URTEXT – SONG OF PRAYER
S 1. Prayer
B. True Prayer
S 1 B 1 Prayer is a way offered by the Holy Spirit to reach God. It is not merely a question or an entreaty. It cannot succeed until you realize that it asks for nothing. How else could it serve its purpose? It is impossible to pray for idols and hope to reach God. True prayer must avoid the pitfall of asking to entreat. Ask rather to receive what is already given; to accept what is already there.
- Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
S 1 B 2 You have been told to ask the Holy Spirit for the answer to any specific problem, and that you will receive a specific answer if such is your need. You have also been told that there is only one problem and one answer. In prayer this is not contradictory. There are decisions to make here, and they must be made whether they be illusions or not. You cannot be asked to accept answers which are beyond the level of need that you recognize. Therefore it is not the form of the question that matters, nor how it is asked. The form of the answer, if given by God through His Voice, will suit your need as you see it. This is merely an echo of the reply of His Voice. The real sound is always a song of thanksgiving and love.
S 1 B 3 We cannot, then, ask for the echo. It is the song that is the gift. Along with it come the overtones, the harmonics, the echoes, but these are secondary. In true prayer you hear only the song. All the rest is merely added. You have sought first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else has indeed been given you.
- Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
S 1 B 4 The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need. To ask for the specific is much the same as to look on sin and then forgive it. Also in the same way, in prayer you overlook your specific needs as you see them, and let them go into His hands. There they become your gifts to Him, for they tell Him that you would have no gods before Him; no Love but His. What could His Answer be but your remembrance of Him? Can this be traded for a bit of trifling advice about a problem of an instantʹs duration? God answers only for eternity. But still all little answers are contained in this.
S 1 B 5 Prayer is a stepping aside; a letting go; a quiet time of listening and loving. It should not be confused with supplication of any kind, because it is a way of remembering your holiness. Why should holiness entreat, being fully entitled to everything love has to offer? And it is to Love one goes in prayer. Prayer is an offering; a giving up of oneself to be at one with Love. There is nothing to ask because there is nothing left to want. That nothingness becomes the altar of God. It disappears in Him.
S 1 B 6 This is not a level of prayer that everyone can attain as yet. Those who have not need your help in prayer because their asking is not yet based upon acceptance. Help in prayer does not mean that another mediates between you and God. But it does mean that another can stand beside you and help to raise you up to Him. One who has realized the goodness of God prays without fear. And one who prays without fear cannot but reach Him. He can therefore also reach His Son, wherever he may be and whatever form he may seem to take.
S 1 B 7 Praying to Christ in anyone is true prayer because it is a gift of thanks to his Father. To ask that Christ be but Himself is not an entreaty but it IS a song of thanksgiving for what you are. Herein lies the power of prayer. It asks nothing and receives everything. This prayer can be shared because it receives for everyone. To pray with one who knows that this is true is to be answered. Perhaps the specific form of solution for a specific problem will occur to either of you; it does not matter which. Perhaps it will reach both, if you are genuinely attuned to one another. It will come because you have realized that it does not matter. Therein lies its only truth.