While the majority of us have now been raised to trust that prayer involves pleading to God to simply help, save, fix problems and bring us things these days, that is not true prayer nor its purpose. Prayer in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is very 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 improve the mind before the Prayer Song is all that remains. It’s the ticket home so understanding true prayer, and forgiveness, may be worth the amount of time in retraining the mind.
Prayer is exchanging (sharing) a Song of Love and Creation or judgments of the ego predicated 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 an area as cause for effect.
Forms (all things with this world) are miscreations reflecting the ego’s judgmental thought system. We’ve caused it to be 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 to do with forms.
What Prayer is Not:
As you are always deciding, what you require once you pray is what counts. Once you plead in prayer to own God fix a questionnaire 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 which will remain hidden to the degree you choose 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 objective of prayer by with them to help expand the illusion. Therefore, prayer cannot be about “forms” or “needs” in any way.
The Intent behind 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 Love to His Son at Creation to ensure that it is a single voice shared by the Creator and Created a course in miracles lessons. 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 a gift 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. Whoever has ever remembered the tiniest instant with this all-inclusive joy must begin questioning what he’s choosing (praying for) and how to change his mind so they can have that most the time.
True Prayer and Forgiveness:
True prayer is: (1) asking for what is already there, The Song; and, (2) as you go along, using forgiveness (correction of the mind) to quit 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 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 this 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 quitting the things you believe you would like and need in the illusion, even the specifics, as this requests the mind to be returned to Truth (Love). You’re not furthering the illusion. You’re agreeing with God that (a) you’re a mind; (b) this form world isn’t real; (c) you made a mistake; 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 simply anything you have chosen to be much more important than God’s Love. No further wanting anything before His Love, the sole effect God could return can be your remembrance of Him. The more you give up, 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 wait for the answer. Otherwise, you’ve already decided with the ego. If you should make a decision on the spot, you’ll receive the appropriate “need” answer right then.
A solution can be an echo of God’s Voice from the Song of Prayer. You’re not requesting the echo itself. You’re choosing the gift of Love from The Song by quitting 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.