Come Ye Apart Awhile
And he saith unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile.
— Mark 6:31.
The author, May Rowland, the former director of Silent Unity, stresses the importance of complete relaxation in God. The following article outlines a prayer procedure that has proved helpful to many, many persons.
JESUS knew the value of going apart, not only from the multitudes who were following Him and His disciples, but He also knew the necessity of getting away to the mountain to pray.
If Jesus, with all of His developed spirituality and control of earthly things knew the value of getting to Himself, how much more important it is to you and to me to get away from the bustle and hustle of daily living to seek the quiet place where we can relax and pray.
I do not believe that Jesus' retirement from the multitudes meant merely that He wanted to get away, but He understood the importance of increasing His own spiritual powers through prayer.
We are learning that we need to take time each day to go apart and arouse the powers and possibilities of our inner nature through prayer.
It is well to establish the habit of prayer by meditating at the same time each day. This helps bring order into the prayer practice. If we leave this important period of the day until everything else is accomplished we are apt to neglect it.
When circumstances and conditions in the home and in business become too pressing it is well to withdraw more often to the moun-taintop, away from the decisions and responsibilities which are confronting us. Then one finds the strength and wisdom needed to handle easily all the experiences of life.
We develop the powers of the spiritual nature through prayer. As the inner strength of the spiritual nature is quickened and unfolds in us, all of life becomes ordered. We put into action those higher laws which are innate in every man, and each one of us becomes the conquering man.
We find, as it is so beautifully expressed in the lines of one of the old hymns, "and where there seems a desert, the rose shall burst in bloom."
Ideas for growth and development are written in the heart of every man. Jesus referred to the place we seek as "the kingdom of God ... within you." Jehovah spoke through Jeremiah, the prophet, and put the same idea into these words: "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it."
Through quiet moments of prayer we open our minds to the wisdom which has been written in our hearts.
Many persons ask us to teach them how to relax, how to meditate, how to pray in order to become healthier, happier, and more successful in their daily How living. We approach the art of meditation and prayer first through learning to relax completely in God.
Now as a first step in the practice of relaxation, we acknowledge one presence and one power, God, the good omnipotent. Then we quiet our thoughts and our emotions by saying: "Be still, and know that I am God."
We think about God's love surrounding, infolding, and protecting us. We feel very close to God. We abide in the idea that "Underneath are the everlasting arms." No evil shall befall us.
Meditate on these ideas for a few moments, and you will feel a great sense of peace. Say to yourself: "I relax in mind and body. I feel the peace of God. I rest in His loving presence." Think of surrendering your entire being to God—spirit, soul, and body. Take a deep breath, relax, and let go.
First direct your whole attention to your feet. Think how wonderful they are to support your body. Think relaxation under the arch. Think perfect balance into tne entire foot. Let go of any feeling of being cramped or tense. Think relaxation back of your legs, up the calves of the legs, and under your knees.
Think of the small of your back and up and down the spine. Say: "Relax and let go." Then say: "I am relaxed and I feel relaxed."
Think of letting go through the shoulders. Some persons literally push themselves out of the body by thoughts of hurry and anxiety. Release the shoulders and settle back into your body, the wonderful temple of God.
Feel relaxed in every part of your body. Relax through your neck and the back of your head. Now, as you read this, feel relaxed.
Through the forehead and between the eyes, relax and let go. Remind yourself that you are relaxing into the harmony and peace of the presence of God, that in God you live, move, and have your being. Relaxation comes to your mind and body through a feeling of trust in the presence and power of God.
Continue with the thought of letting go of all tension, thinking especially of the throat and chest, then the solar plexus, then through all the organs and functions of the body, down to the tips of the toes.
Say, "I am free from tension, stress, and strain. I surrender myself entirely to God. I am at peace in mind and in body. From the top of my head to the soles of my feet, I feel relaxed. I am calm, serene, relaxed. I feel God's peace filling my mind and my body. I rest in God."
As we learn to turn more and more often to the Spirit of God within for direction, our lives become less burdened, more carefree and joyous. It is wonderful to follow the direction of the Spirit of God within us. To relax and rest in His presence puts us in harmony with all life.
Center your attention in the forehead, between the eyes, and say "Not my will, but thine be done." Meditate upon this idea and be freed from willfulness.
Bless your eyes with the words: "Blessed are my eyes, for they see clearly, distinctly, and perfectly."
Through the relaxation part of the drill you have already freed your eyes from tension and strain, and when the strain is removed they respond quickly to the idea of seeing easily and clearly.
Follow the same idea with your ears. Say: "I am God's loving and obedient child. Blessed are my ears for they hear easily, clearly, and distinctly."
With the attention directed to the throat say: "All power is given unto me in mind and in body."
Many times we let conditions and circumstances rule us, instead of asserting the spiritual power and mastery that are within us. Power is given to man in his spiritual nature; and, when you recognize and use the power that is within you, you will be freed from anxiety and from confusion in your world.
Now with the attention at the back of the neck say, "I am not bound in personal consciousness, I am free with the freedom of Spirit."
A phase of personal consciousness we want to be free from is that which tries to direct the lives of other persons into some particular pattern we have made for them. Relax. Release other persons and their affairs. Turn them over to the loving care of God. Love your family and your friends, but let their own indwelling Christ direct them.
Also, when we are free from personal consciousness we are free from the tendency to gossip, to criticize, or to take offense. These are surely phases of personal consciousness from which we wish to be freed.
Think again of your shoulders and say: "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Then imagine a yoke of light extending from your chest around your shoulders. Make it a yoke of light in your imagination. Place your burdens in the light of Christ, and they will be dissolved.
With your attention at the small of your back affirm: "I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." You will immediately feel your back straightening up.
Now turn in loving thought to your lungs and say: "There is nothing to fear. I breathe the breath of life freely and easily." Breathe deeply and be at peace.
With your attention centered at your heart, bless this wonderful organ, intended as an instrument through which the love of God is to be expressed. We have placed many burdens upon the heart. Let us free it now by accepting the forgiving love of Jesus Christ. With your attention toward your heart say: "The forgiving love of Jesus Christ sets me free from mistakes of the past, and the results of mistakes of the past." The power in the name of Jesus Christ will free you from remembering the mistakes of the past. It will reach the very depths of your being. It will cleanse and purify your heart. Now feel that God's love, a pure stream of love is flowing in and through your heart; through your blood stream, cleansing, healing, purifying, and restoring your entire body.
Use these words: "God's cleansing, healing, purifying love flows freely through every part of my body, renewing and restoring me."
Think of the functions of your body and affirm divine order. "Divine order, is established in my mind, body, and in all my affairs." Remember that our thinking is always from center to circumference. We first think of divine order as an idea in mind, which has action through the body, and then out into the world of affairs.
Think of the wonderful life of God, that animates you, and fills you with enthusiasm and energy. All life is of God, so the life you are feeling this very moment is the eternal life of God, expressing itself through you, vitalizing every part of your body.
With the attention on the lower part of the body affirm: "The life of God is from everlasting to everlasting, and I live, move, and have my being in it."
Say for the whole body, "I am the ever-renewing, the ever-unfolding expression of infinite life."
Say this many times and feel the response in the body of renewing life and energy.
A scientist has said that if the atoms in the palm of the hand could be released there would be enough energy to power all the utilities of a city.
Jesus knew the secret of releasing the energy in His body; He resurrected it from death and continues to live in His original spiritual perfection. He fulfilled His promise, "Lo, I am with you always."
"And he saith unto them, Come ye yourselves apart ... and rest awhile."
Unity Village, Missouri 64065