Are We Praying Too Much?
A friend from northern California sent this to me with these words: “Hi Mark, I’ve been working with this article in my professional and personal life this past week ... and with awesome results.” It certainly rings true for me. I found in this piece the following metaphysical truth:
Divine ideas, which are called “outer patterns” in this article, can come to us not only inwardly through meditation, but also outwardly through unexpected events and troublesome people. And, if we are impatient, and we see events and people as problems, and we immediately go into affirmative prayer to avoid these perceived problems, we can easily miss out on many blessings in life.
I encourage you to download and print out the one page PDF in the link below. Take a moment to read it and then set it aside. My bet is that sometime when you’re really struggling, this article will find its way back to you. And it will remind you that God is not only found in the inner places of the mind, but also in the outer places of everyday life.
Sunday, May 7, 2023
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God Is Everywhere
by Glenn Clark
Reprinted from Clear Horizons
A Quarterly of Creative Spiritual Living
I HAVE made a great discovery that will help you. Add this to your other discoveries and it will make you master, hereafter, of every situation in which you are placed. You know that there is a general belief among religious people that God is closer to us on the inside than He is on the outside. There is a tendency to believe that the only way to reach God is in prayer, or in the “silence.” “God and His perfect order are within, and never without,” we are told.
My great discovery is simply this, that God is everywhere. This means that He is also in the without, just as He is in the “within.” Turn to the outer events, trust them, and you will find the perfect pattern of the Kingdom also in them. Since I have discovered this I give less time to prayer, and far more time to putting the outer patterns into order, or rather seeing through their apparent disorder to the real order which they represent.
One does not have to read the newspaper to get his news if he can step into a movie and see the “news of the week” thrown upon the screen. One does not have to pray or go into the silence if he can step into God’s outdoors and see the prayer of the week cast upon the living events unfolding before one.
Find God in the routine of life.
Be patient with the commands, the events and the people that come to you—even as a little child.
When you have learned those two lessons, so that you can accept everything with radiant acquiescence, then you will find God wherever you go.
I find there are stages people must go through in their development in the spiritual life. First, they are forced to look within to find God—then they are forced to look without.
It is like the pendulum’s swing, or the tides. To work against the ingoing or outgoing tides, the downward or upward swing, is to “make the old cat die.”
Some years ago I did not give enough time to turning within. Every few weeks I came down with the flu. I wondered why, when I was growing so deeply into the spiritual living, I should get the flu so often. Then I discovered that this was God’s way of forcing me to lie in bed for a week at a time and think, meditate, and pray. When I discovered this I took more time for meditation, prayer, and I did not get the flu any more.
But now I found that I was forced to look without. If I was not practical enough God made my wife sick and forced me to wash dishes, carry trays, and do Martha Labor until I saw God s perfect pattern in the service I was rendering.
When you have completed your apprenticeship in finding God within, He may make you hear Him tell you to heed the pressing demands calling you to look without. The time has come when you are to work with the stream of people, give cups of cold water, accept with patience the efforts of others, to help you see through the crude attempts of your relatives or anyone else to the real love that is underneath. You must see in everyone an instrument of God. When you have made yourself able to see perfection in people and events, and can accept them and go forth and seek definite practical action in a world of things to be done, then your second lesson will be learned.
Don't pull against the pendulum’s swing—put yourself in tune and in harmony with everything about you.
One who has conquered himself, brought his inner life into order, then finds a new value in the world, the outer world unknown before, discovering that the world of outer events and people is a medium for expressing the spirit life, unrecognized before.