How Should We Pray?
Should we pray in words that imply faith in a sure answer to our prayer or should we ask meekly, leaving the answer to the will of God? This proposition confronts most of us at various times, and our mind wavers between the two attitudes, and the answer is always weakened by the wavering whether we realize it or not.
Whichever way we decide to pray, we quote the Scriptures to fortify our position and usually find enough to satisfy us that we are right. The majority of the prayers of Jesus are affirmations, according to English translations, which are not always in harmony with the original text. For example, the Lord's Prayer, which we so universally use, in the original is a series of affirmations. The translators had no conception of the majesty of man as the Son of God and they twisted His prayer of decrees into a supplication for help. When we realize that we are the outlet of a mind that seeks an adequate expression, we shall cease our begging prayers and elevate our thoughts and words to the high standard set by the Master.
God created man to express Him in the manifest world, and we fall short in our mission when we fail to measure up to our divine authority. Jesus, the representative Son, affirmed, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18). When He prayed, things happened, and He expected His followers to do likewise. We are asked why our prayers do not always bring things to pass as His did. The usual answer is that we have not developed faith or assurance equal to that of Jesus. But how shall we go about developing this Christ faith? We have asked for the faith of Christ and even declared it in His name, yet it does not abide with us continually. Why?
The answer is that we have not realized and appropriated our princely heritage. We have not trained our mind away from the negative race beliefs but have allowed it to fall into the popular channels of thought, thereby attaching ourself even more firmly to human impotency. Here is a point of which every Christ initiate should be made aware, namely that Christ's baptism has given us a very decided mind expansion and infused into our thoughts and words a power that we did not before possess: "His word was with authority" (Luke 4:32).
Jesus taught His followers to assert the affirmative in thought and word. We do not know the exact words He used in His most radical statements, but judging by the English into which they have been translated from the Greek, Jesus was very positive in His assertion of the power of spiritual man and especially of those who follow Him in the regeneration. He taught and demonstrated that the word could be used to build or destroy. The destructive power was illustrated in the fruitless fig tree (Luke 13:6-9). It was in this connection that He laid down the laws through which we can bring forth whatever we desire. What could be stronger in this respect than this? "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24).
We who have studied the sources of the mind know from our experience that the ills of humanity all have their root in thought and the failure of man to express his thoughts in harmony with Principle.
Thought control is imperative, and there is urgent need of teachers on both the mental and spiritual planes of consciousness if the race is to go forward in development. To this end, there needs to be more co-operation between these two schools, because they complement each other. Religion becomes practical and effective in everyday life when it in-
corporates spiritual psychology as part of its litany. Without religion, psychology is weak in its fundamentals, and without spiritual psychology, religion fails to give proper attention to the outlet of its ideals. The fact is that religion, comprehended in its fullness, includes psychology. Jesus was a profound psychologist.
The fact is that religion cannot be effectively taught in its scientific aspect without applying the higher attributes of the mind. Paul is the outstanding psychologist of the Bible, and none other comes anywhere near him in this respect. He says, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." He refers repeatedly to the mind of Christ as the model for all Christians. In Hebrews, we are told, "I will put my laws into their mind."
Comparing our mind with that of Christ Jesus, we find many points in which we can improve ourself in thought and word. We may assert that we believe but do we prove it in our mental deportment? Every Truth student may become a disciple and reap the benefits promised by Jesus if he or she will assume the mental attitude of a Christian and practice the power of words.
Preceding Entry: The Household of Faith 233-235: The Overcoming Mind
Following Entry: The Household of Faith 239-245: "They Say, and Do Not"