time to thank God for granting our wish, for receiving from Him.

Humble Asking Always Gets an Answer

“If you ask me for guidance, you have signified your willingness to give over your own control, at least to some extent. Your frequent failure to ask at all indicates that at such times you are not willing to go even that far. Failure to ask for guidance is a sign of fear. But when you at least ask, you are acting on a cooperative thought, even though it may not lack ambivalence. You are therefore entitled to a specific answer, but unless you follow it without judging it, you will become defensive about the next steps you will take.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.4:1-5)

Jesus is available to us for guidance. As our elder brother, his advice is sounder than our own. It would be wise to ask.
Later on in A Course in Miracles, Jesus does not so much ask us to turn to him as to turn to the Holy Spirit. He knows that we ask of the ego, or we ask of Higher Guidance—whatever we do. While we may not be aware of these mental gyrations, they are nevertheless much a part of ourselves. We don’t make decisions just in our own superficial mind. Guidance is very real, but guidance of the ego is always wrongheaded and disastrous.

We will get specific answers, and these specific answers may very well come as the next quiet thought in our minds. Practical advice is always given. The Holy Spirit can be very practical, giving advice for the most mundane matters. The only criteria is that these matters are important to us. Humble asking always gets an answer. The solution is always found with the problem, as soon as the problem is articulated, even silently.

If we think we have decided what we want to do, and then ask, we have turned the tables on the Holy Spirit. We may not like what we hear, for the initial decision has, in all likelihood, be made in conjunction with the ego. ACIM says that the ego always answers first.

We don’t have to listen to the ego. It certainly would be wise not to do so, but simply to turn the matter over to spirit. The answer comes quickly.

Love Cannot Be Far Behind a Grateful Heart and Thankful Mind

1 – Name of Jesus Christ

“Remembering the Name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which he is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. (M58)”

2 – Not Magical

Calling on the Name of Jesus in prayer is not a magical act. It reminds us that he is our elder brother, who is there to help us whenever we ask. He promises this in the Course. At one point he recommends that we imagine him taking our hand and leading us, and he assures us that this will be no idle fantasy.

3 – Keys to the Kingdom

Being grateful and thankful are keys to the Kingdom. We are so often not grateful for the good that we receive. No sooner than we have received it than we are off asking for something else–never stopping very long to say “thank you.” But this passage indicates that love will follow a grateful and thankful heart and mind. And love is the opposite of fear, love and fear being the only two emotions (the rest being variants of these two).

4 – Blessings

So, with a grateful heart, thank God in prayer for the blessings that He has given us. And use Jesus’s Name, if we can feel secure in doing so. As an elder brother, he appreciates (as do we) that we are giving credit to him when it is due. (This is an interpretation, not a Course tenet.)

5 – Christ’s Vision

“In his eyes Christ’s vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again, when he has made the journey for you? (M59)”

6 – The Pathway

Jesus walked the pathway before we came along. He led the way for us, for we have chosen him as our way. There are other leaders for other traditions, but we have chosen Jesus. And he has chosen us. Why, indeed, would we stumble along, trying so hard to get it right, when just a word from Jesus would set our little worlds right side up? Why do we hesitate?

7 – Let Down?

I think we hesitate for fear of being let down. We think that maybe Jesus won’t be there for us. But his promises are that he will be.

8 – Ask for Help

Why not take a risk and ask for his help today? Why not indeed? I suggest that none of us will be disappointed, though a doubtful heart may interfere with our awareness of his answer. Ask in confidence, certain that A Course in Miracles is right, and see if we are not well-assured by his response.

9 – Jesus

“This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. . . Do you, then, teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here. (M59)”

10 – Always Nearby

A very reassuring passage, this passage affirms that Jesus is actually always nearby, even when we are thinking of other things. “He is always here.” Yes! Jesus would not leave his followers adrift in a difficult and tragic world. We call on him, and he answers.

11 – Simple

It is just that simple.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am grateful for my many blessings, and I feel this both in my heart and my mind. Your blessings pour out on those who are grateful for what they already have. May I be careful to acknowledge Your presence in my life today.

Thank you for Jesus’s help. He has promised to be with us also, and we pray in his name.

Amen.

The Solution Is with the Problem

“Ask all things of His [God’s] Teacher [Holy Spirit], and all things are given you.  Not in the future but immediately; now.  God does not wait, for waiting implies time and He is timeless.  (M-29.7)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Solution Is with the Problem

This is an example of the ideal in A Course in Miracles.  From my own experience, the closest example that I know, which I have found to be true, is that the solution is with the problem; that is to say, if we ask for help with a problem, I have found it very, very likely that the solution will come to me as guidance in a very, very short time.

2 – The Now

Time is an illusion, according to A Course in Miracles.  So eternity is the Now of which this passage speaks.  Certainly, in a limited way, we do not see answers to our prayers come, in the affirmative and quickly, all the time.  ACIM would not have us deny the sight of our physical eyes in this illusions in which we are caught (also called the “dream” of this world).

3 – Eternity

But in the Now, meaning eternity, we know that we are heading in the right direction.  There is, in this ideal, no past nor future, only the Now.  And God’s way is what gives us direction as we live from moment to moment.

4 – Ask

We are bade to ask for what we want and need, and our needs are always met (though some of our wants would not be in our best interests).  But ask we must.  We can seek to have our thoughts guided to the right circumstances that will show us the next step.

5 – Always Ask

But never be afraid to ask.  It is what we, as children of God, are meant to do.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am always amazed how quickly an answer comes when I have gotten clear on the question, and have asked for an answer.  Yes, the solution is with the problem.  Thank You for that.  You are always near.

I would not ask for frivolous things, but I would use my best thinking, my concentration, on that which I truly would like to have.  And my concentration will bring it to me.  I ask that I be kept from asking amiss.  You know the best pathway back to You, and that pathway is the one that I would stay upon.

Amen.

The Prayer of the Heart

“What Is the role of words in healing?  Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing.  The motivating factor is prayer, or asking.  What you ask for you receive.  But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying.  (M-21.1)”

Affirmation:  “Guide my prayers today.”

Reflections:

1 – Healing

If we are trying to heal ourselves or a brother or sister, we must be sure that the prayer of our heart is to truly heal.  If we say words about healing, and do not believe that the person will live, we may be negating our prayer.  Or we may be correctly intuiting.  There will always be a healing, but some illnesses do end in death, and we do not know what happens after death (though there are psychic books on the market, which purport to tell us).

2 – Unbelief in the Heart

If we do not, in our heart, believe that a healing will happen, then we need to get quiet and ask for guidance.  Is it true that this individual will not be healed?  No, for elsewhere in the Manual, we are told that healing is always certain.  We cannot understand this, for there are many illnesses that do not get “healed,” as we define the word.  But I believe Jesus, and I believe that there is something going on here that I do not understand.  Let us all ask for the healing that Jesus says will come, and then may we accept what does happen.  There may be a greater definition of “healing” that we have ever known.

3 – Words May Be Meaningless

So know that to say words is virtually meaningless.  It is the prayer of the heart that gives us the desires of our heart.  And it is this that heals, this and only this.

4 – Prayer Is Asking

Prayer at its most elemental is asking.  And God does not turn His back on those of us who are His children, especially when we are in need.  It may sometimes seem that we have been abandoned, but this may only be a dark night of the soul (from St. John of the Cross, a medieval mystic), and the light will shine on us again.  Keep hope in your mind and heart and spirit, and see what miracles take place.  We will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray for your comfort today, and I hope that this is the “prayer of the heart.”  I ask for a healing of anything that is wrong for my brothers and sisters, as well as myself.

Handle my heart with gentleness, and give me the understanding, in my heart, that I need.  I would follow Your guidance today, but I would not “force” myself if my form, my human body, is not ready.  Jesus says this to us in A Course in Miracles, in slightly different words.

Thank You again for the blessing of ACIM.

Amen