How I Used Truth - Lesson 8 - Annotation 7
What has "time" to do with answers to prayer?
7. "Time" as viewed by manifest man, measured by clocks and calendars, has nothing to do with answers to prayer. God knows no time as man conceives of it. All is the now. All was ideally complete "in the beginning" as far as God, Principle, is concerned, and the answers to prayer are included in that Principle. For example, the answer to a mathematical problem is not dependent upon time, for it is already established in a self-existing principle of mathematics. Time enters in only so far as a process is required for our working out of the problems. In like manner, as God is the self-existent Principle of all life, the fulfillment or answer is already established in Him even before a prayer is uttered. The answer is inherent in the law under which any prayer is offered, and the answer is always some divine idea of good.
However, time -- as a process in man's consciousness for measuring the steps that are taken in man's world from cause to effect -- does have a part in answered prayer. We call it "time" when we perceive the development of an idea from its unfoldment in our consciousness through its growth into fulfillment in the manifest world.
Webster's dictionary gives some enlightening definitions of time that will be helpful for our purpose:
"The period during which an action, process, condition, or the like, continues . . . measured or measurable duration . . . The point or period when something occurs; the moment of an event ... an occasion. . . . Pitting moment; proper or due season."
Too often in praying, we have thought of time as something that could affect the answer to prayer adversely. Seeing time in its true light, however, we have nothing to fear. We see that in reality time is our servant, working for us when we are working with divine law.
True prayer is essentially conscious communion with God or good. Our prayer is answered the moment we become consciously one with the perfect answer. This may take time on our part but since the answer is eternal in God-Mind, time has no bearing on it. For example, if we pray for healing, we must realize that the answer exists before we pray. In this sense time has nothing to do with the answer. There is, however, a process during which our consciousness expands to this Truth. We may call this process time, but it cannot be judged by minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years. The time involved depends upon our ability to erase (by denial) the beliefs that our good can be withheld or delayed, that we are unworthy to receive it, or that God may be unwilling to grant it. After denial must follow the affirmation of life, wholeness, health. Then (most important of all) there must come the spiritual realization of life as being man's birthright.
While in the final analysis time does not determine answers to prayer, it serves its purpose by fitting together all the details that go to make up the process by which the answer or the manifestation comes forth. The measured intervals in our inhaling and exhaling play their part in keeping our body alive and healthy. Yet it is not this "time" that makes life possible in our body. Life is of and from God, but it moves into every cell of our body in divine order. Prayer becomes a kind of inhaling and exhaling of the breath of life, and the time required for us to breathe in God's inspiration and give it forth to our world as the answer to prayer is part of divine order.
Preceding Entry: What part does "praise" have in spiritual treatment?
Following Entry: Metaphysically, what is the "stone" that is so great which is rolled away?