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When I first learned to pray it was in the pre-Practitioner classes I took at Agape. I learned the Science of Mind Treatment that Ernest Holmes taught Religious Science Practitioners. It was a game-changer for me.
At first, praying felt really awkward to me. My teachers would talk about how they loved to pray and I thought that was just weird. I couldn’t really fathom it.
I was still way up in my intellect about everything then.
Back then, spiritual growth was an intellectual pursuit of spiritual information more than anything else. I was looking for the teacher who had the secret sauce, the special code, the magic door opener, that would remove the blocks I felt so strongly in my way.
As I shared last Sunday, learning to pray changed all of that for me.
Once I learned the extraordinary power of prayer, I became a true prayer advocate. I stuffed the Agape prayer request box every week with prayer requests for myself and everyone on my list. If I had a concern, I asked my prayer partners for prayer and saw the blocks begin to melt away.
In classes at Agape, and every meeting, there are always prayers. Prayers in the beginning, middle and end of every gathering. And many times the leaders would ask, “who wants to pray?” My hand would shoot up. I’m happy to pray. More prayer please!
There’s another benefit to praying that many people don’t recognize. It almost feels like a secret, and it’s this: The person who speaks the prayer is the one who receives the most benefit because the prayer is emanating from them.
It works the same with negativity. If someone’s spewing mean, unkind words and thoughts, even if it’s directed at someone else to hurt them, the person doing the spewing will experience the greatest negative effect because it’s starting with them. Think of it like a wave of sound that is strongest at the source and grows weaker as it ripples out. Thought acts like a sound wave.
Knowing that the person who prays receives the greatest benefit, I was happy to volunteer to pray at any opportunity.
It felt selfish, but I was willing to pray when others weren’t.
I still am. And, now, I also truly know that the benefit is always distributed into the oneness and so I always include everyone in the prayer. I can’t pray for one person and not pray for everyone.
As A Course in Miracles teaches us, “to have, give all to all.”
In times such as these, where there seems to be one natural disaster after another, and when so many people are suffering deeply from loneliness and loss of jobs, homes, and loved ones, and when war is a daily reminder of ego insanity and the pain it causes, being able to hold everyone in prayer throughout the day feels empowering and I’m grateful for that.
Our Creator has given us everything. We ARE the kingdom, Jesus tells us in ACIM. We are the jewel and the Joy. That’s what we can share with those who are feeling hopeless and helpless. I used to feel that despair, and wake in the morning with dread. Now, I feel grateful just to know that no matter what, I can pray and bring benefit to all.
Jesus tells us in ACIM, all prayers are answered. I find that deeply comforting even though I have come to recognize that the answered prayer may not be what I think it is or what I wish it were.
When we feel sick, we think the answered prayer is to feel well. What if the answered prayer is to heal the root causes of illness in our mind, but we’re just not willing to do that because we have an attachment to the beliefs that are the root cause? Then, the answered prayer might be to pressure us to be more willing. That might not be something we’d welcome.
We often resist the answered prayer. I know I have. And that’s where willingness, surrender, and acceptance are so helpful.
I pray to be more willing.
I pray to release all attachments.
It has worked for me.
“The secret of true prayer is forget the things you think you need,” Jesus tells us in The Song of Prayer.
Instead of asking for something, which only affirms that we don’t have, let us remember that we’ve already been given everything God has, because we’re part of God. Let’s make our song of prayer a song of gratitude for what has already been given.
In the remembrance of having been given the mind of God to share, let us be receptive to all that God can be as us.
Grateful and receptive, we open our hearts to extend the Love that we are and in so doing our hearts are healed and we’re made new.
TODAY: Sundays With Spirit, our online service is today. We have great music from Scott Diamond and Lorri Gifford is our speaker! Yay! Please come join us! Click here to learn more and register if you’re not already.
My Stop Playing Small Online Retreat starts Friday, May 13
If you’d like support for making a shift from playing small in your heart, living in lack and limitation, getting in your own way, to living from Love and feeling more free and focused, check out my Stop Playing Small retreat – it’s online – you’ve never had so much FUN clearing out the mental and emotional clutter! Fear won’t stop us! Click here for more details.