Note: Today we begin reading “The Song of Prayer,” which, like “Psychotherapy,” is another supplement to A Course in Miracles. The third edition to ACIM published by the Foundation for Inner Peace says the following about The Song of Prayer:
“The Song of Prayer was scribed in 1977, and its three chapters summarize the Course’s teachings on prayer, forgiveness, and healing. It first presents the ego’s wrong-minded understanding of these terms, which is then contrasted with the Holy Spirit’s right-minded view.”
ACIM Reading for November 22
Supplement: The Song of Prayer
1. Prayer- Introduction
1. Prayer is the greatest gift with which God blessed His Son at his creation. It was then what it is to become; the single voice Creator and creation share; the song the Son sings to the Father, Who returns the thanks it offers Him unto the Son. Endless the harmony, and endless, too, the joyous concord of the Love They give forever to Each Other. And in this, creation is extended. God gives thanks to His extension in His Son. His Son gives thanks for his creation, in the song of his creating in his Father’s Name. The Love They share is what all prayer will be throughout eternity, when time is done. For such it was before time seemed to be.
2. To you who are in time a little while, prayer takes the form that best will suit your need. You have but one. What God created one must recognize its oneness, and rejoice that what illusions seemed to separate is one forever in the Mind of God. Prayer now must be the means by which God’s Son leaves separate goals and separate interests by, and turns in holy gladness to the truth of union in his Father and himself.
3. Lay down your dreams, you holy Son of God, and rising up as God created you, dispense with idols and remember Him. Prayer will sustain you now, and bless you as you lift your heart to Him in rising song that reaches higher and then higher still, until both high and low have disappeared. Faith in your goal will grow and hold you up as you ascend the shining stairway to the lawns of Heaven and the gate of peace. For this is prayer, and here salvation is. This is the way. It is God’s gift to you.
ACIM Workbook for November 22
I am forever an Effect of God.
Father, I was created in Your Mind, a holy Thought that never left its home. I am forever Your Effect, and You forever and forever are my Cause. As You created me I have remained. Where You established me I still abide. And all Your attributes abide in me, because it is Your Will to have a Son so like his Cause that Cause and Its Effect are indistinguishable. Let me know that I am an Effect of God, and so I have the power to create like You. And as it is in Heaven, so on earth. Your plan I follow here, and at the end I know that You will gather Your effects into the tranquil Heaven of Your Love, where earth will vanish, and all separate thoughts unite in glory as the Son of God.
Let us today behold earth disappear, at first transformed, and then, forgiven, fade entirely into God’s holy Will.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #994: If God doesn’t know we exist, who the hell have we all been praying to for thousands of years? Have we been choreographing our own answers? If our prayers were not answered, was it because we couldn’t create properly? Is this why millions of people were killed during the Holocaust although they were devout, prayerful people — because there was no one to hear their prayers and help them? Has everyone that thought there was a God who cared about them, guided them, and loved them been duped? Am I interpreting all of this correctly?
A: No, you are not quite interpreting the message of A Course in Miracles correctly. The Course does give us a way of thinking about God and the nature of this world that is radically different from what western religions have taught for centuries. However, its central message is not that we suffer because God cannot hear us or because we cannot “create properly,” but rather that we suffer because we actively choose to experience suffering instead of the Love of God. The Course informs us that we have been wrong about God because we have been so very wrong about ourselves. Let us take a closer look at how it explains these dynamics.
Jesus tells us that God does not know we are here because we are not here . In the original instant, filled with imaginary guilt, we wanted to escape from God — simultaneously believing that we had killed Him and that He would rise again and give us the punishment we thought we deserved for daring to consider the idea of separation. So we chose to listen to the ego, fall asleep, and dream up this world. Having been birthed by a thought of guilt, this is a guilt-filled world in which everyone appears to lead lives that overflow with punishing pain. While, as you mentioned, Holocaust victims provide an example of extreme physical and psychological anguish, we need hardly look to them to find proof of human suffering that one would expect a Loving God to alleviate. Indeed, simply living as a body is a set up for almost continual pain — the pain of material need, illness, aging, loss, dependency, and so on. The Course asks us to look honestly at this and admit that, as much as we may profess to love Him, if we believe that God created and controls the events in this world and our lives, a part of our minds must hate Him for not doing more to improve things.
And yet, ultimately, the Course’s message is a happy one, which lets us know that God’s Love is much closer than most of us ever imagined. We do not need to beseech God, please Him, or struggle to earn His Love because, in reality, we remain safely enveloped in it, at home in Heaven. As the Course says “Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is not in Heaven is not anywhere. Outside of Heaven, only the conflict of illusion stands; senseless, impossible and beyond all reason, and yet perceived as an eternal barrier to Heaven” (T.23.II.19:6,7).
So all we need do to begin to awaken to that reality is undo the one mistake that we have made from the moment time seemed to begin — choosing the thought system of the ego rather than the Holy Spirit (Who represents the memory of God’s Love in our mind). When we choose the Holy Spirit’s Love, we will be happy regardless of whether the circumstances in our lives are ones that the world would judge to be pleasant or miserable. Likewise, when we choose the ego, we will be unhappy no matter how good or bad our external situation appears to be. For this reason, we cannot judge someone else’s life as being fair or unfair. While certainly the outer life of virtually every human being seems filled with gross injustices, we cannot know why each of us chooses a particular script or the lessons we may be learning as a result of our choice.
Those who have believed that God cared about them, guided them, and loved them have not been duped if this belief helped them to get in touch with His Love in their mind. In the end, it does not really matter how we conceptualize God or our relationship to Him, so long as we find a way of doing so that helps us replace our guilt and fear with love and inner peace. Basically, Jesus just wants to help us find our way home and has given us the Course as a tool to help us make the journey. But this does not make the Course any more or less true than other tools people have used for the same purpose. Remember, nothing in this world is true, and anything in this world can help us move closer to truth (love) in our mind if that is the purpose we give it. This is why, after establishing the illusory nature of the physical world and the body, Jesus can make a statement like, “If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you. And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy” (W.pI.70.9:3,4) . Similarly, if people throughout history have felt God’s Love even while conceptualizing it in a way that is clearly at odds from how it is presented in the Course, this has been no idle fantasy.