ACIM Supplemental Reading for December 17
Helen Schucman’s Poetry
Our Daily Bread
Let me this day arise in quietness
With only thoughts of sinlessness, through which
To look upon the world. Let me today
Behold the world as You would have it be,
Because I am as You created me.
This I accept today. And as the day
Draws to a close, all unforgiving thoughts
Have disappeared, and night comes quietly
To bless a day in quietness begun,
And ending in forgiveness of God’s Son.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 17
I offer only miracles today,
For I would have them be returned to me.
Father, a miracle reflects Your gifts to me, Your Son. And every one I give returns to me, reminding me the law of love is universal. Even here, it takes a form which can be recognized and seen to work. The miracles I give are given back in just the form I need to help me with the problems I perceive. Father, in Heaven it is different, for there, there are no needs. But here on earth, the miracle is closer to Your gifts than any other gift that I can give. Then let me give this gift alone today, which, born of true forgiveness, lights the way that I must travel to remember You.
Peace to all seeking hearts today. The light has come to offer miracles to bless the tired world. It will find rest today, for we will offer what we have received.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #193: The Lord’s Prayer, supposedly given directly from Jesus, seems to make the world and sin real and request God’s involvement in our life. From the Course’s perspective, how would we explain this and what would be an example of valid prayer in the “dream”?
A: Since the Gospels were written down approximately 50 years after the historical Jesus’ death, there is no certainty that any of the accounts accurately report what the he actually said. In fact, Scripture scholars have established that Jesus probably did not say most of the things that are recorded in the Gospels. The Lord’s Prayer, therefore, would not necessarily have come directly from Jesus. It is compatible with the entire teaching of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, which, as you say, make sin and the world very real. From the perspective of A Course in Miracles, the only explanation for this is that the teaching of the Bible is not the teaching of the Course. They are not similar and can be compared only in contrast, since the Course uses terms found in the Bible but with a different interpretation.
Prayer in the dream is ultimately a reminder to ourselves that we have a mind with the power to choose. In the face of any conflict or distressing situation, our prayer can be simply stated: “brother, choose again” (T.31.VIII.3:2). Implicit in this prayer is the recognition that we have already made a choice. It is this choice, not the situation, that is the real cause of our distress, and we can “choose again.”. This is a very simple prayer, but to say it sincerely, with acceptance of the implications noted above, can meet with strong resistance. It requires taking full responsibility for our choices, as well as the predicaments we find ourselves in. Although this is the process involved in prayer as the Course teaches, the Course meets us on the many different levels of our learning. Because we have a need to experience the power of our own minds in symbolic form, we find prayers addressed to God our Father, or the Holy Spirit. Many of these are very beautiful “prayers” which actually speak to our hearts rather than to God, who does not hear prayers (T.16.VII.12). They are given to us to help us get in touch with the true desire of our hearts, and to encourage us to make another choice. This is the prayer of the heart that the Manual refers to, in contrast to the “prayer for specifics” (M.21.2:3). This prayer of the heart refers to what we truly desire.
The Course also tells us our prayer is heard, and we that we do receive what we ask for. Our “prayer” is always for only one of two things — the ego’s interpretation, or the Holy Spirit’s. We will receive the one we truly desire. This obviously occurs on the level of the mind where the choice is made. The effect of our prayer will be experienced in the dream in the form of peace (reflecting our choice for the Holy Spirit) or in some form of conflict (reflecting our choice for the ego). The specifics do not matter. It is always the disposition of our hearts, our willingness, that is most important. We “pray” when we look within with willingness to recognize whose voice we have chosen to listen to. Engaging in this process indicates that we have already chosen to listen to the ego. We then have the opportunity to ask ourselves if this is truly what we want to hear, and, as stated in the beginning, we can now choose again. We will know if we are in fact listening to the Holy Spirit by the peace we will eventually experience: “The part [of your mind] that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind. Try today not to listen to it. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God’s Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son” (W.p.I.49.2). Our “prayer” is this listening.