Category Archives: Prayer

Don’t Fear The Pandemic — Or Anything

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Masks Can’t Hide Their Joy

Churches are reopening in some parts of the United States. Like cold molasses, people are slowly dripping into their chosen churches. Even mask-covered faces can’t hide the joy of people reuniting with their church families.

It’s been slow. Each week one or two more people show up – at least at the church I pastor.

When my church decided to reopen, I suggested that we take a poll to see how many people were comfortable coming back. Enough replied, “I’m ready and I’m not afraid,” so we decided to reopen. But many – far too many – are afraid. One woman said, “I will support the church financially, but I’m scared. I won’t return until this thing is over.”

I commend the people who have honestly admitted, “I’m afraid.” Now, they can take the necessary steps to move out of that space.

Did The Fearful Admit This, Too?

There is something larger here than mere church attendance. Mind you, these are the same people who, for years, sat in church and mouthed the words, “God is the one Presence and Power – in, through and as all the universe.” I wonder if they have been equally honest with themselves and admitted, “Although I came to church every Sunday and affirmed God is the only Power, I must not know it. If I did, I wouldn’t be afraid?”

This is the kind of courage and honesty that is needed to move out of this seeming trench of fear. Be clear. Moving out is a must. One cannot allow themselves to stay in the mindset that something is going on other than God. Why? Because it’s a fictitious mindset.

How Long Are You Going To Loiter In Fear

No one can continue to read the books and listen to the lectures proclaiming God’s Allness and expect to experience this Truth as a practical reality if they allow themselves to loiter in fear. Fear is not a comfortable experience. Nothing unreal can ever be comfortable.

Reader, perhaps the coronavirus (or something else) has you cowering in fear. If that’s so, I have two questions for you. Are you going to linger in fear? Or, are you going to say to yourself, “I’m not willing to stay here. I believe in my heart that God is the only Presence and I’m going to dig deeper in silent prayer until I strike a clearer realization that God is All?”

It Starts With The Heart

People have said, “Allen, I’m afraid but I don’t want to be. How do I get out of this place?” Here’s a suggestion on how to proceed. First set your heart on knowing God’s Allness. It starts there. If your heart is not in it, nothing will come of it.

Then, in your quiet time, ask of your impersonal God Consciousness, “Is there another Presence and Power other than the Presence You are?” Listen. Listen expectantly. Listen intently. You will strike oil. The answer will be revealed. Your fearless Self will be revealed in all its resplendent magnificence.

 

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Should I Or Shouldn’t I

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“Whoa, Allen! Put the brakes on, and back it up. In your book, God is All, you said that we should only pray for the realization of God’s Allness, but in your last post, you encouraged us to call a Practitioner about our mundane concerns. I’m confused. Should we, or should we not pray about so-called human concerns?”

That’s the email I opened a week or two ago. Okay, I did add a few words for dramatic effect, but it’s pretty much word-for-word.

I’m glad this person reached out to me for this opportunity to clear up any confusion our readers might have. Yes, prayer should only be for the realization of God’s Allness. And, yes you should contact a Practitioner if you seem to have a problem. The two fit hand in glove. You enjoy the freedom to keep your attention rightly focused and have your problem resolved.

Sometimes stuff happens – or at least appears to. Despite knowing that God is All, the appearance of disease, lack, grief or trouble pops up. Naturally, you want this appearance to dis-appear. Quickly. Yet, it doesn’t. What do you do?

In the face of seeming trouble, you don’t have to come down from your high place of God-Realization to monkey around with the appearance. You can still keep your prayerful focus on God-Realization. Let the Practitioner deal with the appearance.

“Well, Allen,” you may ask, “isn’t this just shifting the problem over to the Practitioner to focus on?” Not at all. The Practitioner knows that it is nothing. Even as you are presenting it as something, she knows that Omnipresent Perfection is All that is present, active and evident.

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Working With A Practitioner

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So many questions have come in about Practitioners that I’m devoting this post to those most frequently asked.

What happened to the Practitioners List that used to appear on this blog? I tried clicking on the link and nothing was there.

Oops! My mistake. I thought I removed all the dead links. The Practitioners List was discontinued a few years ago. Here’s why.

Many people reading our blog have never heard of a Practitioner before. They do not understand that like doctors, nurses, and plumbers, Practitioners are paid for their services. Many people were getting the help they requested but were not paying the Practitioner.

On the other hand, there were some Practitioners on the list who did not provide adequate service and still expected to be paid. As many of you know, I hold firm that shoddy “work” does not deserve compensation.

Finally, some of our readers have been used to working with Christian Science Practitioners who are available any hour of the day. There were complaints about the availability of the listed Practitioners. One or two, if you recall, lived out of the country and the time-zone issue kicked in.

For these reasons, I thought it best to discontinue the list.

How long should I work with a Practitioner?

What would trigger such a question? Mainly, cost and effectiveness, and both deserve some attention here.

If cost is your concern, most likely you have worked with a Christian Science Practitioner in the past. They are the only Practitioners that charge per call and send a monthly invoice.

I will say this about every Christian Science Practitioner I know. They are sincere, dedicated people and will work with you. Simply tell your Practitioner that you are concerned about the cost – especially if costs are mounting without seeing any results.

I know some Practitioners reading this post will take exception to what follows, but let’s look at the facts. The whole Practitioner model is supposed to be based on Christ Jesus’ method of healing. How many times did it take for Christ to get it right? How many “treatments” did He give?

If a Practitioner is working a long time on a majority of the calls that come in, trust me, there’s nothing wrong with the caller. It’s the Practitioner – myself included.

Spiritual “healing” is the natural offshoot of Understanding. (I capitalize the word because I mean Understanding the Allness of God.) It is not a thing in and of itself. If a majority of the cases seem to take a while, the Practitioner needs to take some time off for greater spiritual clarity in order to reach that Understanding.

But, Allen, some Practitioners do this for a living and can’t afford to take time off.” Any Practitioner who “heals for a living” has either missed the boat or boarded the wrong one. You don’t heal for a living. Christ Jesus healed BECAUSE of his living. He healed BECAUSE of his knowing.

Reader, you heal because of your knowing. Healing is incidental to your knowing. Knowledge is king. Any other approach and the Practitioner risks falling into a ditch of nonsense screaming “I need sick people so I can put a roof on the house and get new tires for the car.”

I still haven’t answered the question of how long to work with a Practitioner. I’m going to take a different approach to this question by answering a different question: Why would I continue to work with a Practitioner?

  • In the case of a so-called incurable condition, it’s obvious why you would continue your work with a Practitioner. There’s no other help.
  • You want a spiritual solution to the problem. You know that anything less than a spiritual solution (based on God’s Allness) is just a fix-for-the-moment. The real solution is spiritual realization – either yours or the Practitioner’s.
  • You are confident that you are working with the right Practitioner and want to continue until the problem is resolved.

I once read that Practitioners would rather you call about prayer for spiritual enlightenment rather than all this other human stuff people call for? Is that true?

No! And it’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard.

When Christ Jesus was in Capernaum, he visited a home and started teaching. Rumor spread that he was at the house, and a large crowd gathered. The house was packed.

Four men, concerned about their sick friend, carried him to the home where Jesus was teaching. When they arrived, they couldn’t get in. Determined, they went to the roof, broke through it and lowered their friend down into the room. After all of that, do you think the first thing they did was look up to Christ Jesus and said, “Please give my friend spiritual enlightenment?”

When the disciples sensed that the multitudes were starving in the desert, does the Bible record that they asked Jesus for enlightenment? In any of the healing miracles, can you find one case where the request was for spiritual enlightenment? No, you can’t. And you cannot find anywhere in the Bible where Jesus denied someone a healing because they didn’t ask for enlightenment.

No one should ever think that a Practitioner is a genie out of the bottle, and no one should ever become dependent on a Practitioner. However, there is a higher cause to the work of the Practitioner. That cause is to show that the solution to every seeming problem is a spiritual solution.

As the Practitioner is doing nothing but knowing the Allness of God, it is proof positive that THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ALLNESS OF GOD IS THE SOLUTION TO EVERY SEEMING PROBLEM.

I have been a Practitioner for years and have been dealing with a health challenge of my own. Should I continue taking calls?

By all means, if it feels right to take a “case,” take it. Some Practitioners have done their best work while dealing with personal challenges. However, don’t be lax. Do clear up your own issue – by spiritual realization of course. In the long run, it will help your practice.

Let’s say that you seem to be dealing with a long-standing lung condition. It’s been clinging to you like a tree monkey. Finally, through a clear realization of God’s Allness, the matter is resolved. From this point on, it is likely that anyone who calls with this same condition will be healed instantly. Why? Because here you are absolutely clear on the nothingness of nothing. Most likely, from this point on, many of the calls you get will be related to this seeming condition. That’ll be explained in another post.

 

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Easy Living

God Is All

Something Wonderful Just Fell In Your Lap

What if you did follow Christ’s counsel to “seek first the kingdom of God?” Daily, you’d pray to know, understand, and even experience this kingdom. Soon, according to Christ’s promise, you would find this kingdom of God. You’d have struck gold.

Now your life is transformed. First, there’s the mind-blowing realization that the God you’ve been seeking, you ARE. Your world view changes. Everything, and everyone, is seen in a new light – the Light of God’s Presence. It’s wonderful.

Most astonishing, is that many of the things you struggled to attain, effortlessly fall in your lap. Isn’t that what Christ promised? “…and all these things shall be added.” And, it was all so easy. That’s my point: Spiritual living is easy.

When You Think About It, Human Living Is Hard

Why, then, do people say spiritual living is difficult? After all, the foundation of spiritual living is simple: God is All. Easy peasy. Go back to the beginning of this post and review the process. The prayer focus was on God and making God discoveries. Without any effort, those God discoveries revealed more of God’s Infinite Goodness as daily wonder-filled living experiences. Again, easy peasy.

However, spiritual living can seem to be hard as a stone wall. When prayer is adulterated by human desire, everything falls to pieces – useless pieces. When prayer is used to heal, prosper, bless, and enhance, things go haywire. “Allen, I don’t understand. I affirmed. I sat in the silence, and I contemplated, but nothing happened. I wasn’t healed. The job didn’t come through, and I’m still broke.” After weeks of praying to fix it, or get it, and the thing isn’t fixed or attained, frustration and doubt take over. God’s Allness is questioned, and from this point it’s all downhill, backwards on ice.

Is spiritual living, living without? No! Remember, “and all these things shall be added.” Health is the added thing. Prosperity is the added thing. All that which makes for “good living” are the added things, and you should enjoy them all.

Face this fact: Human living is hard. Starting and attempting to live from the false premise that you are separated from God and everything else is hard living.

You spend your waking hours struggling, fighting, and clawing to get the things your heart desires. Once you manage to get just a few of these things, you worry and scramble to maintain them. Then, there are trials and tribulations – one after another. That’s human living, and it’s hard living.

A Wonderful Life Of Discovery

Spiritual living is true living. And it’s effortless living. Spiritual living is a life of discovery – God discovery. It’s a life of discovering the nature of God, your Identity, your Body, and your World, and all of these awe-inspiring discoveries happen in the stillness of silent prayer.

Each new discovery unveils more of God’s Perfection in (as) your Life. They don’t create more good in your life, for all the goodness of God is already present. Your discoveries simply disclose them as practical, ready-to-be-enjoyed experiences.

Try It For Yourself

Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Jump, heart first, into the exciting world of God-discovery. Below are some helps.

  • Stop working on a problem. It’s all your “work” that seems to keep the problem in place.
  • Set your prayerful attention on one thing only – discovering Truth from within.
  • Before you get down to the business of praying, state your intention. It may be something like this. “I’m here to discover more Truth.”
  • Listen, expecting to make a spiritual discovery.

How long to listen? Until you get antsy. Then, get up and go about your business. Do this daily until you make a God-discovery. You will. And these discoveries will reveal more of God’s Presence in (as) your daily affairs.

I will not be surprised to get an email from you saying, “Allen, so many wonderful things are happening, and it’s been so easy.”

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All You Need To Know About Revelation

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I write a lot about Revelation. Outside of a few authors, not much is written about it. In this post, my intention is to share what is essential to know about Revelation and clear away some of the cloudy misconceptions about it. Let’s get right to it.

REVELATION IS A NATURAL EXPERIENCE

There’s nothing supernatural or mysterious about Revelation. Although it doesn’t seem to be, Revelation is your natural experience. REVELATION IS YOUR MIND KNOWING GOD’S ALLNESS, FRAMED IN THE WORDS AND LANGUAGE THAT YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH. If you are French speaking, you will not experience Revelation in Farsi. Furthermore, Revelation may be experienced without words, but that’s for another post.

Your Mind, being the Mind of God, is always knowing God’s Allness – even now.

Revelation seems mysterious because it’s often experienced as occasional flashes of spiritual insight. Yet, Revelation is happening all the time.

Do you remember, as a child, being totally engrossed in a television show or computer game only to hear your mother say, “Didn’t you hear me?” No, you didn’t hear her, because your attention was focused elsewhere. It’s the same with Revelation. It’s going on all the time, but while you are focused on the fiction of human phenomena, you don’t seem to “hear” it.

REVELATION IS SELDOM EXPERIENCED WHEN YOU ARE TRYING FOR IT

Some people, serious about this “God business,” approach prayer with the same exhausting effort of a professional bodybuilder working out in the gym. They strain and labor for Revelation. The prayers and meditations are laced with anxiety. Nothing good ever comes out of this.

Most often, Revelation is experienced while you are sipping coffee at a neighborhood bistro, leisurely strolling the neighborhood, or gently squeezing the kumquats in the supermarket.

Your quiet time of contemplation opens the gates of Revelation, but you may not experience it while praying or contemplating. The important thing is this: stop trying.

REVELATION = DEMONSTRATION

This is the magic, but often ignored, formula. No Revelation = no demonstration.

While nearly drowning in a sea of debt, Linda Little repeated the words “All that the Father has is mine.” She said the words all day, every day, for weeks. Sinking deeper in debt, she said to me, “Allen, this Truth stuff doesn’t work.”

“Linda,” I said, “you repeated the words of Christ Jesus. Were they revealed to you, or were you merely saying words you read in the Bible?” She confessed that she was merely repeating words she read.

This is not witchcraft where mere incantation leads to demonstration. The formula restated is: TRUTH REVEALED = TRUTH DEMONSTRATED. Yet …

REVELATION IS NOT CAUSATION

Revelation does not cause good things to happen in your life. Revelation does not heal your body, nor does it fill your wallet. And, of course, Revelation does not make God be present.

Imagine that you are searching for a small gold screw in a dimly lit room. You need more light, so you grab your new LED flashlight. Shining it on the floor, you exclaim, “There it is! Right in front of me!”

Did the flashlight create the screw? Did it place the screw in front of you? Or, did the flashlight merely reveal the presence of the screw?

Revelation merely reveals the presence of what is already present. It reveals the whole body right where the sick body seemed to be in a darkened sense of reality. It reveals ever-present abundance right where lack seemed to be.

In Truth, there is no cause AND effect. There is just God being All.

YOU ARE THE REVELATION YOU ARE SEEKING

The reason why Revelation is a normal experience is because YOU ARE THE REVELATIONS THAT YOU SEEM TO SEEK. This fact eliminates all the unnecessary struggle.

Yes, you are the Revelation. You are the source and essence of Divine Revelation. Precept by precept, we are going to see why this is true.

  • God is All
  • God, being All, is the absolute Truth
  • Only Truth can be revealed
  • Truth revealed is God revealed
  • God is the Revelation
  • You and God are One
  • YOU ARE THE REVELATION

Contemplate these ideas. For the next few weeks, review them daily. Presently, you will see for yourself that everything written above is true.

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Revelation Is A Normal Experience

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The Backstory

Here’s the backstory of this post. Before Marie Watts (The Ultimate) “passed,” she talked incessantly about her latest manuscript. “This book must be published,” she said. “It’s the most radical thing I’ve ever written.” I was just as excited about its publication as she was.

The book was never published. However, I knew the manuscript was kept in a box of her private things, and occasionally, when I talked to Jacqueline, her granddaughter, I hinted at the manuscript. She never took the bait. For a few years I wondered what could be more radical than her last books. I wanted to see that manuscript. What follows, in this post, is how I satisfied my curiosity.

Why Did They Throw My Book Away?

My first book, God is All, has seen more trash cans than a city sanitation worker. I’ve seen folk toss the book aside in a fit of suppressed rage. Others have confessed to throwing it away – even burning it. And it’s all because of a few sentences in the first chapter of the book. Granted, those few sentences compel the reader to confront what they truly know about God.

Here is the excerpt: “We cannot live parasitically off of another’s realization of Truth … however each and every person must come into his own recognition of who and what he is via revelation and realization.”

These words provoke the reader to think the following: “Everything I know about God, and everything I know about my spiritual identity, I’ve learned from a book or a tape. Nothing has been revealed. I’ve been living parasitically off of Joel Goldsmith, Marie Watts, Alfred Aiken, etc. I really don’t know anything. Hmmph, I don’t like the way this book makes me feel. I’ll show him just what I think about his book.” Right here you can see God is All flying into a nearby trash receptacle.

You Already Know All The Truth There Is To Know

Often, I open my seminars by asking “How much of what you know about God is from something you read or heard?” Asking for a show of hands, I proceed, “How much of what you know about God is by direct inner revelation?” No hands go up.

Where I’m going with these questions is summed up in these words. ALL THE TRUTH YOU WILL EVER READ OR HEAR IS ALREADY IN YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS. IT WAS THERE BEFORE YOU EVER READ OR HEARD IT, AND IT’S BETTER TO GET IT THERE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE.

Don’t Settle For Quotitis

Along the way, I’ve met many people in the advanced stages of “quotitis.” Perhaps you’ve met some yourself. These people can quote long passages from the Holy Bible, Science and Health, and books by Joel Goldsmith, Marie Watts and Alfred Aiken. But, spend a day walking in their lives. There is no evidence they have ever heard or read a word of Truth. Until Truth is Self-Revealed, all you have are letters and sounds. No demonstration. The Golden Formula is Revelation = Demonstration.

Why settle for quotitis when you can experience direct Revelation? I know Revelation seems to be a supernatural experience reserved for the really serious. Not so. Revelation is a natural and constant experience of the one Infinite, Indivisible Consciousness – your Consciousness. I try to make this fact clear in the Prayer Project.

Try This Instead

Now, let’s move this blog post from theory to actual experience. Before we proceed, I acknowledge that here, lately, I’ve been playing a one-note Samba. What follows is nothing you haven’t read before. The question is: Are you doing it?

For the next few weeks, keep up your so-called spiritual practice, which hopefully includes a period of silent “listening.” Be sure you are not working on specifics, or even hoping that some situation will be worked out. Proper prayer is not the place for that. In your listening, let this be your attitude: “In these moments of silence, I’m letting Consciousness revel in its own Illumination.” Then be still (with no other motive in mind), and I guarantee you will experience how natural Revelation is.

In case you’re wondering how I satisfied my curiosity about Marie Watts unpublished book, it was by realizing any Truth in that manuscript is already in Consciousness – mine and yours.

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Effortless Prayer

Allen, I read and enjoy your blog. My problem is that when I sit down to pray or contemplate, it always seems to be a struggle. After a while, I just give up. Any suggestions?

Struggle and effort should never be mentioned in the same sentence with prayer. Prayer, true prayer, is a peace-filled and joyous adventure. When effort and tension start prowling around the “prayer closet,” something is off. And usually, it’s the focus.

In most cases, effort shows up when the prayer focus is on getting or getting rid of something. Usually it’s an emergency or troubling situation where a quick resolution is wanted. Nothing good will come out of such praying or contemplating. It can’t.

Think about it. If what drives you to pray (and I use that term interchangeably with meditate or contemplate) is the problem, your attention is on the problem. Your attention is on the very thing that seems to be making you anxious and fearful. What can you expect but more anxiety and more struggle? For all that effort, you might as well stop praying and go lift a set of eighty-pound dumbbells.

Remember the Golden Rule of Prayer: Start with God, stay with God and end with God. Proper prayer is God Realization. The intent is God Realization and the result is God Realization. The absolute truth is that prayer hasn’t actually started until the moment of Realization.

If you find yourself restless at the outset of prayer, examine your motive. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” If your honest answer is, “I’m praying to get or fix something,” get up and do something else. Come back when your motive is purely for God (Self) realization.

Reader, have you ever sunk into the cozy comfort of an overstuffed armchair? That’s what it feels like when prayer starts with a right motive.

But, what if you can’t settle into prayer? What if the pain is so bad, or the condition so overwhelming that you can’t shake the struggle? YOU CAN! You are constituted that way. Remember, your Identity is God-Identified. Using the Sit and Repeat Method, you are going to get back to true prayer.

First, establish your motive – the joy of God Realization. When you sit down to pray, as soon as you feel anxious, get up. Do anything enjoyable. Ten minutes or so later, sit down to pray again. At the first sign of a struggle, again get up. Repeat this cycle until you can sink into the Realization of God’s Allness. You will, and you will on the very same day you try this method.

Notice, I have not addressed the problem that seemed to alarm you. That’s because once you are aware that God is All, the seeming problem will no longer be a concern. Why should it? You’ve already discovered that right there where the problem seemed to be, GOD IS.

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The Solution For Stubborn Problems Pt. 2

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So far, we’ve established our foundation:

  • Don’t tolerate any appearance of imperfection – no matter how long-standing.
  • Don’t give in to the appearance.

If it seems as though your problem is still clinging like a tree monkey, it’s time for more decisive action – the activity of God realization. From this point forward you’re going to move beyond all of your frustration and confusion.

Perhaps doubt has snuck in through the back door of your frustration, and you thought, “This Truth isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.” You’re going to move beyond this illusion of a doubting mind to embark on the most thrilling adventure of your life. I mean it. Despite the many pleasures and happy moments you have enjoyed, nothing compares to what is about to happen for you.

The thrill of discovering a God-fact via direct revelation is matchless. Why? Because that God-fact, revealed, shows up as a so-called “healing” of the problem. Let’s start the adventure.

LOVE YOUR PROBLEM

Don’t fear it! Don’t resent it! Love your problem! Love it. Not because it is real, but for what it can reveal. If you’ve endured a long-standing problem, you’ve probably said many times, “Why is this happening to me? After all the Truth I know, how could this happen to me?” Loving your problem is going to reveal exactly what is happening.

The problem, no matter how long-standing exists (or at least seems to) for one purpose – to draw your attention to a specific God-fact. Once the God-fact is known, the problem has served its purpose. The God-fact reveals a Truth of God, and in the wake of that revelation is the perception of God’s presence right where the problem seemed to be. Had the problem not appeared in the first place, most people would not be steadfast and faithful in wanting to move beyond their present understanding of God’s Allness.

I HAD A PROBLEM AND LOVED IT BECAUSE …

It was not a long-standing problem, but one that seemed life-threatening. All night I was in and out of silent, God-focused listening prayer. The revelation that came forth was a watershed moment completely changing my perception of the Body. For that reason, I loved the problem. Otherwise, I would not have been pushed to go beyond my present understanding of the Body.

Is the problem necessary in order to discover the God-fact? Absolutely not! But let’s be honest. Most people pray more fervently when things are going wrong. And that’s when more God-facts are realized. Do you see why I urge you to love your problem? The God-fact that it is turning your attention to is priceless.

DISCOVERING THE GOD-FACT

It’s time to turn and see exactly what God-fact your seeming problem is signaling. God-facts cannot be reasoned out. God-facts cannot be intellectually discerned. They can only be revealed by way of silent, listening prayer. There are many ways to approach this, but I’m suggesting two.

Go Directly For The Fact

After you’ve settled in and are ready to listen and “hear,” simply ask your God-Consciousness, “What is the Truth I most need to realize?” You ask and you listen. Repeat if necessary. In this approach, you are totally bypassing the seeming difficulty and your total focus is on the spiritual discovery of a God-fact.

The Springboard Approach

This is the approach favored by many. I think it’s because the seeming problem is at least addressed, and then immediately dismissed. Here you start with the problem and use it as a trampoline to spring to greater awareness of God’s Allness.

After you’ve settled in and are ready to “hear,” you lay it all out on the table as it appears to be. Below is an example:

It seems that I’ve been suffering from kidney pain for the last fifteen years. The doctors say that it is due to a rupture of some type and that I need surgery. Sometimes the pain is unbearable, and I can barely move. Then, I spend the rest of the day in bed. This is all what appears to be, but what is the Truth I need to know?

That last sentence is the most important. Again, you ask and listen, and repeat if necessary. In either approach, you continue until the Revelation of the God-fact is experienced. Your question may be, “But what about my problem?”

Problems, long-standing or otherwise, remind me of the Mission Impossible movies. Have you ever seen one? The adventure-packed film opens with Ethan receiving a plain envelope. Inside there is a gadget with the IMF mission that concludes with “Your mission, should you decide to accept it ….” After that, the device self-destructs. Problems alert your attention to a God-fact. Once the God-fact is discovered, the (seeming) problem self-destructs. Or, in spiritual language, its “something” is revealed and evidenced to be nothing.

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Why Are You Praying?

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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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