Daily Inspiration for Living A Course in Miracles

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The Key to True Prayer

Once the need to hold the other as an enemy has been questioned, and the reason for doing so has been recognized if only for an instant, it becomes possible to join in prayer. Enemies do not share a goal. It is in this their enmity is kept. Their separate wishes are their arsenals; their fortresses in hate. The key to rising further still in prayer lies in this simple thought; this change of mind:

We go together, you and I.

Now it is possible to help in prayer, and so reach up yourself. This step begins the quicker ascent, but there are still many lessons to learn. …Even together you may ask for things, and thus set up but an illusion of a goal you share. You may ask together for specifics, and not realize that you are asking for effects without the cause.

Even the joining, then, is not enough, if those who pray together do not ask, before all else, what is the Will of God. From this Cause only [the Will of God] can the answer come in which are all specifics satisfied; all separate wishes unified in one. Prayer for specifics always asks to have the past repeated in some way. What was enjoyed before, or seemed to be; what was another’s and he seemed to love,– all these are but illusions from the past. The aim of prayer is to release the present from its chains of past illusions; to let it be a freely chosen remedy from every choice that stood for a mistake. What prayer can offer now so far exceeds all that you asked before that it is pitiful to be content with less.

You have chosen a newborn chance each time you pray. …Do not restrict your asking. Prayer can bring the peace of God. What time-bound thing can give you more than this…? (A Course in Miracles, S-1.IV.1:3-8;2:1-2,5-6;3;4:1,3-5)

The key to true prayer is to begin by asking, “What is the Will of God?” Because we believe we are in the world of form, we think that the answer we need is a specific form. The form we think would meet our need is based upon our past experience. But this expectation or wish interferes with our openness to accept God’s Will, which is ultimately His peace and Love.

This is why an early lesson in the Workbook asks us to remind ourselves that we do not know what anything means. This practice opens our mind to consider that the answer to our need may not be in the form we think it should be. This openness prepares us to forgive — to let go of the past and welcome a newborn present that reflects God’s peace and Love in the world we perceive.

To ask, “How would my true Self see this? How would Love respond in this situation? How would the Holy Spirit perceive this? What would Jesus do?” is to ask to know the Will of God. These are ways to open our hearts and minds to His Will. It will be reflected in a specific answer in our dream of separation. This answer will always bless everyone involved and extend to every brother everywhere. For this answer comes from joining in the oneness of Love. We have taken a step up the ladder of prayer.

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