IT IS not enough to pray. Prayer is one step that you take, but you need other steps. You need to think of God, the all-powerful Healer, as being already within you, in every part of your mind, heart, and body. To keep one’s attention and prayers in the spiritual realm of mind, without letting them work on out into the soul’s expression and into the actual physical doing of that which corresponds with what the mind and heart has thought and spoken and prayed, is to court trouble. To keep declaring love and power and life and substance, and yet unconsciously, perhaps, assuming limitations and living them, will cause explosions and congestion that work out in the physical. We need to harmonize our thinking and our prayers with actual living experiences.
Sometimes we pray to a God outside of ourselves. It is the God in the midst of us that frees and heals.
With our eye of faith we must see God in our flesh, see that wholeness for which we are praying in every part of the body temple. "Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you . . . glorify God therefore in your body.” (I Cor. 6:19, 20)
Prayers aren’t sent out at all! Sometimes that is our trouble. Where would we be sending our prayers? As individuals we should direct them to our own mind and heart and affairs. We commune with God-Mind within our own consciousness. Prayer is an exercise to change our own thought habits and our living habits, that we may set up a new and better activity, in accord with the divine law rather than with the suggestions we have received from various sources.
We sometimes think that we pray when we read and declare certain statements of Truth. We have very little idea of the way in which the answers to those prayers are coming. And we do not prove that we expect them to be answered. For almost immediately after praying we go on doing the things we have been doing, which does not allow of any answers. And we think and say that which is not in accord with the prayers we have made. For example, we go into the silence and declare statements of prosperity. Then in writing a letter we speak of lack and failure and longing. Which proves that we have those thoughts and feelings of lack in our heart and that we are really dwelling on them more strongly than we do on the Truth that we have prayed.
Prayer, then, is to change mind and heart so that God’s omnipresent good may fill our mind and heart and manifest in our life. If we do not keep on thinking in accord with the prayers we have made, we do not get good results. For all thought is formative; all thought has its effect in our life. When some of our thought energy is expended in negative beliefs and feelings, and we show that we have old mental habits in the subconscious mind, we get those old negative results—even when we are praying daily and when others are praying for us.
We have a very decided part; we are to cease worrying, and being anxious, and thinking and speaking of the past and of the apparent lack and idleness. We are to concentrate all our attention upon the Truth of God, and the truth of our own being, upon the very things we would see taking place in our life. We cannot do this so long as we have negative thoughts in our heart.
As we pray, the word of life is going down into us, breaking up old fixed beliefs and reorganizing our life. The word of life—life as God has planned it—is taking hold of our subconsciousness, and we know that we are free and will begin to use our freedom. Working in the consciousness of freedom, we will be happy and well and busy and prosperous. But our attention will be upon what we are doing rather than upon outer results. The results will take care of themselves once we have started our foundation in Truth.
"With God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26) Those who receive spiritual help are the ones who place their undivided faith in God and who bring their thinking in line with His Truth. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Prayer, as Jesus Christ understood and used it, is communion with God; the communion of the child with his Father; the splendid confidential talks of the son with the Father. This communion is an attitude of mind and heart that lifts the individual into a wonderful sense of oneness with God, who is Spirit, the source of every good and perfect thing, and the substance that supplies all the child’s needs—whether they are spiritual needs, social needs, mental needs, physical needs, or needs of a financial nature. Positive declaration of the truth of one’s unity with God sets up a new current of thought power, which delivers one from the old beliefs and their depression. And when the soul is lifted up and becomes positive, the body and the affairs are readily healed.
Sometimes I have written a letter to God when I have wanted to be sure that something would have divine consideration and love and attention. I have written the letter, and laid it away, in the assurance that the eyes of the loving and all-wise Father were seeing my letter and knowing my heart and working to find ways to bless me and help me to grow. So I suggest that you write a letter to God, telling, putting into words, that which your heart holds and hopes for. Have faith that God is seeing your letter and your heart, and that there is wisdom and power and freedom and love to accomplish that which will meet your needs. After you have placed your heart’s desires with God, don’t be anxious, or worried, or negative. Don’t even be looking for signs that He has responded. Just busy yourself with the work He gives, and with study and prayer to develop yourself into a real companion and a real radiator of happiness and inspiration. As you do so you become the radiating center toward which those are drawn who will add to your happiness and co-operate with you in making of your life a beautiful success. Spirit intends you to be a radiating center that will draw to you whatsoever you need to be well and strong, successful and prosperous.