Why Are You Praying?

Wrong motive

Learning how to pray effectively is the best gift you can give yourself. Let’s face it. Most prayers fail to deliver the goods. They fail to heal. They fail to prosper. They fail to fix the broken places in our lives. This has always been the case. James, the brother of Jesus, addresses this issues in his epistle: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives.” (James 4:3)

What Christians are doing with prayer perplexes me. It’s so unlike what Christ Jesus did and taught. Can you recall an instance of Jesus begging and beseeching God to heal a sick person? Can you cite one instance in the Holy Bible where Christ Jesus gathers people to pray about human mishaps and catastrophes? Yet, Christians do both of these all of the time. Let’s get this prayer business right.

The other day I was sitting on the grounds of the National Cathedral (Washington, DC) reading a book. I watched a man toss peanuts to the squirrels scampering about. One squirrel snatched a peanut and scurried up a tree. Soon, a cluster of squirrels circled the man, hoping and waiting for a peanut. The squirrels quickly gobbled up the peanuts and came back for more. Do you think they were coming back for companionship? Do you think they cared about the man at all? No! These adorable rodents didn’t care about the giver. They cared about the gifts of the giver. Most people don’t seem to care about the realization of God. They want the gifts of God.

James explained why prayer fails. His explanation in the King James Version of the Bible is, “You pray amiss.” He wasn’t talking about the words that are said during prayer. He wasn’t talking about the postures assumed when praying – whether palms were facing toward the ground or skyward. He was talking about motive.

Here is how to boost the effectiveness of your prayers. Before you pray, meditate or contemplate, ask yourself this one question: WHY AM I PRAYING? Face your motives and answer that question honestly? Here are a few more:

  • Am I praying to fix a troublesome situation?
  • Am I praying to heal my body?
  • Am I praying to get something?
  • Am I praying to change someone?
  • Am I praying for money?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you “pray amiss,” or with “wrong motives.” These prayers are bound to disappoint. Occasionally, I admit, these misdirected prayers seem to work, but in most cases they don’t.

Why are you praying? What is your motive? These are great questions, but the better question is “What constitutes the right motive for effective prayer?” If any of the following is your motive for praying, your prayer(s) will be successful:

  • To realize the true nature of your identity
  • To know via direct Revelation the nature of God
  • To experience God’s Presence

“But how will my problems get solved if I don’t pray about them?” is the question many ask. Although you are not praying for health, money, success, peace or happiness, they happen as a result of right-focused prayer. Why? Because right-focused prayer reveals that you were never sick. It reveals that you never lacked happiness, prosperity, peace or success.

Right prayer reveals that you are always in your right place, doing the right thing in the right way. Right prayer reveals that you and Perfection IS ONE.

It’s no surprise that those who experience the fulfilling joy of right-focused prayer suddenly exclaim, “Now I see why Christ said ‘seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added.'” They experience the thing they weren’t praying for as the added thing – the thing added to a greater realization of God.

All of this is to say, don’t be afraid to not pray about “it.” Don’t fear that if you don’t pray about “it,” nothing is being done. Leave “it” alone, and you will discover that there was never an “it” to pray about. GOD IS ALL.

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Joel Goldsmith On Problems

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When You Are Confronted With A Problem Turn Within

Let it be clearly understood that the wisdom of man is not sufficient to give anyone the specific truths adequate to meet a problem. When you are confronted with specific problems, whether your own or somebody else’s, you cannot rush around looking for a memorandum of some recording you have heard or some passage in a book you have read to remind you what truths you are supposed to know, because, even if you found them instantly, they would not be too helpful.

All truth is given to us from God, and if you want to know the truth about anything – the specific truth – you do not have to go to a book to find it. Turn to God within. There is a specific truth for every problem, and the abiding place of that truth is in your consciousness. Your consciousness is the place where every bit of truth is found.

There Is A Specific Truth For Every Problem

“The kingdom of God is within you.” There is nothing for which you could seek that you cannot find within yourself. When you learn to receive the answers, you will find that you are given a truth, a specific truth with which to meet every problem because there is a specific truth about every problem which will be revealed through turning wholeheartedly to God and in meditation seeking Him alone.

The question often arises as to whether or not God knows anything about our problems. Probably not, but when you go within asking, “What or where is the bread of this day?” the answer may come, “I am the bread, the wine, and the water.” Or if you should ask what the truth is about a particular situation, you might hear the words, “I am the truth.” The problem of the organs and functions of the body may be uppermost in your mind, and then the truth may reveal itself in this way, “I govern the organs and functions of the body. Life governs the organs and functions of the body. Organs and functions do not govern life.”

Problems Are Opportunities

There are stages in our experience with problems. The first period is when we have a problem that to us is a very real one, and we turn to a practitioner, teacher, or teaching for help in solving that problem. The second stage of our unfoldment is that stage in which a problem becomes an opportunity.

Jacob had reached that stage when he wrestled with the angel all night long and would not let him go: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” It is when we are at that point that we, too, say, “I don’t want this problem to pass until I have seen the spiritual light that dissolves it, and which, in dissolving this problem, will dissolve all the problems which may be developing tomorrow or next year.”

Suppose that we do have a problem of disease? Suppose that we are meeting with lack and limitation? Why be concerned and why struggle as if we must get rid of those problems when our function is to prove the nothingness of them? Therein lies the secret. If our function is to prove the nothingness of all the appearances that the world calls discord, then why should be we concerned when the opportunity comes to us to prove their nothingness, first to ourselves and then to the world.

 

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In An Emergency, Where Is Truth?

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Please Stop Asking This Question

“Allen, believe it or not, people have emergency situations where they don’t have time to go into long periods of silence waiting for a revelation. What do you do, in the moment, when you’re facing danger?” That’s the question a member of my congregation once asked.

I plead guilty to writing an awful lot about silent prayer. In my estimation, it is the golden key that opens the door of revelation. Is it the only key? I don’t know. What I do know, for sure, is that silent prayer gets the job done. But, silent prayer is not a god. It is a tool for the realization of God.

You’re Right, This Is No Time For Silent Prayer

When life-threatening trouble seems to spring out of nowhere, you don’t turn to silent prayer for deliverance. You turn to the Truth that’s been revealed in silent prayer. Often that revelation is the inner conviction that God is really all. That, reader, is enough.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I am a proponent of Truth’s practicality. Truth revealed is practical – even in the merciless clutches of life-threatening situations. I’ll share this story with you that happened many years ago.

Here’s What Happened One Spring Night

One cool spring night, I was walking home from a church near downtown Baltimore. While walking, I thought about all the ways I could improve the class I was teaching at the church. One idea after another popped into my head as I strolled along. I was in my own little world of ideas.

Suddenly, everything sped up like a movie on fast forward. First, I felt something pressing against the small of my back. Then, an arm wrapped around my chest, and two voices said, “Don’t turn around.” At that point I knew there was a gun in my back. One of the muggers threw me to the ground and rifled through all my pockets.

As I was falling, my first thought was “God is All.” At that point things seemed to slow down to a slug’s pace. As soon as I said God is All, I felt like I was wrapped in a cushiony cloud of protection. Then, I knew all was well.

The muggers ordered me to get up. Again, I was commanded, “Don’t turn around.” The next command was to run into the alley. I ran. Shots were fired. I kept running. Finally, I said to myself, “Allen, enough running.” I slowed down and continued my walk home – more deliberately. Throughout it all, I was not injured.

The Beauty of Silent Prayer

You do agree that this qualifies as an emergency situation, don’t you? Then consider these facts. There was no time to “go into the silence.” There was no time to seek Revelation. Truth-be-told, I didn’t try to think a spiritual thought. The words “God is All” flashed in my awareness without effort.

This is the joy and beauty of silent prayer. Once a Truth is revealed, that Truth will always surface at the appropriate time as a reminder that only God is present. You can never be thrust into any situation where Truth revealed doesn’t immediately deliver you from the illusion that something other than God’s Infinite goodness is going on.

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This Is All You Need To Know About Fear

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The Story Of The Mysterious Pus-Oozing Bumps

One night I woke up about 3 a.m. Something felt wrong, but I didn’t know what. I happened to run my hand over my shoulder, and what I felt made me shuffle to the bathroom to take a look. When I looked in the mirror, my mouth opened wide as a canyon. My upper body was covered with pus-oozing bumps. How could this be? Hours earlier, when I took a shower, my skin was smooth as satin – or maybe kid leather.

I went back to bed thinking, what the heck is this, and what am I going to do. Fear took over, and my body started shaking like a paint mixer. I couldn’t stop it. Going to the Emergency Room was not an option. I didn’t believe any medical practitioner would tell me “Allen, you’ve got nothing to worry about; God is all there is.”

Lying in bed, I knew I had some fear to conquer. If I didn’t, nothing good would follow. To conquer fear, there is one way that always works for me. What I did, you can do. No matter how bad it seems, no matter how life-threatening the appearance, you can as do I did.

Conquer The Fear And You’ve Conquered The Problem

I took my mind completely off of the body and all that appeared to be wrong with it. Then, I turned my prayerful attention to one thing only: realizing more of God’s Allness. Healing was not my focus. God realization was. It didn’t happen immediately, but soon enough I was swathed in a blanket of peace. I knew, then, that all was well. I lay there basking in the peace.

After a while, I got out of the bed and looked in the mirror. Most of the pus-oozing bumps were gone. By morning, it was like nothing ever happened.

My reason for writing this post is to share with you what I learned about fear, and how to handle it. Note that in this story the fear abated before the situation “changed.” Here’s why. When you take your attention off of the trouble and refocus it on the highest Truth you know, or on knowing more Truth, the Christ, or God-Mind, in all its peace and serenity, is experienced as your only Mind.

Mind Does Not Fear

Mind does not fear. It knows nothing about the ghosts and goblins that seem to haunt so-called human experience. Mind knows no disease to fear. This is why you can experience peace despite monstrous appearances. Mind knows Oneness. Mind knows the Allness of Peace. Mind knows all is well because It is the All being Well.

All you need to know about fear is this: THE MIND THAT FEARS, AND THE THING IT FEARS, ARE NOTHING. NO THING AT ALL.

 

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Don’t Be Surprised If A Practitioner Tells You This

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A woman suffered for many years with an unnamed chronic disease. She tried many practitioners and none were able to help her.

Finally, at the recommendation of a friend, she called another practitioner. The woman poured out her story of suffering, and how no one was able to heal her. Every now and again, the practitioner spoke a word of Truth to the woman. No matter what the practitioner said, the woman responded, “Yes, I know that.”

Exasperated, the Practitioner said, “Well, then, I guess you know that you can’t be healed.” The woman gasped, “I can’t be healed. What do you mean?” The practitioner explained, “If you already know that God is all, and beside God there is nothing else, and, if you already know that you and God are one, you have to know that you can’t be healed because you were never sick.” Suddenly, the Light of understanding flicked on, and almost instantly, her troubles were gone.

  • Isn’t it great to know that you can’t be healed because you aren’t sick? And you can’t be sick because God is All.
  • Isn’t it great to know that you don’t need a financial miracle because you can never be in need? God’s Infinite, Abundant Substance is always present right where you are.
  • Isn’t it wonderful to know that you can’t improve yourself because you were never flawed in any way? God’s Allness is all there is of you.

This brief post is just to remind you of what you already know to be true. God is All, and All is always well.

 

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Tips For A Safe and Joy-Filled Flight

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Be Inspired, But Don’t Follow

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A Game To Grow Out Of

Stevie hopped on his left foot two times, then jumped up and landed on both feet, after which, he raised his arms over his head and clapped three times. All of us followed behind him, mimicking his every move. This was years ago, and we were playing the game for children called “Follow the Leader.”

I’m all grown up now, and I’ve put such childish games behind me. But I’ve discovered that many adults are still playing “Follow the Leader.” They’ve put a new spin on it, and the more appropriate title is “Follow the Spiritual Leader.” In one way, it’s like the original game. You’re always a few paces behind the leader.

Joel Goldsmith, Alfred Aiken, and Mary Baker Eddy are just a few leaders that many adults are following. Because Marie Watts and Lillian DeWaters knew the inherent dangers of the game, they didn’t have many followers. On the other hand, many still pledge undying allegiance to Joel and Alfred.

She Screamed When I Picked Up The Phone

I’ll share a story with you. One evening I picked up the ringing phone. As soon as I did, a voice screamed through the receiver, “What are you? Are you Christian Science? Are you Infinite Way? What are you?” I answered, “Miss, I come with one message only – God is All.” She muttered something and hung up the phone.

Here’s the translation of her call: Is your message consistent with the leader I’m following? If so, I can follow you too. Before my lecture tours screeched to a halt, a woman pulled me aside in Arizona and said, “Allen, you’re really good, but you are not going to make it very far with this.” I asked, “Why not?” She said, “Allen, people are looking for someone to follow, but you keep saying you don’t want followers. They are going to go to someone who does.”

As she said this, my world seemed to darken as if a black sack were thrown over my head. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Doesn’t Infinite Way, Christian Science, Alfred Aiken, Unity and other similar teachings say that there is one infinite, indivisible presence? In this ONENESS, where can there be a leader? Where can there be a follower? I’m looking everywhere,and I can’t find either.

A Follower Is A Practitioner Of Dualism

To be a follower, or a leader, one has to first admit more than one presence. Follow the Spiritual Leader necessitates dualism.

Reader, don’t be a follower! Don’t be a leader. When you say I am a follower of ________, here’s the translation. “I believe that God is divided up into separate minds, bodies, and identities. I believe in duality. Not only do I believe there are many minds, but I believe some are more enlightened than others. I believe the mind of the one I am following is far more enlightened than mine.”

From this position followers remain followers. Leaders remain deluded. People such as Joel Goldsmith and Marie Watts never “came into their own,” until they stopped being followers of Mary Baker Eddy.

“Allen,” someone asked, “are you saying that I should not read the books of my favorite authors?” Never! You can read and not follow, can’t you? You can be inspired by “another” without following, can’t you? I know you can. You’re constituted that way.

Read The Great Works And Be Inspired

Reading spiritual works that scale the heights of God-realization is natural. Since God is all, what better books to read than those that celebrate God’s Allness. You, knowing that God is all, would more likely pick up a spiritual book than “Shades of Gray.” Given the true nature of your Being, this is no surprise.

Alfred Aiken, Marie Watts, Mary Baker Eddy, Lillian DeWaters, Vivian May Williams, etc. have all written magnificent books. Read the books. Enjoy the books. Be inspired by the books. Let them lead you to the still waters of silent prayer. But, don’t be a follower.

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Really Good Sex (One Body)

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This article is a reprint. Somehow it disappeared from our archive. I am reprinting it because some have asked about it, and it was the most popular blog post.

I don’t pretend to understand all of the implications of this experience, but one thing I do know: This is Real Sex.

It started like this. There was a pretty woman who caught my eye and heart. And there was a strong sexual attraction too. We hung out for weeks, perhaps months, but things never moved beyond just hanging out together. As you would expect, the more we were around each other (almost daily) I urgently wanted things to get physical. It never happened.

This woman attended the church I pastored, and we were spiritually compatible. This added to the attraction.

One night, close to midnight, we were walking around Lake Montebello, no hugging, no hand-holding, just walking as we usually did. As we walked…suddenly…and for a fraction of a millisecond (though it seemed like hours) our two bodies that seemed material and separate were pure Light and just one.

To describe the feeling, it was like a sizzling current shot through my body. I thought to myself, “This is what a real orgasm feels like.”After that experience, I no longer desired a sexual relationship with her. This was the ultimate. Nothing more was needed.

I realized that the joining together of two separate human bodies in the sex act is a crude attempt to get at the reality of the Infinite, Inseparable Body of Oneness. From that day to this day, I’ve desired to experience this One-Body more so than the sex act. Why? Because I know that the appearance of separate bodies is not the reality.

That night I knew that this woman would be a part of my life forever. Reader, this experience happened over 17 years ago, and today we are still the best of friends. In many of my lectures, I often say, “This was the best sex I ever had, and she knew nothing about it.”

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What About Mental Causes?

Allen White God Is All

Could This The Reason Why It’s Happening To Me?

Tom J. is pinned to the mat and is about to tap out. For four years he’s been wrestling with a chronic illness, and it’s not looking good. Tom’s baffled. He’s followed all the suggestions in the books, sermons and lectures: silent prayer, forgiveness, positive thinking, etc. Nothing is working.

While rummaging through his mind, desperately searching for answers, Tom remembers reading that his condition might be related to feelings of chronic resentment and victimization. Then again, it might be those past vengeful thoughts. He’s not sure, so off he goes on a metaphysical witch-hunt searching for past thoughts that could be causing his present malady.

For hours, Tom hunted for possible offending thoughts and emotions. He went all the way back to the bullies in middle-school. The tally of all the possible suspects ran into the hundreds. Whether he was getting anywhere or not, Tom certainly wasn’t getting better. The not-so-subtle variation of this metaphysical witch-hunt is asking yourself, “What did I do to deserve this?” Put the brakes on. Turn around. Don’t go down this dark road.

Mental States For Material Maladies — Lies!

Once upon a time, an idea was promoted that diseases are caused by certain thoughts and emotional states. For example:

  • Arthritis is caused by feeling unloved.
  • Cancer is caused by long-standing resentment.
  • Constipation is caused by holding on to garbage of the past.
  • Kidney stones are caused by lumps of undissolved anger.

The list goes on and on, but this one thing is for sure, they are LIES. Don’t you believe it. God is All.

God Being All Means Disease is ___________?

All of the major metaphysical religions agree that God is the only presence and that disease is not real. Some go further to say that God doesn’t know anything about disease. Absolutists, like this blog, state more clearly that DISEASE IS NOT A PRESENCE. You already know this and are probably saying, “Duh, God being all there is, how could it be?”

Disease is nothing. Disease being a no-thing can’t be caused by anything. Nothing you’ve ever thought or said can make nothing become something.

It’s better to turn your prayerful attention to realizing what “God is All” means than to chase down the cause of phantom diseases. Reader, does it seem that you, like Tom, are pinned to the mat by some illness? Then, let me summarize the above paragraphs.

Nothing caused you to be sick now. Nothing you think, say, or do in the future will cause you to be sick. Disease is neither a presence nor a power. You do not live in a world of cause and effect. You live in and as the ISNESS OF GOD.

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Why Am I Not Healed?

This is an excerpt by Alfred Aiken

The Big Question

Repeatedly the following is asked, “Why am I not healed? Why does the problem continue, even though I declare every Truth written in these books on Reality? I accept the statement that only Truth is true; accept it without reservation, but the difficulty lingers or seems to grow worse. What is wrong with what I am doing, or is it that Spirit does not deem it best for me to be well, happy and prosperous?”

These questions never stem from Truth. They never stem from Infinite Intelligence. Such arguments have nothing in common with Reality, Spirit, Love, Purity, Singleness, your I AM Identity.

The Answer

Any statement of Truth is sufficient to end any trouble, anywhere, regardless of how long it has appeared to be around, or how difficult it may seem to have become. Any statement concerning the ALLNESS OF ALL, THE SINGLENESS OF LOVE, THE PURITY OF BEING, THE OMNIPOTENCE OF WISDOM is true, because ALL precludes otherness, leaves nothing to heal, change, be corrected, cast out, or treated. But the one who merely declares these words meanwhile holding heartily to the problem, the condition, the error is wasting effort. His words are meaningless, his God is afar off, his Omnipotence is but a breath issuing from his lips, his Purity is only a degree of corruption, his Omniaction is a form of paralysis, his I-identity ignored in confusion.

Should you ever discover that you are trying to “become” well, whole, complete, honest, happy, harmonious, rest assured you are playing prodigal to your I AM Self … so stop it.

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