Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear thee; And thou shalt pay thy vows, Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee; and light shall shine upon thy ways -- Job 22:27,28.
1. Most persons, when they first consciously set out to gain a fuller, higher knowledge of spiritual things, do so because of dissatisfaction -- or perhaps unsatisfaction would be the better word -- with their present conditions of life. Inherent in the human mind is the thought that somewhere, somehow, it ought to be able to bring to itself that which it desires and which would satisfy. This thought is but the foreshadowing of that which really is
2. Our wishes, it is said, do measure just
Our capabilities, Who with his might
Aspires unto the mountain's upper height,
Holds in that aspiration a great trust
To be filled, a warrant that he must
Not disregard, a strength to reach the height
To which his hopes have taken flight.
-- Author Unknown
3. The hunger that we feel is but the prompting of the Divine within us, which longs with an infinite longing to fill us. It is but one side of the law of demand and supply, the other side of which is unchangeable, unfailing, the promise: "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). The supply is always equal to the demand, but there must first be a demand before supply is of use.
4. There is, attainable by us, a place where we can see that our doing can cease, because we realize that Spirit is the fulfillment of all our desires. We simply get still and know that all things whatsoever we desire are ours already; and this knowing it, or recognizing it, has power to bring the invisible God (or good) -- the innermost substance of all things -- forth into just the visible form of good that we want.
5. But in order to attain this place of power, we must take the preliminary steps, faithfully, earnestly, trustingly, though these steps at first glance seem to us useless and as empty as do the ceremonial forms and religious observance of the ritualistic churchman.
6. To affirm anything is to assert positively that it is so, even in the face of all contrary evidence. We may not be able to see how, by our simply affirming a thing to be true, a thing that to all human reasoning or sight does not seem to be true at all, we can bring this thing to pass; but we can compel ourselves to cease all futile quibbling and go to work to prove the rule, each one in his own life.
7. The beautiful Presence all about us and within us is the substance of every good that we can possibly desire -- aye, infinitely more than we are capable of desiring; for "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Cor. 2:9 A.V.).
8. In some way, which is not easy to put into words -- for spiritual words cannot always be compassed in words, and yet they are none the less infallible, immutable laws that work with precision and certainty -- there is power in our word of faith to bring all things right into our everyday life.
9. We speak the word, we confidently affirm, but we have nothing to do with the "establishing" of the word, or bringing it to pass. "Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee" (Job 22:28). So if we decree or affirm unwaveringly, steadfastly, we hold God by His own unalterable laws to do the establishing or fulfilling.
10. They who have carefully studied spiritual laws find that, besides denying the reality and power of apparent evil, which denying frees them from it, they also can bring any desired good into their lives by persistently affirming it is there already. In the first instructions given to students, the denials and affirmations take a large place. Later on, their own personal experiences and inward guidance lead them to an understanding of divine law that makes it easy for them to follow simple rules which at first seemed difficult.
11. The saying over and over of any denial or affirmation is a necessary training of the mind that has lived so long in error and false belief that it needs this constant repetition of Truth to unclothe it and to clothe it anew.
12. As it is with the denials, so with the affirmations. There are four or five sweeping affirmations of Truth that cover a multitude of lesser ones, and which do marvelous work in bringing good to ourselves and to others.
13. First: God is life, love, intelligence, substance, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence.
14. These ideas you learned in the second lesson -- "Statement of Being." As you repeat the affirmation, please remember that every particle of life, love, intelligence, power, or of real substance in the universe, is simply a certain degree, or, so to speak, a quantity of God made manifest or visible through a form. Try to think what it means when you say that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient.
17. Do not disturb yourself about appearance of evil all about you; but in the very presence of what seems evil stand true and unwavering in affirming that God, the good is omnipresent. By so doing, you will see the seeming evil melt away as the darkness before the light or as the dew before the morning sun, and good come to take its place.
19. Remember while repeating this affirmation that nothing -- no circumstance, no person or set of persons -- can by any possibility interpose between you and the Source of your life, wisdom, or power. It is all "hid with Christ [the innermost Christ or Spirit of your being] in God" (Col. 3:3). Nothing but your own ignorance of how to receive, or your willfulness, can hinder your having unlimited supply.
20. No matter how sick or weak or inefficient you seem to be, take your eyes and thoughts right off the seeming, and turn them within to the central fountain there, and say calmly, quietly, but with steadfast assurance: "This appearance of weakness is false; God, manifest as life, wisdom, and power is now flowing into my entire being and out through me to the external." You will see a marvelous change wrought in yourself by the realization that this spoken word will bring to you.
21. You do not change God's attitude toward you one iota by either importuning or affirming. You only change your attitude toward Him. By thus affirming, you put yourself in harmony with divine law, which is always working toward your good and never toward your harm or punishment.
22. Third: I am Spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid, for Spirit is God, and God cannot be sick or hurt or afraid. I manifest my real self through this body now.
23. Fourth: God works in me to will and to do whatsoever He wishes me to do, and He cannot fail.
24. Our affirming His mind working both to will and to do, makes us will only the good; and He, the very Father in us, does the works, hence there can be no failure. Whatsoever we fully commit to the Father to do, and affirm it is done, we shall see accomplished. These, then, are the four comprehensive affirmations.
25. First: God is life, love, intelligence, substance, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence.
27. Third: I am Spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid, for Spirit is God, and God cannot be sick or hurt or afraid. I manifest my real self through this body now.
28. Fourth: God works with me to will and to do whatsoever He wishes me to do, and He cannot fail.
29. Commit these affirmations to memory, so that you can repeat them in the silence of your own mind in any place and at any time. Strangely, they will act to deliver you out of the greatest external distresses, places where no human help avails. It is as though the moment you assert emphatically your oneness with God the Father, there is instantly set into motion all the power of omnipotent love to rush to your rescue. And when it has undertaken to work for you, you can cease from external ways and means, and boldly claim: "It is done; I have the desires of my heart."
"Thou openest thy hand,
And satisfiest the desire of every living thing" (Psalms 145:16).
30. In reality God is forever in process of movement within us, that He may manifest Himself (all-Good) more fully through us. Our affirming, backed by faith, is the link that connects our conscious human need with His power and supply.
31. They who have claimed their birthright by thus calmly affirming their oneness with God know how free they can be from human planning and effort, after they have called into operation this marvelous power of affirmation. This power has healed the sick, brought joy in place of mourning, literally opened prison doors and bidden the prisoner go free, without the claimants calling for human assistance.
32. Understand, it is not necessarily the using of just this form of words that has availed in each individual case. It is the denying of apparent evil, and, in spite of all contrary evidence, the affirming of good to be all there is, affirming oneness with God's omnipotent power to accomplish, even when there is no visible sign of His being present, that has wrought the deliverance. In one case within my knowledge, just simply claiming, "God is your defense and deliverance," for a man who had for five years been an exile from home and country (through a series of deceptions and machinations that for depth and subtlety were unparalled) opened all the doors wide and restored the man to his family within a month, without any further human effort on the part of himself or his friends, and this after five years of the most strenuous human efforts of lawyers had failed utterly to bring the truth to light or to release the prisoner.
33. Some minds are so constituted that they get better results from repeated use of denials; others, from using denials less and affirmations more.
34. No definite rules can be laid down as to which will work most effectually in each individual case to eradicate apparent evil and bring the good into manifestation, but some little hint that may be helpful can be given.
35. Denials have an erasive or dissolving tendency. Affirmations build up, and give strength and courage and power. Persons who remember vividly, and are inclined to dwell in their thoughts on the pains, sorrows, and troubles of the past or present, need to deny a great deal; for denials cleanse the mind and blot out the memory of all seeming evil and unhappiness, so they become a far away dream. Again, denials are particularly useful to those who are hard and intolerant, or aggressively sinful; to those who, as a result of success have become overconfident, thinking the human is sufficient in itself for all things; to the selfish, and to any who do not scruple to harm others.
36. Affirmations should be used by the timid and by those who have a feeling of their own inefficiency; those who stand in fear of other minds; those who "give in" easily; those who are subject to anxiety or doubt, and those who are in positions of responsibility. Persons who are in any way negative or passive need to use affirmations more; the ones who are self-confident or unforgiving, need denials more.
37. Deny the appearance of evil; affirm good. Deny weakness; affirm strength. Deny undesirable conditions, and affirm the good you desire. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe [or claim and affirm] that ye have received them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). This is what is meant by the promise: "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon [or that you stand squarely or firmly upon], to you have I given it" (Josh. 1:3).
38. Practice these denials and affirmations silently in the street, in the car, when you are wakeful during the night, anywhere, everywhere, and they will give you a new, and, to you, a strange, mastery over external things and over yourself. If there comes a moment when you are in doubt as to what to do, stand still and affirm, "God in me is infinite wisdom; I know just what to do." "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand or to gainsay" (Luke 21:15). Do not get flustered or anxious, but depend fully and trustingly on your principle, and you will be surprised at the sudden inspiration that will come to you as the mode of procedure.
39. So always this principle will work in the solution of all life's problems -- I care not what the form of detail is -- to free us, God's children, from all undesirable conditions, and to bring good into our lives, if we will take up the simple rules and use them faithfully, until they lead us into such realization of our Godhood that we need no longer consciously depend on them.