Effectual Prayer: Living the Life
LIVING THE LIFE
"WHENEVER ANYONE enters the deep silence he loses himself in the cosmic universe and becomes one with the cosmic Christ. At the time of this merging of his self with the whole, he is in a consciousness from which he can see his place as a part of the whole and in which he can receive his individual message. The entire man, mind, soul, and body, is then lifted in an ecstasy that breaks forth in songs of praise and thanksgiving, even magnificats such as come forth from a Mary soul rejoicing in being chosen a handmaiden of the Lord.
Coming back from a deep silence, filled with its harmony, ear still in tune with the inner message, eye still seeing the high vision, and the whole being thrilled from union with the Highest, we might think it would be easy to live the Christ life. But unless we steady ourselves after coming back to the material plane declaring that we are poised and balanced in Spirit and that as sons of God we cannot be moved from His Truth of being, and realize this, we are apt to be thrown off our feet at the first sight and sound of an error appearance. Praise and thanksgiving should continue, for it has the power to bring forth that which is praised, and that for which we are giving thanks attains greater power to express itself, but we should not let it run to emotion. Emotion scatters; we waste ourselves in it. Poised even during deep feeling, we experience the
very strength and steadiness of the feeling holding us. "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isa. 30:15).
Sometimes when a wonderful message has been given us in the silence, we are content for days just to repeat it over and over, and live in the wonder of the inner revelation. Perhaps all at once there comes a great and burning desire to live the message, to make it true on the outer as well as the inner plane. Then this great urge within will carry us forward in the doing. A holy thought coming into a purified mind made ready to receive it must come to fruition. This is the "immaculate conception" and it comes only to those who have prepared themselves to receive the Holy Spirit and bring forth the Christ child. When once conceived in mind, the Christ child grows within the soul in wisdom and stature and meets with the favor of God and man. The growth within us and the expression without is always in accordance with the high watch we keep and the life we live, which is meat and drink for the Christ child's growth.
If a person would grow, he must live whatever message is given to him in the silence. Unless the message from the Father becomes a living, vital reality in the daily life, seeking the silence becomes a mere pastime, a pretense, and hinders growth instead of hastening it. It is as much our mission to live any message given us as it was the mission of Jesus Christ to live the life and die the death that He did. There is no message too trivial to be carried out,
for if nothing in the outer seems to result from it, there has been built into the consciousness a willingness and readiness to do as directed that will lead to higher things. Naaman, seeking to be healed of leprosy, was wroth because the prophet (spiritual guidance) gave him so simple a thing to do as to bathe in the Jordan. He turned away, refusing to carry out the command, but his servant (higher self) asked him whether, if he had been given a great thing to do, he would not do it. Naaman listened, and when he obeyed the prophet's command, his flesh became as the flesh of a little child, spotless, pure. On the other hand, the prophet's servant as a result of disobedience to the law of righteousness spoken by the prophet to him became a leper (II Kings 5:1-14). God does not force anyone to do His will. He gives to each of us free will, the right of choice, but His law is that according as we use the gift of choice so will the manifestation be.
Jonah found himself in serious trouble by acting in opposition to the inner guidance. He found he could not place distance between himself and that within him which always seeks to lead men aright. He had finally not only to carry out the message but he had to extricate himself from that walled-in place, where his disobedience had placed him (Jonah 1). The Psalmist afterward expressed that which Jonah found exceedingly true: "Whither shall I ... flee from thy presence? (Psalms 139:7-10)
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me,
And thy right hand shall hold me"
This is the wonderful truth about the inner voice or intuition. It is always with us, no matter how far we may stray from our inner convictions, no matter how far from the path we may have wandered, no matter how high is the wall we have built between us and the way of righteousness. It is always waiting, ready and willing to guide us back into the way, to hold us steady as we find the path, to carry us forward in greater endeavor.
We each learn in some way, at some time, obedience to the higher self, that in us which is Godlike. It is obedience to this self, no matter how trivial the command, that prepares us to receive higher messages, that strengthens us for greater endeavor. It is the seeking to be a workman approved of God, the handling aright of the words of Truth, the living on the highest level of the daily life that is worthy of being trusted. Some of us cry out for work in the Master's vineyard, and we wonder why it is not given us when we are so willing to be used. We do not give to a little child the responsibilities that belong to an adult. We feel that it would hamper the development of the child, even if he were capable of performing the work as it should be done. Neither does the Lord of the harvest give tasks to His workers that they are not prepared to do, for the work's sake as well as the worker's. There is no one who knows
the ability of any worker as does the One who is omnipresent, not even the worker himself. The field is white for the harvest, and the workers are few (John 4:35). The workers willing and fitted to do the needed work of returning to its original perfection this God-created, man-inharmonized universe are indeed few compared with the seeming needs. This realization alone should make each of us eager to prepare ourselves to take part in the work of redeeming the race and its world.
The work of redemption, of carrying these high thoughts and visions into the outer in words and deeds that correspond, lies first within our own self. When we ourselves are fit, then we are permitted to go to our neighbor: "Speak ye truth each one with his neighbor" (Eph. 4:25). This does not mean that in our enthusiasm for service we should seek to force the Truth on anyone. To be perfect every rose must be allowed to open in its own time, in its own way, and of its own accord. We can assist in attaining perfection by cultivating, watering, and fertilizing it but never by forcing its petals apart. Each person must be given freedom to live his life as he would live it, not as another person would have him live it. Only in this way can he get the soul experience needed to bring him into full-rounded manhood in Christ, knowing the good because he has passed that way. There are no "flowery beds of ease" to carry us into the kingdom. Such beds are ours after we arrive, but on the way there is great peace in having the Presence with us, great joy in the overcoming,
and satisfaction from work well done, besides the happy companionship of those traveling the path with us.
If we would help another to arrive at our place on the path, perhaps assist him in passing us, our mission is to carry whatever message the Spirit within us gives, to live the life according to the high standard of life in Christ, to stand still and be willing to wait, leaving the result to the Father of us all. This takes courage, it takes patience, discrimination, love, unselfishness, tolerance, obedience, steadfastness, and above all it takes faith in God as Father, healer, giver, lover, guide and protector, judge and justice of our brother or beloved as well as of ourselves. This takes faith in each person in the world as being an anointed son of God, whether he knows it or not, whether he is expressing his sonship or not.
We need always to remember that no matter what the higher self tells us to do, what the message is that we receive in the silence, it is still not too hard, even if the sense man does consider it so. The power and strength and wisdom needed to carry the task through to perfect completion are always given with the message. It only takes some initiative on our part to put them to work. Here is the story not only of the apostles of Jesus but also of the followers of the omnipresent Christ the command, the obedience, the results: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel ... And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed" (Mark 16:15-20).
If a person would have his prayers answered he must be willing to be a channel through which the prayers of others are answered. If he would be healed he must be willing to be a healer of discords. If he would have prosperity he must be willing to give as freely as he desires to receive. He must not only be willing to do these things, but he must prove his willingness by doing them. If we look ourselves squarely in the face, we shall find that many times the things we are asking for in prayer we are not trying to live in our life. We all know more of Truth than we live or try to live. To be open to receive we need to express that which we are seeking to have expressed for us, we need to give as we would have the Father give to us, we need to forgive as we would be forgiven; in fact we need to practice the Golden Rule not only toward people but toward God also. Many a person has been healed at a time when he forgot his own aches and pains in praying for another's healing. Many a person has opened a channel for riches to flow to him by giving the widow's mite, which is not to be evaluated in terms of its size but in terms of what is in the giver's mind; as the Master said: "She of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living" (Mark 12:44). Most of us give of our superfluity, of that which we do not need or want, or we give because of a mental necessity to give to God in order to be quite free in conscience. The tithe is the Lord's rightful share, but it is from that which we give beyond this law that we receive the greatest joy, if given in the Christ spirit.
Sometimes a great urge, a message from the universal Mind, comes to us to give of our store to a certain work of the Father's or to one of His children. It may be one thing or another, perhaps a sum of money, the exact amount being named: for the Father knows the needs of His children, and He is also capable of choosing the channel through which this blessing is to flow. We recognize the message and perhaps agree to it in our mind. Then we begin to cut it down until finally the Lord Himself would not recognize the assignment with which He had entrusted us. Perhaps we do not carry out any part of it after the intellect, with its reasoning and its citing of the contents of the pocketbook, is through with it. If we could only realize what we have done by our action! A great opportunity to be a channel through which the Father answers the prayer of another has been lost, a great opportunity to be a messenger from the Lord of hosts has been passed up. In not carrying out the assignment we have closed ourselves to some great good that was ready, waiting for us to prove of our worthiness; for the Father never asks us to give for Him unless we are to receive back to us forty–, sixty–, a hundredfold, even an increase that is beyond our comprehending or receiving until we do give for the Master's sake. In many ways we find that God never withholds from us the good that we crave but that we ourselves close the door through which our good is seeking entrance.
Whether we have consciously received a message in our silence, it has nevertheless been given to us.
We never turn Godward open to receive but that the need in our mind draws forth from the Father a fulfillment of it in the highest form in which we are capable of receiving it. Our part is to step forth boldly in faith as if we were conscious of receiving. When the time comes for the question to be answered, for the conditions to be faced, for the need to be supplied, we shall find that it is met in overflowing measure by our Father's love. Words will be put in our mouth; wisdom will be given for decisions and strength to meet the occasion, the needed amount of money will be forthcoming. It will all seem as natural as if the need had never existed; for even before we asked it was met, the fulfillment being subject only to our performing our part in the transaction. In the silence we contact the answer whether we are aware of it or not, and faith and expectancy and steady vision bring it forth into being. Truly "faith apart from works is dead" (James 2:26).
The condition of the body and the state of the affairs are living testimony, for all who will read, as to the kind of prayers we are offering; they are an outpicturmg of our acceptance of the gifts of the great Giver. Health of the body, success and prosperity in the affairs, peace and harmony in the environment, freedom from accident, joy in living are all outward manifestations in the life of those who practice the Presence, who pray without ceasing, who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).
Beloved, lift up your eyes until you behold the King in His glory, and truly you shall not have cause to say you are sick any more, limited any more, unhappy any more; for His beauty will become your beauty and the beauty of your whole world.
O Thou Christ of God within me, shine forth Thy light continually on my path, that I may not turn aside. Be Thou my guide every moment of every day, that I may follow in the footsteps of Thy Son. Give me courage! Give me strength! Give me faith! Give me love and patience and tolerance! I would follow all the way. I would cling to Thy glorified presence until I too become glorified and a shining light in Thy world. So let it be for me, Thy son, and for whosoever else may seek his inheritance of the All-Good.