Lessons In Truth - Lesson 8 - Annotation 6
When we ask for spiritual understanding and do not receive it, what is the reason?
6. Our Scripture gives us the answer very directly in these words, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss" (James 4:3). We ask amiss, and receive not, when we are in ignorance of our divine inheritance, and therefore do not know how to claim it.
When we pray and ask for spiritual understanding and it does not come, it is because we have placed the substance of our thoughts on the condition we wish to have healed instead of centering our attention on the truth that we really are spiritual beings. Everything works according to the law of mind action that "like begets like." This law is exacting and undeviating, producing results in exact accordance to the character of our thoughts. It is the "narrow gate" as our Scripture points out in Matthew 7:13, 14 "that leadeth unto life."
In order to receive the perfect answer to our prayers we must have an abiding faith that sees beyond the appearance to the perfection of God. In our mind's eye we must see ourselves as we are in Truth -- whole, well, perfect, happy, joyous, prosperous -- and not as we may be presently manifesting. We need to maintain an open and receptive consciousness so that God can work through us to bring forth the good we desire.
In order to receive spiritual understanding as regards anything that touches our life, our prayers must go deeper than words. It is not enough to ask God to make us healthy and then think and do things that make us sick.
"The Spirit of truth watches every detail of our life, and when we ask and by affirmation proclaim its presence, it brings new life into our body and moves us to observe hygienic and dietary laws that restore health" (Teach Us to Pray 125).
In every need, we must let go of all anxieties and open our mind and heart wholly to God. If we want justice in our life and affairs, we must not say and do things that cause bitterness and inharmony.
"Whatever thought you send out will come back to you. This is an unchangeable law of thought action. A man may be just in all his dealings, yet if he condemns others for their injustice, that thought action will bring him into unjust conditions; so it is not safe to judge except in the Absolute" (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 122).
If we want to be forgiven for some wrong we have committed we have to have forgiveness in our own hearts:
"In spiritual understanding, the I AM of man forgives or 'gives' Truth 'for' error; the mind is set in order and the body healed. The moment man realizes this he puts himself in harmony with the Truth of Being, and the law wipes out all his transgressions" (Jesus Christ Heals 60).
Regardless of what we are praying for, no matter what the situation for which we desire spiritual understanding, it is necessary for us to realize that any obstacle to the answer to our prayer is not of God but of our own making:
"All prayers are answered by the Father. Whenever a prayer remains unanswered in the manifest realm, we can be sure that somewhere there is a closed door between us and the Giver" (Effectual Prayer 12).
The "closed door" may be any limited belief such as ignorance, fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, and so forth. If we put emphasis on things instead of the divine realities or ideas lying back of the things, we are asking amiss and will not receive the spiritual understanding or good we are asking for. When we seek God in prayer and feel our oneness with Him, our asking will not be in vain and we will receive the answer we desire.
Preceding Entry: Will beseeching bring spiritual understanding? Does spiritual understanding come to one who is seeking with selfish motives?
Following Entry: What is the first step toward attaining spiritual understanding? Name other steps.