Helps to Prayer
by Glenn Clark
The Soul's Sincere Desire
How, then, can we pray the perfect prayer in our own hearts? How can we become conscious of the rainbow within, in order that we may be a witness to the rainbow without? By attaining to a consciousness of absolute Love, absolute Joy, absolute Gratitude, and above all of absolute Oneness with the Father. Once attain this consciousness and everything we think, say, or do comes from the Father. Once attain this condition of mind and Facts turn into Realities, the sick become whole, the lost become found, and sinners become redeemed. And how can we attain that consciousness of Faith, Joy, Love, and Gratitude? By thinking of God, or our highest conception of God; of Heaven, or our highest conception of Heaven. Some can look straight at God direct; some can look through a beautiful sunset into the Kingdom; some can look through the face of a friend straight into the face of the Father. Some can sit down and convert the situation into a parable; others can turn it into a psalm. Every church has its form, its ritual, its individual method of appeal, to bring the mind and heart of its devotees into a condition of consciousness conducive to finding God.
Our chief problem is how to keep the mind stayed on God and keep the eye single, that is to say, filled with the illumination of Love and Faith and Joy, and keep out the darkness of anger and fear and selfishness. To steady the mind and hearts of the people and to keep their eyes filled with light, the psalmists of old composed prayer-psalms. Because many have sought such comfort in these modern days, and often sought in vain, I have added to this chapter a few simple prayer-psalms, which I hope may steady some mind and keep some eye filled with light.
Our Father, Thou art infinite, eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient.
Whether I take the wings of the morning, behold, Thou art there.
Though I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. Though I go to the furthermost parts of the sea, Thou art before me.
Thy Love is as infinite as the sky is infinite, and Thy Spirit as pure as the morning dew.
Thy Power reaches as far as the east is from the west, and Thy Wisdom is greater than all hidden treasures.
Thy Peace is closer than the atmosphere that wraps us round, and Thy Joy is brighter than the sun at noonday. Thou art continuously shedding down upon us Thy Wisdom, Thy Joy, and Thy infinite Love.
Make us as pure as the morning, and as powerful to serve Thee as the winds that blow.
We would be branches of Thy living Vine,
Fountains of Thy living Water,
Windows for seeing Thy Truth,
Channels for bringing Thy love to men.
We of ourselves are nothing, but with Thee we are all things.
Open wide for us the doors and windows of our soul.
Direct our steps and guide our ways,
For we are Thine—wholly, utterly Thine,
Closer to Thee than breathing,
Nearer than hands and feet.
We would be filled—filled with Thee, O Father,
That we may give—give—give to the uttermost,
That Thy glory may be made manifest in man!
Thou and Thy Love are infinite;
Thy Love therefore fills all space,
There is no space where Thy Love is not.
Otherwise it would not be infinite.
It is filling the very space which we are occupying.
Here and Now.
That Love is in us and we are in that Love.
We could not escape it if we would,
And we would not if we could.
It abides in us and we in it.
Therefore when we let go doubt, and irritation, and self,
And resign ourselves completely to the great All-Power
That resides within and about us,
We are Love, even as God is Love.
God then speaks through us,
Thinks through us, acts through us;
For when we speak, we speak Love,
When we think, we think Love,
When we create, we create Love;
For God always does his work by means of Love made manifest in man.
We know, O Father, that perfect Love expresses itself in perfect Joy.
This Joy radiates throughout the vistas of consciousness
As sunlight plays up and down the vistas of mountains.
No power can possibly prevent the perfect circulation of this Joy,
For it is propelled by Love,
And Love is omnipotent;
For Love is God.
This Joy is pure, perfect, complete, and life-giving,
And it is continuously revealing itself in infinite Power and infinite Glory,
Expressing the eternal Majesty.
This Joy is absolutely pure, untouched by anything unlike Thee,
Therefore this Joy is perfect, whole, and complete, Bringing wholeness, healing, and perfection.
Nothing is sick but this Joy can make whole,
Nothing is impure but this Joy can make pure,
Nothing is hid but this Joy can bring to light,
Nothing is imperfect but this Joy can make perfect.
For this Joy is omnipotent Power,
Made manifest in man,
Irresistible, infinite, eternal,
Circulating with unfailing regularity and ease Throughout the vistas of consciousness.
Nothing can possibly prevent the perfect circulation of this Joy,
For it is propelled by Love, and Love is omnipotent; for Love is God.
We know that Love is perfect understanding,.
For Love is the light which makes all things clear,
For Love is the giving up of self to the Larger Self,
So that the Larger Self pours through us as through a channel,
And this activity of Love is perfect Wisdom, is perfect Understanding,
Bringing perfect Inspiration, perfect Peace, perfect Joy.
When the Larger Self speaks, all knowledge, past, present, and to come,
Speaks through us without check and without limit,
For that which is in part is passed away,
And that which is perfect has come.
For man, standing rooted in eternal Love, relaxed to its eternal harmonies,
Makes of himself a conch
Through which the music of the spheres finds voice and utterance,
And man, divested of self and expressing Thee,
Stands witness to Thine imperishable Glory
Bread cast upon the waters
Shall be found after many days;
As we measure
So is it meted unto us.
He who gives all
Receives all in return;
He who gives wholeness
Receives wholeness in return;
And he who gives himself wholly
Shall himself be made whole.
Our Father, help us to give ourselves—not as the world giveth, but wholly unto Thee.
Without qualification or exception or condition or compromise we give ourselves unto Thee.
Complete, finished, and whole is the giving;
Absolute and utter is the surrender.
Thy rod and Thy staff alone shall support us;
Thy yoke and Thy burden alone shall we carry.
Take us—not in part, but complete and whole.
For in Thee alone shall we find all Completeness and all Wholeness,
And man, the child of Thy Love and the heir of Thy Glory,
Reflects and expresses this Wholeness and Completeness.
This complete outpouring of self gives us perfect Peace, infinite Peace.
Nothing can prevent our finding this infinite Peace,
For it abides all about us, in us, and through us;
Before ever the world began it was there,
And through all eternity it shall be there;
The perfect Peace that comes from perfect surrender to Thee.
For Thou art the Lord of Peace,
Our abiding place in all generations.
Our Rock and our Fortress.
Whom shall we fear?
O God, giver of every good and perfect gift, Who giveth perfect Peace,
There is no place where Thy Peace is not, for it is infinite,
And we, when we put ourselves completely at rest in Thee,
Eternally abide in this Peace, the Peace of Mind that passeth all understanding.
We lift up our eyes unto the hills
Though the reflection in the water may quiver and ruffle
And conceal Thy great beauty at the beck of the winds and tides,
We know that Thy Truth shall never quiver or shake.
Though discord and misunderstanding may appear in the world below,
We know that if we lift our eyes unto the hills
We shall see the Reality is clear and beautiful and eternally harmonious.
We know that the more the reflection vibrates in wind and tide,
The more stable and calm stand the everlasting hills.
The more the opposite sides of the mountain appear in the reflection to be pulling all things asunder,
The more permanently above they are seen holding the mountain in place;
And the further the tip of the reflection sinks down into the depths,
The higher the glorious dome pushes its peak into the heights above.
Give us grace, O God, to see the world of Reality right side up and not upside down.
May we see the mountain—not the reflection in the pool.
May we see behind every argument the Truth that draws it into Love;
Behind every angry thought, the Love that vibrates it into eternal Harmony.
We pray, O God, that we may look up, lift our eyes, and see Thee as Thou art,
And see Man as Thy child, made in Thy perfect and eternal image and likeness, as he really is,Eternally reflecting Thy Harmony,
Filled with Thy Holy Spirit,
And abiding eternally in Thy Love.
A Psalm of Abundance
The infinite ideas of God continually come to man:
Ideas of Beauty, Service, Leisure, Power, Abundance, Harmony, and Happiness.
Man receives these ideas in perfect symmetry and sequence,
And rejoices to pass them on to give joy to his fellow men, Receiving beautiful, perfect, and infinite ideas in exchange,
According to the perfect rhythm of God’s infinite Love.
God has always placed man in the right place
For the receiving and passing on of these perfect ideas,
For man is led and governed by God,
Who governs the stars in their courses With perfect rhythm, and with perfect regularity, and with perfect ease.
There never was a need that did not have its own supply residing within it,
Nor was there ever a question that did not have its own answer concealed within it,
Nor ever a yearning for Hope or Love but carried its own fulfillment.
Who would put a seed in the ground and then plant a stalk in the ground above the seed?
For the stalk grows out of the seed—from within it, never from without;
So the answer grows out of the question, the fulfillment out of the need, and the Love out of the yearning.
So ask, with Love, and it shall be answered;
Seek, with Love, and it shall be found;
Knock, with Love, and it shall be opened;
For as air, soil, and water are to the seed,
So is Love to the question, need, and yearning.
For without Love all prayer is as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbalThat profiteth nothing.
But Love never faileth.
Love casteth out all fear,
Love is perfect understanding.
Love is its own realization.
Its own completion.
Its own fulfillment.
A Psalm of Guidance
We know, O Father, that man is not responsible for making plans,
For Thou art the only Designer.
We know that no one ever makes plans;
For plans grow as flowers and trees grow,
Are things of life with roots, ramifications, and interweavings,
As beautiful as tapestries, as permanent as the eternal stars.
May our eye be always single, our vision always clear as light,
That the radiance of Thy infinite Love may light our path forever;
That we may see Thy plan as it eternally is,
In all its beauty, in all its harmony, in all its grandeur,
And see ourselves as we always are —
Thy children, made in Thy image and likeness,
The perfect expression of Thy perfect direction,
Each instant conscious of Thy perfect ideas in perfect succession.
As Thou keepest the stars in their courses,
So wilt Thou guide our steps in perfect harmony, without clash or discord of any kind,
If we but keep our trust in Thee.
We know Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee,
Because he trusteth in Thee.
We know that if we but acknowledge Thee in all our ways Thou wilt direct our paths.
For Thou art the God of Love,
Giver of every good and perfect gift,
And there is none beside Thee.
Thou art omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent,
In all, through all, and over all,
The only God.
A Psalm of Gratitude
Our Father, we worked for Thee till we thought we should become weak in Thy service,
But Thou hast renewed our strength; we have mounted up with wings as eagles.
We gave unto Thee our all,
But Thou hast filled our barns with grain.
We gave ourselves utterly to Thee, without stint and without measure,
Only to find ourselves returning to meet ourselves, clad in garments of glory.
We made ourselves completely captive to Thy will,
And behold, Thou hast set us eternally free;
We let Thee have complete dominion over us;
And behold, Thou hast given us dominion over every living creature.
How can we ever thank Thee, how can we ever repay Thee, Thou Lord of our lives?
For even the thanks we send forth to Thee upon the wings of the morning
Return bearing gifts in the evening.
All we can do is to continue to give—give—give to the uttermost.
All that we have is Thine; all that we are is Thine.
Take us, use us, we cannot be exhausted;
The more we are used the more beautiful, the more eternal we become.
Thou hast set a Well within our hearts that springs up unto eternal Life.
Thou hast set a Light within our hearts that radiates eternal Love.
And the light of Love shining through the fountain of Life reveals the rainbow of Joy,
Joy that is eternal, unending, complete,
The perfect promise of Thy perfect fulfillment.
Accept our thanksgiving, our praise, our gratitude without stint and without measure,
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory
forever and ever.
© 1925, The Atlantic Monthly Press Inc.