While most of us have already been mentioned to think that prayer involves pleading to God to simply help, save, fix problems and bring us things in this world, that’s not the case prayer nor its purpose. Prayer in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is quite different and very beautiful. More than a song, it’s joyous exchange of Love and thanks between God and His Creations that employs the forgiveness process to correct the mind before the Prayer Song is all that remains. Oahu is the ticket home so understanding true prayer, and forgiveness, may be worth the time in retraining the mind.
Prayer is exchanging (sharing) a Song of Love and Creation or judgments of the ego based on that which you ask for (agree with) in the mind. There’s no other way. In the Course, the mind (content) is split between God and the ego; and you are choosing constantly with an area as cause for effect.
Forms (all things of the world) are miscreations reflecting the ego’s judgmental thought system. We’ve managed to get up (miscreated this world) and can provide it down anytime by correcting the mind (forgiveness). True prayer requires this correction of the mind as God has nothing regarding forms.
What Prayer is Not:
Since you are always deciding, that which you ask for once you pray is what counts. Whenever you plead in prayer to have God fix a questionnaire problem with another form problem, you are asking the ego mind for help (not God). Those forms and needs are deemed more important than God’s Love that may remain hidden to the degree you decide on the illusion.
All external things (forms) are needs. Other labels are wants, desires, status, problems, sickness, human love (special relationships), gifts and goals in this world, etc. They are that which you choose as substitutes for God’s Love and the ego will distort the purpose of prayer by using them to help expand the illusion. Therefore, prayer can’t be about “forms” or “needs” in virtually 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 a course in miracles lessons. God gave this gift of Love to His Son at Creation in order that it is a single voice shared by the Creator and Created. Continuously sharing Love and Creation back and forth extends them forever in eternity. That is prayer’s purpose.
In this form world of illusion, this prayer remains a present from God offered through the Holy Spirit, the memory of God in the mind. It’s the manner in which you reach God in the illusion. Anyone who has ever remembered the tiniest instant of the all-inclusive joy must begin questioning what he is choosing (praying for) and how to improve his mind so he can have that the time.
True Prayer and Forgiveness:
True prayer is: (1) asking to get what is already there, The Song; and, (2) as you go along, using forgiveness (correction of the mind) to stop the ego forms or what is certainly not 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 an integral part of true prayer and makes the procedure go quicker. Prayer is timeless and goes on forever, and forgiveness may be the illusory ladder with time that returns the mind to the endless exchange. Forgiveness disappears once the mind is totally corrected and remembers only The Song.
The big secret of true prayer and forgiveness is always to pay attention to disregarding and giving up the items you believe you want 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 are a mind; (b) this form world is not real; (c) you made a blunder; and, (d) you are able to 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 simply anything you have chosen to become more important than God’s Love. No further wanting anything before His Love, the sole effect God could return is the remembrance of Him. The more you quit, 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 don’t have to decide alone and should ask the Holy Spirit for help deciding and wait for the answer. Otherwise, you’ve already decided with the ego. If you must make a decision immediately, you’ll receive the correct “need” answer right then.
An answer is definitely 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 giving up all form needs. “Need” answers in the illusion are contained within that echo even throughout the correction of the mind process. They are met at the amount of the forgiveness ladder you are able to understand and accept.