While most of us have been brought up to believe that prayer involves pleading to God to help, save, fix problems and bring us things in this world, that is not true prayer nor its purpose. Prayer in A Course in Miracles (acim) is quite different and very beautiful. More than a song, it is joyous exchange of Love and thanks between God and His Creations that employs the forgiveness process to correct the mind until the Prayer Song is all that remains. It’s the ticket home so understanding true prayer, and forgiveness, is worth the time in retraining the mind.
Prayer is exchanging (sharing) a Song of Love and Creation or judgments of the ego based on what you ask for (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 are choosing all the time with a side as cause for effect.
Forms (all things of this world) are miscreations reflecting the ego’s judgmental thought system. We’ve made it up (miscreated this world) and can give it up 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:
Since you are always deciding, what you ask for when you pray is what counts. When you plead in prayer to have God fix a form 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 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 in this world, etc. They are what you choose as substitutes for God’s Love and the ego will distort the purpose of prayer by using them to further the illusion. 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 Love to His Son at Creation so that it’s a single voice shared by both the Creator and Created. Continuously sharing Love and Creation back and forth extends them forever in eternity. That is prayer’s purpose.
Within this form world of illusion, this prayer is still a gift from God offered through the Holy Spirit, the memory of God in the mind. It’s how you reach God in the illusion. Anyone who has ever remembered the tiniest instant of this all-inclusive joy must begin questioning what he is choosing (praying for) and how to change his mind so he can have that all the time.
True Prayer and Forgiveness:
True prayer is: (1) asking to receive what is already there, The Song; and, (2) along the way, using forgiveness (correction of the mind) to give up the ego forms or what is not really there. Joining with Love in true prayer is asking for nothing (i.e., no illusion, forms or needs) so you end up receiving everything (Love). One problem. One solution.
Forgiveness (correction of the mind) is a part of true prayer and makes the process go quicker. Prayer is timeless and goes on forever, and forgiveness is the illusory ladder in time that returns the mind to this endless exchange. Forgiveness disappears when the mind is completely corrected and remembers only The Song.
The big secret of true prayer and forgiveness is to concentrate on disregarding and giving up the things you think you want and need in the illusion, even the specifics, as this asks for 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 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 nothing more than anything you have chosen to be more important than God’s Love. No longer wanting anything before His Love, the only effect God could return is your remembrance of Him. The more you give up, the more meaningless the world becomes and the faster you sing His Song.