While many of us have been brought up to believe that prayer involves pleading to God to simply help, save, fix problems and bring us things these days, that is not the case prayer nor its purpose. Prayer in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is very different and very beautiful. Greater than a song, it’s joyous exchange of Love and thanks between God and His Creations that employs the forgiveness process to fix the mind until the Prayer Song is all that remains. Oahu is the ticket home so understanding true prayer, and forgiveness, is worth the amount of time in retraining the mind.
Prayer is exchanging (sharing) a Song of Love and Creation or judgments of the ego based on what you require (agree with) in the mind. There is no other way. In the Course, the mind (content) is split between God and the ego; and you’re choosing constantly with a side as cause for effect.
Forms (all things of the world) are miscreations reflecting the ego’s judgmental thought system. We’ve made it up (miscreated this world) and may give it down anytime by correcting the mind (forgiveness). True prayer requires this correction of the mind as God has nothing related to forms.
What Prayer is Not:
As you are usually deciding, what you require once you pray is what counts. Whenever you plead in prayer to own God fix a form problem with another form problem, you’re asking the ego mind for help (not God). Those forms and needs are deemed more important than God’s Love that will remain hidden to the degree you select the illusion.
All external things (forms) are needs. Other labels are wants, desires, status, problems, sickness, human love (special relationships), gifts and goals these days, etc. They’re what you choose as substitutes for God’s Love and the ego will distort the purpose of prayer by using them to help the illusion a course in miracles lessons. Therefore, prayer cannot be about “forms” or “needs” in any way.
The Purpose of Prayer:
The Song of Prayer is defined by the Course as a Song of Creation, Love and gratitude being sung from the Father to the Son and returned from the Son to the Father. God gave this gift of Like to His Son at Creation so that it is a single voice shared by both Creator and Created. Continuously sharing Love and Creation back and forth extends them forever in eternity. That’s prayer’s purpose.
Within this form world of illusion, this prayer remains something special from God offered through the Holy Spirit, the memory of God in the mind. It’s the method that you reach God in the illusion. Anyone who has ever remembered the tiniest instant of the all-inclusive joy must begin questioning what he’s choosing (praying for) and how to improve his mind so he can have that most the time.
True Prayer and Forgiveness:
True prayer is: (1) asking for what is already there, The Song; and, (2) along the way, using forgiveness (correction of the mind) to stop the ego forms or what is not necessarily there. Joining with Love in true prayer is requesting nothing (i.e., no illusion, forms or needs) so you get receiving everything (Love). One problem. One solution.
Forgiveness (correction of the mind) is a part of true prayer and makes the method go quicker. Prayer is timeless and continues on forever, and forgiveness could be the illusory ladder in time that returns the mind to the endless exchange. Forgiveness disappears when the mind is completely corrected and remembers only The Song.
The big secret of true prayer and forgiveness is always to pay attention to disregarding and stopping what exactly you believe you would like and need in the illusion, even the specifics, as this wants the mind to be returned to Truth (Love). You are not furthering the illusion. You are agreeing with God that (a) you’re a mind; (b) this form world is not real; (c) you made a blunder; and, (d) you can choose again.
Using correction of the mind (forgiveness) places those forms and needs on God’s altar, or in his hands, as idols which are nothing more than anything you’ve chosen to be much more important than God’s Love. No more wanting anything before His Love, the only effect God could return can be your remembrance of Him. The more you stop trying, the more meaningless the world becomes and the faster you sing His Song.
Prayer in the Illusion:
Since the mind still resides with God, the Course says you do not have to decide alone and should ask the Holy Spirit for help deciding and await the answer. Otherwise, you’ve already decided with the ego. If you need to come to a decision immediately, you’ll get the right “need” answer right then.
A remedy is an echo of God’s Voice from the Song of Prayer. You’re not requesting the echo itself. You are choosing the gift of Love from The Song by stopping all form needs. “Need” answers in the illusion are contained within that echo even during the correction of the mind process. They’re met at the amount of the forgiveness ladder you can understand and accept.