ACIM Supplemental Reading for November 11
The Song of Prayer
S-1.I.1. Prayer is a way offered by the Holy Spirit to reach God. 2 It is not merely a question or an entreaty. 3 It cannot succeed until you realize that it asks for nothing. 4 How else could it serve its purpose? 5 It is impossible to pray for idols and hope to reach God. 6 True prayer must avoid the pitfall of asking to entreat. 7 Ask, rather, to receive what is already given; to accept what is already there.
S-1.I.2. You have been told to ask the Holy Spirit for the answer to any specific problem, and that you will receive a specific answer if such is your need. 2 You have also been told that there is only one problem and one answer. 3 In prayer this is not contradictory. 4 There are decisions to make here, and they must be made whether they be illusions or not. 5 You cannot be asked to accept answers which are beyond the level of need that you can recognize. 6 Therefore, it is not the form of the question that matters, nor how it is asked. 7 The form of the answer, if given by God, will suit your need as you see it. 8 This is merely an echo of the reply of His Voice. 9 The real sound is always a song of thanksgiving and of Love.
S-1.I.3. You cannot, then, ask for the echo. 2 It is the song that is the gift. 3 Along with it come the overtones, the harmonics, the echoes, but these are secondary. 4 In true prayer you hear only the song. 5 All the rest is merely added. 6 You have sought first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else has indeed been given you.
S-1.I.4. The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need. 2 To ask for the specific is much the same as to look on sin and then forgive it. 3 Also in the same way, in prayer you overlook your specific needs as you see them, and let them go into God’s Hands. 4 There they become your gifts to Him, for they tell Him that you would have no gods before Him; no Love but His. 5 What could His answer be but your remembrance of Him? 6 Can this be traded for a bit of trifling advice about a problem of an instant’s duration? 7 God answers only for eternity. 8 But still all little answers are contained in this.
S-1.I.5. Prayer is a stepping aside; a letting go, a quiet time of listening and loving. 2 It should not be confused with supplication of any kind, because it is a way of remembering your holiness. 3 Why should holiness entreat, being fully entitled to everything Love has to offer? 4 And it is to Love you go in prayer. 5 Prayer is an offering; a giving up of yourself to be at one with Love. 6 There is nothing to ask because there is nothing left to want. 7 That nothingness becomes the altar of God. 8 It disappears in Him.
S-1.I.6. This is not a level of prayer that everyone can attain as yet. 2 Those who have not reached it still need your help in prayer because their asking is not yet based upon acceptance. 3 Help in prayer does not mean that another mediates between you and God. 4 But it does mean that another stands beside you and helps to raise you up to Him. 5 One who has realized the goodness of God prays without fear. 6 And one who prays without fear cannot but reach Him. 7 He can therefore also reach His Son, wherever he may be and whatever form he may seem to take.
S-1.I.7. Praying to Christ in anyone is true prayer because it is a gift of thanks to His Father. 2 To ask that Christ be but Himself is not an entreaty. 3 It is a song of thanksgiving for what you are. 4 Herein lies the power of prayer. 5 It asks nothing and receives everything. 6 This prayer can be shared because it receives for everyone. 7 To pray with one who knows that this is true is to be answered. 8 Perhaps the specific form of resolution for a specific problem will occur to either of you; it does not matter which. 9 Perhaps it will reach both, if you are genuinely attuned to one another. 10 It will come because you have realized that Christ is in both of you. 11 That is its only truth.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 11
In fearlessness and love I spend today.
This day, my Father, would I spend with You, as You have chosen all my days should be. And what I will experience is not of time at all. The joy that comes to me is not of days nor hours, for it comes from Heaven to Your Son. This day will be Your sweet reminder to remember You, Your gracious calling to Your holy Son, the sign Your grace has come to me, and that it is Your Will I be set free today.
We spend this day together, you and I. And all the world joins with us in our song of thankfulness and joy to Him Who gave salvation to us, and Who set us free. We are restored to peace and holiness. There is no room in us for fear today, for we have welcomed love into our hearts.
ACIM Q & A for Today
i I was recently introduced to A Course in Miracles by a friend, but remain confused by statements, i.e., “the entire physical universe is an illusion.” If true, then the Course doesn’t exist, and if it doesn’t exist, then no one could study the Course or be helped by it. But if it does exist, then the Course is incorrect because something in the entire physical universe is not an illusion. Does A Course in Miracles exist?
ii Since God does not know of our existence in our current state, why then does prayer to Him do anything? Further, if the Holy Spirit was created to take care of this challenge, then the existence must have been known.
A: The answer to these questions lies in understanding what the Course teaches regarding reality and illusion. Reality refers to God and the life we share with God as His one Son in Heaven. Only that is real and only that truly exists. The metaphysics of the Course tells us that: “Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh” (T.27.VIII.8:6). The “tiny mad idea” is the thought that the one Son can be separate from God. Choosing this thought results in what we are experiencing as our lives as bodies in the physical universe. The Course tells us it is an illusion, a dream: “You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality”(T.10.I.2:1). This is the Course’s “explanation” for the seeming existence of the physical universe; this is the illusion. Yet, because the Son cannot be separate from the Father, he carries with him into the dream the memory of God in his mind. The thought of separation and the memory of God are the two parts of the split mind of the dreaming Sonship. It is very important to remember that this is all part of the dream. It is therefore not real and does not truly exist. Although we have chosen to identify with our bodies there is a part of our mind that remembers who we truly are. The Course refers to this part of the mind of the Sonship as the right mind. Since we have dissociated ourselves from our minds altogether our right mind is symbolized in the Course by Jesus or the Holy Spirit. They are our teachers in the dream and A Course in Miracles is Their curriculum that we may “Learn that even the darkest nightmare that disturbs the mind of God’s sleeping Son holds no power over him. He will learn the lesson of awaking” (T.13.XI.9:5, 6). So, although A Course in Miracles does not exist in reality and is part of the illusion, its message reflects the memory of our reality and leads us to our awakening from the dream of separation.
The prayers in the Course that address God the Father are beautiful expressions of the content of the part of our minds that remembers God. They are formulated in a way that helps us to remember God, and to learn that in spite of our belief in the separation we have not truly left our Source. You are correct in saying that God does not actually hear these prayers. They are gentle reminders to ourselves in a form that comforts us, because we need to know that God has not forgotten us though we seem to have wandered off and forgotten Him.