Prayer

“Prayer is a way of asking for something. When we said that prayer is the medium of miracles, we also said that the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything. Once forgiveness has been accepted, prayer in the usual sense becomes utterly without meaning. Essentially, a prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that we may be able to recognize something we already have.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.10:1-4)

What is the “usual” sense of prayer? It is supplication, and when we know, firmly, that we have everything, we are saved for a new kind of prayer: communion with God. This communion assumes that we have forgiven ourselves, for He doesn’t forgive, for He has never condemned.

We need desperately to forgive ourselves for real and imagined mistakes. We need desperately to love ourselves, for self-love allows the type of mental attitude that welcomes love of others as well. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t very well take inner love and project it outward.

We already have forgiveness from the universe, all brothers and sisters everywhere. They wish us well, even though they may have a hard way of showing it in this world. And since God has not condemned, and therefore doesn’t need to offer forgiveness, we are home free there as well. God’s love wraps us up in a warm blanket, and we are safe. Safe and sound. Forgiven, including by ourselves.

Prayer as communion with God is immensely practical. Our guidance will give us the solutions to problems as soon as we have clearly articulated the problem. The solution is with the problem.

Know that forgiveness, when we have extended it to ourselves, is total. We don’t condemn another when we feel forgiven.

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Praying with Jesus

“It may help if you say this prayer to me:

“I would like to pray that my will be united with thine, recognizing that thy perfect love will suffice (or correct) for my imperfect love.

“I pray that I may accept the Atonement with conviction, recognizing its inestimable worth, and my own divine worth as part of this identification with thine.

“I pray that my fear be replaced by an active sense of thy love, and they continual willingness to help me overcome the split or divided will which is responsible for my difficulty with this.

“I accept the divinity of the messages I have received, and affirm my will in both accepting and acting upon the Atonement principle.
“Here I am.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.14:1-6)

We need to empty ourselves, as Marianne Williamson says. And when we pray a prayer of such dignity and grace as this one, here quoted, we are led to empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the power and single-minded purpose of Jesus. He guides us as we pray, and if we listen attentively, and pray intently, we will join our will with our heavenly Father, and join our will with the intent of the Atonement.

There is, in truth, little more we need to do. When we empty ourselves, we are overcome with a warmth that indicates that God Himself is right here with us, in us, around us, everywhere. He is living through us, for we are part of Him. His way will ultimately win out, but we have to join our will to his, for our will itself is free, and there is no coercion.

When we realize that our way of a separate path has not worked and can never work, we are more flexible in His hands. We know that the separation is a myth best left behind. We know that God means us well, as He lives through us, and we realize that our trial of a separate existence has failed miserably. We are then ripe for the Atonement, which is the merging of our will with His, and the acceptance of Jesus’s part in our salvation.

So: Let us empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the grace of God. There is no better way to live well, no way to live well apart from this at all.

Prayer & Miracles

“We said before that prayer is the medium of miracles. The miracle prayer is:

“If you will tell me what to do, I will do it.

“This prayer is the door that leads out of the desert forever.

“This however, is not a complete statement, because it does not include the negative. We have already told you to add the thought ‘and not to do those you would not have me do’ in connection with miracles.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.9:1-3 to 10:1-2)

Jesus gives very precise guidance in line with our acceptance of his terms. We both perform miracles that he has authorized, and we refrain from performing miracles to which he has not given the nod. We are held strictly to guidance when it comes to what we do in regard to miracles.

Surely this must be because miracles are of a higher order in reality. If we tried to perform them with our limited knowledge, we would disobey laws of the universe that God keeps under strict control. The law of love is one such law, for if the law of love did not exist, then the whole fabric of existence would fall apart. The universe(s) would self-destruct. So God knew what He was doing when Love was placed front and center.

Miracles as expressions of love are a movement into a deeper reality. They are what Love can wrought when other laws are suspended. So we have to have guidance; we can survive and thrive in no other way.

When we pray, we discover what to do as well as what to deny the doing. We get on God’s beam, and what better place is there for all of us to exist?

Prayer

“Prayer can be very specific in little matters. If you need a coat, for example, ask me where to find one. I know your taste well, and I also know where the coat is that you would eventually buy anyway. If you do not like the coat afterwards, that is what would have happened anyway.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.25.5:1-4)

Jesus is here encouraging Helen to get his help in all the little mundane matters of life. There are many helpers on the Other Side; we don’t all have to trouble Jesus with the little things. But the fact that help is available does indicate that we ought to avail ourselves of it.

We live in a larger world, this one and one that we can’t see and can only imagine. It is this larger world which stands ready to help at every junction.

Try it and see. Ask for help in all the parts of our lives. See if it isn’t possible to lead a charmed life this way.

And give thanks when the help arrives. This puts us on the wavelength of love, and love is the great solver of all questions/problems.

Prayer and Miracles

“11. Prayer is the medium of miracles. Prayer is the natural communication between the created and the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.11:1-3)

There is a direct parallel between this quotation for today, from A Course in Miracles, and words in A Course of Love, a treatise that many believe is a sequel to ACIM. In the chapter on the “art of thought” in ACOL, we are encouraged to believe that the art of thought is miracle-mindedness, miracle-readiness, miracles themselves, as well miracles that come through prayer.

This is not the usual supplication to God. This prayer is virtually a constant thing in our lives, a habit of thought that encourages expressions of love and thereby creates miracles. In its highest form, prayer is communion with God in which words disappear. Our mind and heart are turned to God, attuned to Him, and we dwell in a new relationship to our deepest being, where God Himself dwells.

Would we not want to express love always? Why do we so often trip ourselves up when we would be about our Father’s business? We love, and then we get angry or upset, and we withdraw love. So our lives become erratic. A constant sense of love received and given is the better way. And it is the way in which miracles come into full force.

Trust today that guidance will tell us what miracles to perform, what expressions of love to make plain to our brothers and sisters. When we pray thus, we are in God’s will in a manner that allows all good things to occur. We are in God’s will with our deepest nature.

Dear God,

I would pray deeply and without words, just a constant sense of being with You, in communion with all that is good. The way to do this is simple, but often overlooked. It is to retain a sense of peace and harmony in the midst of life’s trials, and then the tribulations really do disappear. Jesus has said in ACIM that we don’t have to have tribulations here, unlike how he was quoted in the Bible.

I would also welcome Jesus into my life. His hand enfolds mine, and when that happens, it is easy to be peaceful.

Amen.

Dialogue in the Silence with God

“The idea of your “potential” was a useful learning tool and one that served the purposes of the Holy Spirit as well as those of the ego. The idea of your “potential” and your ability to be “more” than what your limited view of yourself would have you be, was a necessary tool to call you to the learning that would return you to your true identity. But the time for such tools is over.” (ACOL, D:Day9.16)

I think the problem with continuing to think about our “potential” is that it calls us to think of an “ideal” persona, something that is a false idol. Why can’t we get it through our heads that we are alright just as we are? Why do we think that we have to improve, and improve constantly?

Of course, we want to be better people; that is what is going on here. But if we think that God will love us more when we improve, we think wrongly. God loves us deeply, far more deeply than we love ourselves. That is the bottom line. We can ask to be better people, but we don’t do ourselves any favors when we contort ourselves. We will improve in our personality traits as time goes by, and we stay on our pathway to salvation. But this change is a gift of God; nothing that we can do personally will alter our primary makeup at all. This is hard for us to believe, of course, for the ego has had us on a treadmill of constant “improvement.” The fact that it was a dead end to improvement has seemingly escaped us.

Ask for the improvement that we think we need. God will answer, and answer quickly. Just dialogue with Him, listening in His silence for what you think an all-knowing, loving Father would say.

We might not be far off base.

Dear God,

I think wrongly when I obsess over wanting healthy thinking processes. These will come by letting go, letting go to You. Telling myself that does seem to help a little. I am ready for my own little self-improvement campaigns to end.

Be with me on this beautiful, warm day. I wish for my quiet day to end with a healthy frame of mind. My heart will tell my mind how to accomplish this. I trust You to guide.

Amen.

Prayer Invites Fearlessness

“If you do not truly and wholeheartedly desire this choice, if you do not truly and wholeheartedly meet the condition of being fearless, you will know this, and you will pass through the time of coming to accep¬tance again and again until you are ready. You cannot fail but can only delay. For some the time of delay has passed. For those who linger in the time of acceptance, there is reason for this as well.” (ACOL, D:Day4.49)

How many of us can really say that we are fearless all the time, as Jesus says we need to be for this time of acceptance of anything and everything to lead to Christ-consciousness? So you see, this new state of being to which Jesus is leading us ever so gently is not a state of mind and heart to which all can ascribe. Many of us delay. In the light of day, when we are feeling well and at peace, we can say that we are fearless. But when we wake up in the middle of the night, nameless fears still descend upon us, and we know that we are not ready. We have not met the condition of fearlessness.

We need not be deterred, though. We can and must reach Christ-consciousness, this new state of being, sometime and someplace. Many of us ARE ready now, and for these fortunate few, the Forty Days and Forty Nights are a wonderful training ground. Any of us read and reread these few pages. We will discover more with each reading. We will come closer to accepting fearlessness as the way we truly want to be. And so it will come to pass.

We cannot fail, ultimately. Jesus has promised this much to us. And when we linger just this side of ultimate salvation, we can do much to help others in the same predicament. If we are to understand problems, sometimes we must pass through those same problems ourselves. If we are to help, we must have been there.

Prayer helps. I think the more often we reach fearlessness, the more likely our time at the threshold will be soon. And prayer, especially in the middle of the night, when fears assail us, is very effective. It is easy to drift off to sleep when we are praying to our Maker. It is easy to drift off to sleep, once again in a fearless state of being. And soon this fearless condition will wash over the whole of our lives, and we will have met Jesus’s condition—of fearlessness—for Christ-consciousness.

Dear God,

I am at a fortunate position right now. I do not feel afraid of anyone or anything. I am at peace, calm in the midst of a quiet day. Be with me, like this, from now on. Let no fears assail me. Let me walk in the shadow of Your peace.

Amen.