Tag Archives: “prayer of the heart”

Prayer

1 – Prayer of the Heart

“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. (M53)”

2 – ACIM

The Course does not say a tremendous amount about prayer, though, we might realize, much is implied (an interpretation of the Course). Here we see the “asking” prayer, and we receive a warning: What you ask for you receive, if it is the prayer of the heart. Elsewhere we learn that if we pray for something, and are actually afraid of it, we will not receive it, because our fear contradicts our asking. Being afraid is a certainty that what we are asking is not a prayer of the heart.

3 – Unanswered Prayer?

All of us have prayed for healing and have seemingly not had some of those prayers answered. Jesus says that we have chosen various symptoms of pain, and if we remain unhealed truly, we may just replace one chosen symptom with another. We do not know, usually, what the Self truly wants–even unto death. We may pray for our healing, and to remain alive, when the Self has decided that this body is best laid aside. We are assured that there is no true death, that we are creatures of eternity.

4 – What Does the Self Want?

So keep in mind that turning to the Holy Spirit for guidance about what the Self wants may be the best choice.

5 – Symbols of Symbols

“Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality. (M53)”

6 – Prayer of Silence

So I surmise here that the prayer of the heart that works best—if efficacy is what we want—is a prayer of silence, a darting, longing toward what we view as God, however we view Him. I am thinking of the anonymous medieval treatise on mysticism, entitled The Cloud of Unknowing. This writer emphasizes just a wordless longing that we feel when we are in our best moments in prayer. We reach out to God as we conceive Him (and A Course in Miracles says that God is the All, the One), with a heartfelt longing that is close to our heart. In so doing, we will experience the Presence of God—unless we are caught in the throes of suffering a dark night of the soul (when God seems absent, but only absent in illusion, for He never departs).

7 – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is said to have mostly, throughout her long life, failed to find the sweet tenderness of God’s love in her prayers. Her letters have testified to this. She did not waver in her faith, though she missed the sweetness. Atheists have brought this unusual aspect in Mother Teresa to try to claim evidence that God does not exist, for would He withhold Himself from so faithful a servant as Mother Teresa?

8 – Barrenness in Prayer

No one knows why absence was Mother Teresa’s experience of God. But knowing this can give us solace when we go through a period of barrenness in prayer. We are not to seek the sweetness as an end in itself. We are to seek God for Himself alone.

9 – Experience

“The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the asker. (M53)”

10 – Asking

So here we are encouraged not to spend all of our time, at least, asking for specifics. We are actually wanting to experience something, and our heartfelt words, often rendered silently, are believed to bring about this experience in our daily life.

11 – The Heart

The prayer of the heart, we are told elsewhere, is always answered. If our words deny the heart, then our words are not answered. The heart always knows what it wants, and this is what is answered. If the heart contradicts something that we say, in prayer, that we want, we will not receive that something. If we are afraid of having something that we ask for, we will not receive it, either, for the fear means that the heart has not spoken.

12 – May Not Recognize

The heart always is quiet and peaceful in its asking for a specific experience. And the prayer is answered, though we may not always recognize the answer when it comes. This latter point is important, for all too often, in our limited way, we rail against God for not answering our prayers.

13 – Folk Wisdom

It has been said that God always answers: Sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes, wait. This is not repeated in A Course in Miracles, but in my reading there is nothing in ACIM that contradicts this folk wisdom.

14 – Words

“The words, then, are symbols for the things asked for, but the things themselves but stand for the experiences that are hoped for. (M53)”

15 – Real World

So we use words, often, in prayer, and they are symbols that are actually removed from the real world. The real world is God’s gift to us when we have fulfilled the conditions of salvation. And it is not really physical. It is an experience that immediately precedes our Awakening, a step that only God can take for us. He metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up, against all reasoning. We cannot achieve Awakening, and the striving for it will mean that the ego has created a problem that will not be dissolved until we get ourselves out of the way.

15 – Be Careful

We can ask for any experience, but the most stern warning is also folk wisdom: Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely receive it.

16 – Overwrought

With that in mind, it behooves us to ask God what is really best for us before we engage in prayer. He will answer in the quiet of our heart, when our mind is stilled and our emotions have settled down to peace. We cannot “hear” when we are overwrought.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please bring my prayers into my heart, asking for what the Self truly wants, and only for what is good in Your sight. May I receive the assurance that prayers of the heart are always answered.

Thank you for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I pray. Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

Herein Lie Hell and Heaven

“It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks.  If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own.  The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  (M-21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I ask for only what is true and real.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I have been lost in illusions through one particular period early in my adult life.  My “prayer of the heart” was answered, and I was asking for what did not exist and was asking for illusion.  And they both came.

2 – Not Real

But was this real?  Indeed, no.  And God would have us to ask only for reality, the real world.  He will be there to see that we get the real world.

3 – Lost in the Ego

We are largely lost in the ego when we ask for what does not exist and for illusions.  Certainly I myself had, toward the end of my illusory journey, had discovered A Course in Miracles.  And within six months I had emerged from a 14-year illusion.  This miracle did not come of anything that I did.  I do believe that the Divine came into play.  And I have been mightily grateful for God’s action ever since.

4 – God Will Protect Us

I did not ask for anything that was bad for me.  I learned a great deal in that 14 years.  A Course in Miracles says that God will protect us when we ask for what is bad for ourselves.  It is no more than what a loving earthly father would do for his children.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

5 – A Kind of Hell

But we can make a kind of hell for ourselves when we ask for what does not exist or for illusions.  We need to test our prayer of the heart, to see that it is the right prayer.  And only a heartfelt desire to know and to do God’s Will will accomplish this miracle.  Especially when one’s force of will (informed by the ego) is very strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for walking with me through that 14 years in my early adulthood.  You knew what was best, and You, for the vast majority of the time, did not give me the “green light” to pray for what I wanted.  And so I didn’t pray for this dream, except for a brief three days, when the green light came through–not important in a 14-year journey.  Thank You for leading me to the very real life that You did plan for me.  And I have no regrets.  Part of what I was living was something that You authorized.

Be with me in the twilight years of my life.  Be with me for excellent physical and emotional health.  Help me to help others, and to attract to myself only what is Your highest and best.  May my thankfulness for the wonderful life that confronts me be something that You can see and acknowledge.

Be with all of us as we walk through the day, as we take journeys without distance, and finally find our home in You.

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